Michael Flanakin Eastwood passed away Jan. 11, 2020 after a long battle with Parkinson ’s disease.
Mike was born on July 2, 1941 in Little Rock, Arkansas to Roy and Mary Grace Flanakin. When Mike was still very young, his parents divorced, and he moved with his mother to Rhode Island. They settled in Warwick Neck where Mike began developing a lifelong love of the water: swimming, messing around in boats, and digging quahogs. Mike’s mother remarried and his loving stepfather, Herb Eastwood, later adopted Mike.
When Mike was a freshman in high school, his family moved to Manchester, New Hampshire where he lettered in football, basketball, and track. From there, it was on to the University of New Hampshire where Mike was a star running back; he also discovered his love of lacrosse, a sport that recognized him as an All New England player. In 1995, the University of New Hampshire inducted Mike into their Hall of Fame for his athletic achievements in football and lacrosse. Most importantly during his time at UNH, Mike met Sally Hilton, his soulmate and wife of 56 years.
Mike came to Boothbay Harbor for the first time in June of 1963 and worked at the Oak Grove Hotel. He returned every summer thereafter, and in 2002, he and Sally retired and built a home on the west side of Southport.
When Mike graduated from UNH in 1965, he received his commission as an infantry officer in the U.S. Army. He deployed to Vietnam in 1966 with the 4th Division for one tour of duty as a platoon leader and as an infantry company commander. Mike was a true patriot; he loved the army and wore his uniform with pride and commitment, despite the challenges of the times.
In 1969, Mike applied to be released from active duty, but remained in the Army Reserve until his retirement in 1993. At that time, he joined the family business in Waterville, where he was a fun-loving husband and father, a “do-it-yourself” extraordinaire, and an active volunteer in the community. This period was idyllic for its simple focus on family life.
In 1974, thinking that there may be new challenges beyond Waterville’s city limits, Mike entered a management-training program at Roadway Express. This period highlighted Mike’s loyalty, devotion to hard work, talent for leadership, and general low tolerance for BS. After six years, five moves (and as many promotions), Mike and Sally decided it was again time to put down roots in Maine for the kid’s remaining time at home and to be near to both Mike’s and Sally’s families. To achieve his goal Mike held various sales positions with Anheuser-Busch, NYNEX, and Verizon, all of which played to his natural talents and fulfilled his search for balance between work and family. While working at NYNEX, Mike was selected as a member of the NYNEX Chairman’s Club for outstanding sales achievement in each of the years he was eligible.
After the kids left home, Mike and Sally loved spending as much time as possible on Southport, where they explored the Maine coast on the Sally Forth, a boat designed and built after years of meticulous love and care, fulfilling a dream of many years. They also loved travelling to visit their children and grandchildren, and generally enjoying time together.
Mike is survived by his beloved wife Sally; his two children, Mike and wife Marguerite Eastwood of Arlington, Virginia, Sue and husband Greg Wilson, of Crested Butte, Colorado; and his four grandchildren, Finn, Bryan, Olivia and Benjamin.
Family and friends will gather at St. Columba in Boothbay Harbor on Jan. 24 at 11 a.m. to celebrate Mike’s life.
In lieu of flowers, donation can be made out either to the Maine Veteran’s Homes, 460 Civic Center Drive, Augusta, ME 04330, or to the Keepers of the Burnt Island Light, P.O. Box 738, Boothbay Harbor, ME 04538. Mike loved playing the role of Joseph the lighthouse keeper. He always looked forward to his days on the island.