Captain Guy Stuart Potter

Born on July 14, 1952 in Bay Shore, Long Island, New York
Departed December 9, 2023 in Palm Bay, Florida

Guy Stuart Potter passed away at home peacefully surrounded by family at 71 years old. He was a beloved son, brother, uncle, husband, father, grandfather, animal lover, fisherman, Yankees fan, Coast Guard retiree, and a tugboat captain.

He was born in 1952, the youngest of five to Robert C. Potter and Frances Felice. Loving brother to Delores Perz (husband Roger Perz), Robert Potter (wife Paulette Potter), Arline Mattfeld (boyfriend Dennis Bannon), and Gertrude Frasier (late husband Leonard Frasier). He spent his childhood in Mattituck, Long Island immersing himself in the local fishing culture. Beginning at the age of seven, he helped the fisherman as a dockhand, who thanked him by throwing him a coin here and there. One day he overheard his mother who was upset about not having enough money to pay a large bill. He proudly handed over enough money to his surprised mother to cover it from the coins he had saved. He had many fond memories of his family and beloved neighbors, the Salvatores, sharing meals, wrestling, and searching for pennies Nick Salvatore threw in the grass for the kids to find.

Guy is survived by his wife Patricia Ann Phalon Potter, two daughters Tara Ann Potter (wife Sally Friar), and Amanda Frances McCabe (husband Riley McCabe) and granddaughters Ramona Potter Kenyon, Alexandra Frances McCabe, and Anne Kathryn McCabe, all four of his siblings, several nieces and nephews, and dear friends.

He proudly served in the United States Coast Guard, proving himself a very dedicated seaman. He retired as a Boatswain’s Mate First Class after 20 years of service. After his first retirement, he went on to work in the Merchant Marines for 23 years and retired as Captain of the Danielle M. Bouchard Pusher Tug in 2018.

Guy had a quiet wisdom about him, and when he spoke, people stopped to listen. He had a depth of knowledge about the ocean and the creatures in it, but he also used his time away at sea to think deeply about life on land. He was an independent thinker and highly opinionated, but he wasn’t eager to share his opinions unless he liked you.

Some of his favorite pastimes were enjoying the company of friends and family, listening to music, crabbing, fishing, watching movies, watching weather happen, getting a good game of darts going, and rooting for the Yankees. He loved a good story whether fish were involved or not.

Guy was an indulgent and discerning cook, using only the freshest fish (preferably dolphinfish or wahoo), the most marbled steak, the fattiest bacon, and only the all-day red sauce. He was as generous a host at his home as he was with butter on his plate.

If you went over to his place he would make sure you were well fed and had a good beverage in your hand. You might see a picture of the tugboat he captained and ask how big it is. He’d show you a toothpick and place the very tip of it in the cockpit. “That’s me,” he’d say, and it would drive home the greatness of his responsibility on the sea. You might then play some darts or listen to some music. Or he might take you out for a sunset cruise, and when the sun had almost set, he’d drive extra slow on the way back to the dock so you could savor the soft warm breeze.

If you were to ask him in the last days of his life where the tip of that toothpick was, you would know it by his beautiful smile of recognition. There he was, in those memories of spending time with you, taking care of the people he loved, savoring the breeze of a good life almost gone.

May we always think of him when the fish are biting and the butter is abundant. Or think of him in sad times like now. He always used to say, “clouds make the best sunsets.”

Guestbook Entry

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6 entries.
Dolores Perz from Melbourne wrote on December 15, 2023:
My heart has a big hole in it. I miss him so much. His giggles were infectious, his laugh the greatest. His love for his family was never wavering and he was always available to help with anything we needed help with or any problem we needed solved. He was a great brother to all of us. Sail on sailor, with all our love.
Mary Patricia Salvatore from Lewisville, NC wrote on December 15, 2023:
Guy was a good man with a big heart. I will always remember when all of us Salvatore siblings were kids Guy would take each of us aside one by one to ask us how school was going & what was going on in our young lives. He spoke to us as if we were adults even though we were just kids. When he would babysit for us & he would announce; ok now it's time to clean up our rooms! Guy knew all of us our whole lives & we all have fond, loving & lasting memories of him. I am so sorry for the loss of Guy in the lives of his family, friends & all those who knew & loved him. Gone too soon. Love, the Salvatore siblings.
Natalie Rauch from Fort Edward NY wrote on December 15, 2023:
He always lit up when we talked about Patrick O’Brien. My uncle was definitely at home at the sea but we cherished his stories and anything we could learn from him. We love and miss him so much.
Kathy Friar Kross from Pittsburgh wrote on December 14, 2023:
Tara, I konw that there are no words to bring comfort when you lose a loved one, such as a parent. But after reading the obituary, it sounds like your Dad was a remarakable man . There are some who bring light so great to the world that even after they have gone, the light remains. You are in my thoughts and prayers, Love, Aunt Kathy
Arline FMattfeld from Prescott wrote on December 13, 2023:
Although he was the youngest, I looked up to him. I miss him terribly.
Daniel Meyer from Saint Petersburg wrote on December 13, 2023:
I loved him dearly. Best friend always. Will forever miss him.
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