The Star-Herald

Praises for a water expert

The art and science of water technology brings fortune. With water the crops grow and without water those crops can die. America is lucky today in having in most places a decent supply of safe water. Quality water underlines development.

Keeping the water safe is a job of constant surveillance. The County has lots of safe water. At times it seems like we have too much, and then there are times when quality is at a premium. Keeping it safe and drinkable is the job of a small but determined staff of technicians at water plants around The County. Quietly and with little fanfare, they patrol the individual drops and drips to bring us safe water. It is a singular honor to hold a license for protecting this most precious resource.

Sharon Worcester was one of the unsung technicians who did this work. At the time she began her work it was a man’s world. She loved science and math — two subjects that at the time were difficult for women to enter. There were no woman role models or guides to this career. Taking a part-time job while in college, she became interested in the process of delivering safe drinking water. Excelling in math and science subjects, she set a high bar at the University of Maine at Presque Isle. By the time graduation time came, she led that class in marks.

She inspired many to try, including her own mother, and so when she graduated as valedictorian her mother and she became graduates of the university. Sharon brought honor to the University of Maine at Presque Isle.   

Finding a job she loved, she helped to keep the water of the Star City safe. Science could be fun, interesting and rewarding. Through all this time Sharon enjoyed life in the County. The Star City gained a proud citizen when she was employed. As the responsibilities changed, Sharon took the job seriously and showed that science is open to all. She passed away on July 8 in Presque Isle.

As one uses that universal solvent, take a moment to tip the hat to one of the unsung heroes of safe water.

Orpheus Allison is a photojournalist living in The County who graduated from UMPI and earned a master of liberal arts degree from the University of North Carolina. He began his journalism career at WAGM television later working in many different areas of the US. After 20 years of television he changed careers and taught in China and Korea.

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