Herbert A. Mehlhorn ’46

Herbert A. Mehlhorn ’46 died on October 10, 2023, in Portland, Maine.

(The following was provided by Portland Press Herald in October 18, 2023:)

Herbert A. Mehlhorn ’46

PORTLAND / PEAKS ISLAND – Herbert Mehlhorn passed from this life on October 10, 2023, of natural causes.

He was born in Brunswick to Herbert E. Mehlhorn and Helena H. Mehlhorn on January 7, 1925. He was the oldest of four children and grew up in the shadow of the Great Depression. During his adolescent years he developed skills, which became lifelong interests, in science, machines, and jazz music. He also developed a love for Casco Bay through time spent on Long Island at his grandparents’ cottage. He was the pianist for a jazz band during his late teens and early twenties and played with the band at venues in Maine and New Hampshire.

A scholarship led to his first year in college. World War II had started and he joined the Navy as he entered his second year in college. The Navy program required him to accelerate his college career by taking classes year-round, so he completed college in three years attending Bowdoin, Bates, and Harvard, graduating with a degree in physics. Immediately after college he was enrolled in midshipmen school at Columbia University. Upon graduating in November 1945, he was commissioned as an ensign in the U.S. Navy and transferred to the Pacific Fleet. World War II had ended in September, but he was not discharged from his active service until 1946, with a rank of lieutenant. His training included piloting naval vessels in the Gulf of Maine and amphibious assault vehicles along the Southern California coast. He continued his service as a reservist in the Navy for twenty more years.

In 1949 he moved to Providence, RI, and, while there, met and married Concetta Carcieri. In 1956 he received a PhD in physics from Brown University and went to work for Schlumberger in Connecticut. He and Connie started a family with the first of five children being born in 1956. His career eventually led the family to Lexington, MA, and to a long tenure at Raytheon’s Missile Systems Division, where he managed programs that developed critical systems for the U.S. Department of Defense. He applied for and received multiple patents in the area of optical physics.

In the early 1960s he purchased a cottage on Peaks Island and for many years he lovingly maintained a nineteen-foot Penn Yan wooden boat which he refinished every winter season at his home in Lexington, MA. He spent most of his summer vacations up until 2018 on the island, enjoying the community and all that the ocean side location could offer. He retired from Raytheon in 1990 and proceeded to travel with his wife to many locations around the globe with specific interest in South American destinations and the history of the Aztecs and Incas. He also loved traveling to Germany to meet with extended family and research his family tree. He lived independently in Lexington, MA, up until 2018, after which he moved to the Portland area where he lived comfortably. He died peacefully with his daughter Linda by his side.

Herbert was predeceased by his wife of forty-four years, Concetta; and his daughter, Susan of New Smyrna Beach, FL.

He is survived by his oldest daughter, Janet, and her husband, Jim Pinzari, of East Bridgewater, MA, daughter Linda of South Portland, son Herbert and his wife, Carla, of Westford, MA; and son David of South Portland. Additionally, he is survived by his grandchildren, Talia and her husband, Colin Thurmond, of Austin, TX, Alexa Mehlhorn of Los Angeles, CA, Nicholas Mehlhorn of Medford, MA, Christina Mehlhorn of Westford, MA, and Cooper Mehlhorn, Lucas Mehlhorn, and Beckett Mehlhorn, all of South Portland.

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