Captain Guy Stuart Potter
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.”