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Gustavo A. Umpierre

Obituary
June 27, 1931 - March 6, 2011
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Brunswick-Gustavo A. Umpierre, age 79, died unexpectedly at his home on March 6th, 2011. He was born on June 27th, 1931 at Caguas, Puerto Rico. His father was Gustavo D. Umpierre and his mother was Maria Luisa Castro. He attended local schools in Puerto Rico until he was seventeen, when he joined the United States Army. He served with distinction in the Korean War, attaining the rank of Sergeant and earning the Korean Service Medal with three Bronze Service Stars and the United Nations Service Medal. He was given an honorable discharge and a service related disability.

Following his military service, he attended the American University for one year and then went on to attend Columbia University in New York City where he earned a BA in Liberal Arts. After that he was awarded a Fulbright scholarship to study in Madrid, Spain. While in Madrid he did extensive research in Spanish literature and later published a monograph: Songs in the Plays of Lope de Vega Function.

Eventually he became a Professor of Spanish Language and Literature and taught at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia for several years. But the bulk of his professional life was spent teaching at the City College of New York and Fordham College in New York City.

While living in New York City he began to collect and study antiques as well as art. Initially his efforts focused on American antiques and paintings, but as time went on he developed an intense interest in African art, amassing a collection of hundreds of pieces of unique African art.

In retirement he moved to Brunswick, Maine where his generous, gracious nature won him many friends. He was the man who always remembered everyone's birthday and special events, both in Maine and in Puerto Rico. Sending gifts and remembrances to his big family in Puerto Rico was almost a hobby.

He also engaged fully in his community. He made the coffee shop in the Tontine Mall his own Madrid cafe and met there nearly every day with a circle of friends, exchanging ideas and arguing issues. He supported various causes, local, national and international. But he was also a man who loved exploration away from Maine. His youthful energy belied his advancing years. He was full of curiosity about life and interested in what was going on in the world. His friends and familyfollowed his world travels to China, South American and Europe through post cards and pictures.

Surviving Gustavo are his two brothers, Jose Umpierre, Arturo Umpierre and a sister, Carmen Umpierre, all of San Juan, Puerto Rico. Also surviving are four nephews, four nieces, seven great-nephews and nine grand nieces. His family in Puerto Rico and his many friends in Maine will sadly miss him. He taught us a great deal and left us richer in spirit for having known him.

There are no services at this time. Burial will be at a later date in Puerto Rico.

Arrangements are by Stetson's Funeral Home, 12 Federal St., Brunswick, where memorial condolences may be expressed at stetsonsfuneralhome.com