Those lucky enough to have known Edward “Ted” Little gained a clearer understanding of the ways in which God works through human hands. Ted’s selfless devotion to his family and friends, and his joyful following of God’s calling to serve others, are the legacy he leaves. Because “nothing gold can stay,” God called Ted home on the morning of May 16, 2021, a few months short of his 81st birthday.
Born in Nashua, New Hampshire, to Edward and Mary (Geno) Little, Ted grew up in the years during and after World War II. While his father served in the navy, Ted, his mother, and siblings lived with his maternal aunts and uncles. He recalled a wonderful childhood with his brother Bob and sister Tami, as well as many Geno and Little cousins. Ted loved his family’s annual summer pilgrimage to Cobbetts Pond in Windham, New Hampshire, and he spent nearly ten summers (1951-1960) at his beloved Camp O-AT-KA in East Sebago, Maine, both as a camper for six years and a counselor for four. He later served as O-AT-KA corporation president and as a member of the corporation for over forty years. He credited O-AT-KA, and its emphasis on duty, service to others, and inclusion, as forming him into the person he became.
Ted moved from Nashua to Winchester, Massachusetts, in the third grade. He attended Winchester High School (1958) and graduated with a bachelor’s in Business Administration from the University of New Hampshire in 1962. Within two short years, he met and married the love of his life, Suzanne (Murphy) Little. During a marriage that spanned the remaining 57 years of his life, Ted and Sue raised four children, several dogs, two cats, and miscellaneous other animals (whenever Sue could be prevailed upon to allow it).
To sum up what Ted meant to his family is beyond the power of mere words on a page. To his wife, he was a best friend, a steadfast partner, and an unshakeable rock through all of life’s joys and trials. He and Sue had the best relationship his children had ever seen. To his children, he was a role model that no one could top, and he raised each of them, without judgment and with only the purest of love, to the fullest of each’s own unique potential.
Ted’s career was in manufacturing and sales, beginning in college with Kendall Paper Company in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and becoming a full partner in 1965. He later formed Winchester Corporation with his father, which they and his brother successfully operated for twenty-five years. During that time, Winchester acquired and divested two additional companies before Ted divested his share. Not one to retire, he started another manufacturing company which he later sold but for which he continued to sell up until the time of his death.
Though Ted enjoyed and thrived in the business world, his first love was service to his community, eventually leading into politics later in life. Following their 1994 move from Massachusetts to York, Maine, Ted and Sue became active members of St. George’s Episcopal Church, where Ted served on the vestry and as a Junior Warden. Ted’s love for York and his passion for fairness and equity led him to advocate on issues of workforce housing, energy, and diversity, among others. He served on the York Energy Steering Committee, the York Housing Authority, the York Diversity Forum, the York Seasonal Worker program, and the York Community Dialog. He was elected and served for five years as a member of the York Board of Selectmen and was currently serving an elected term on the town’s Budget Committee at the time of his death.
In public life, Ted was perhaps most proud of his work on the campaigns in 2008 and 2012 for marriage equality and the advocation of same gender marriage. Though failing the first time, the Maine state same-sex marriage law was eventually approved by voters in 2012, making Maine one of the first states to legalize same-sex marriage.
Above all, Ted was a man sustained and soothed by an unfaltering trust in God. His faith was backed by action, and he lived the words of James 2:17: “Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.” As with St. Paul, Ted fought the good fight, he finished the race, and he kept the faith.
Ted leaves his wife Sue; son Edward, Jr. and wife Virginia; daughter Ann Little and partner Karen Magnusson; daughter Catherine Little; and daughter Darcy Rice and husband Jeff. He loved his grandchildren Anna, Alice, Ginny, Ellis, Mason, Alden, and Ansel, all of whom will miss their Pupup very much.
A public memorial service will be held on Saturday, June 19, 2021, at 1:00 p.m. at Trinity Church, 546 York Street, York Harbor, Maine. A private interment of ashes for immediate family will take place in advance.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Ted’s name to Camp O-AT-KA, P.O. Box 239, Sebago, Maine 04029 (or online at https://campoatka.org/alumni/giving-opportunities/).
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