Thomas R. Cantine

Posted: Friday, September 12, 2008

Former Juneau resident Thomas Robinson Cantine died Sept. 6, 2008, in Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif. He was 100.

Born Sept. 22, 1907, in East Orange, N.J., he moved at the age of 3 with his parents to Portland, Ore., where he spent his youth and early adult life. It was here that he met his wife, Sigrid Riddell, who was his greatest love and light of his life for 71 years.

He graduated from Oregon State University with a degree in civil engineering, and he was an accomplished long distance runner, lettering at OSU in track in the 1-mile run, where he also competed in the Olympic Trials. Family members said he was a natural athlete, skilled in tennis, golf and canoeing, and he held a strong love of the outdoors where he taught all his boys the lifelong love of fly-fishing.

His successful career in civil engineering pursuits spanned more than 40 years with the Oregon State Highway Department, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Bureau of Reclamation and the Alaska Power Administration. His career took the family to Sumter and Charleston, S.C., Macon and Savannah, Ga., Denver, Colo., and Amarillo, Texas. His final 10 years, from 1952 to 1972, were in Juneau.

Throughout his career, he exerted influence on events far beyond the specific title of his position. The capstone of his career came in June 1973 when he was awarded the U.S. Department of Interior Distinguished Service Award.

He was an active member of the Episcopal Church throughout most of his life, serving on vestries, serving as lay reader, teaching Sunday School and helping with youth programs.

Upon retirement in 1975, he and Sigrid moved to Morro Bay, Calif., where he designed and built their home overlooking the bay and Pacific Ocean. He most recently resided at The Canterbury retirement home in Rancho Palos Verdes.

He is survived by his wife; three sons, Scott, Bob and Dick Cantine; grandchildren, Todd, Holly, Erin, Molly and Tom; and his nine great-grandchildren.

Graveside services will be at 2 p.m. Friday, Sept. 19, at Los Osos Memorial Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Camp Sweeney, Southwestern Diabetic Foundation, P.O. Box 918, Gainesville, TX 76241.

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