Hospice Summer Bereavement Workshop series to start July 13

Hospice Volunteers of Waterville Area will offer, Is this Normal? What to Expect when Grieving, the first of a series of workshops for those grieving the death of a loved one. The workshop will be held Tuesday evening, July 13, from 6 – 8 p.m. Almost everyone asks themselves somewhere along the way, “Is this Normal?” This is a discussion workshop for anyone at any point in their grief journey, to talk about what has worked and hasn’t worked and what are some ideas for coping looking ahead. This is not a presentation; we will learn from each other.

This workshop will be led by Mark Jose, LCSW, who has had over 20 years of experience as a Hospice Social Worker, Bereavement Counselor and HVWA Volunteer.

All workshops will be held in the Hospice Community Center Healing Garden at 304 Main Street in Waterville and led by community professionals and trained hospice bereavement volunteers. Pre-registration is required. Please call or email Jillian Roy, Bereavement Coordinator, for more information or to register. Phone: 873-3615; E-mail: jroy@hvwa.org.

Windsor town manager presents money saving news to selectmen

by The Town Line staff

The June 7 meeting of the Windsor selectmen saw no one from the public attending the approximate one-and-a-half hour meeting.

Town managing Theresa Haskell informed the board that the roof at the transfer station had been completed under estimate. Mitchell’s Roofing Co., of Freedom, had estimated the cost to be $5,430 but only charged the town $4,700.

Also, due to the recent mild winter, there is money remaining in the salt account, and is being transferred to the undesignated fund balance (reserve).

Haskell presented a packet to Selectman Richard Gray Jr. to look over for an agreement of street lighting with Central Maine Power Co., that will potentially save the town of Windsor approximately $500 a year. The proposal is to convert all street lights to LED lighting.

It was reported the vault near the Reed Road has been removed. The base for the parking lot near the Veterans Memorial, on Reed Road, was completed on June 21. The cost was approximately $3,000 which was charged to the Cemetery expense line and not the Veterans Memorial. The discussion was whether to use a two-inch base or stone dust. The selectmen approved the use of stone dust as the base for the parking lot, by a vote of 4-0-1, with Ronald F. Brann abstaining.

A family who is non-resident of Windsor, but own two houses in town, requested to purchase cemetery plots at the resident rate of $1,200 for a six space lot, as opposed to the non-resident rate of $2,400. Following some discussion, selectmen voted 4-0-1, with Brann abstaining, to limit the lot rates of Windsor cemetery lots to residents only.

The issue of The Fusion customers parking in the cemetery was discussed, and the owner of The Fusion will be approached to post signs directing patrons to refrain from parking in the cemetery. A barrel full of flowers was damaged by a vehicle that was parked in the cemetery for an event at The Fusion.

The transfer station monthly figures showed it down by $346.60 from this time last May but is up $12,663,85 overall for the year. Acme Scale Company has recalibrated the scales and reported they were good.

Haskell also read the letter of resignation by Ray Bates from his position as transfer station attendant, that was approved 4-0-1, with Bates abstaining.

The selectmen went into executive session for approximately half an hour to discuss personnel matters.

The next regular board of selectmen meeting was scheduled for June 22.

SCORES & OUTDOORS: Watching the world go by on a Saturday morning

hairy woodpecker

Roland D. Halleeby Roland D. Hallee

One of the things I enjoy doing at camp on a Saturday morning is grabbing a cup of coffee and sitting on my deck, focusing on the bird feeders. There is much activity around there, not just the birds, but the squirrels and chipmunks, and the occasional cat that comes around to harass the wildlife.

On a recent Saturday, I watched two hairy woodpeckers in particular – one male, one female.

I didn’t notice at first, but after a while it became evident the male, which was perched on a suet cake, would fill its mouth, fly down to the female that was sitting on a tree stump nearby, and transferring the food to her.

What a nice thing to do, I thought. The male providing for the female – I’m not being sexist here. Actually, upon closer observation, the female would then fly off into the woods, and return a short time later. This occurred over and over, again.

My deduction at that time was the female was, in turn, returning to the nest to feed the young. Adults regurgitate and insert food in the mouths of the very young. Food is transferred from adult to older offspring through open beaks with heads at an angle.

The hairy woodpecker, Euconotopicus villosus, is a medium-sized woodpecker that is found over a large area of North America. It is approximately 9-3/4 inches in length with 15-inch wingspan. With an estimated population in 2003 of over nine million individuals, the hairy woodpecker is listed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as a species of least concern.

The hairy woodpecker was described and illustrated with a hand-coloured plate by the English naturalist Mark Catesby in his The Natural History of Carolina, Florida and the Bahama Islands which was published between 1729 and 1732. When in 1766 the Swedish naturalist Carl Linnaeus updated his Systema Naturae for the twelfth edition, he included the downy woodpecker, coined the binomial name Picus villosus and cited Catesby’s book.

The specific epithet “villosus” is the Latin word for “hairy”. Linnaeus specified the type locality as North America, with specific mention of Raccoon, New Jersey.

Adults are mainly black on the upper parts and wings, with a white or pale back and white spotting on the wings; the throat and belly vary from white to sooty brown. There is a white bar above and one below the eye. They have a black tail with white outer feathers. Adult males have a red patch or two side-by-side patches on the back of the head; juvenile males have red or rarely orange-red on the crown.

They have a somewhat soldierly look, with their erect, straight-backed posture on tree trunks and their cleanly striped heads. Look for them at backyard suet or sunflower feeders, and listen for them whinnying from woodlots, parks, and forests.

More than 75 percent of the hairy woodpecker’s diet is made up of insects, particularly the larvae of wood-boring beetles and bark beetles, ants, and moth pupae in their cocoons. To a lesser extent they also eat bees, wasps, caterpillars, spiders, millipedes, and rarely cockroaches, crickets, and grasshoppers. A little more than 20 percent of their diet is made up of fruit and seeds. My wife usually gets suet cakes that contain fruit, seeds and nuts, thus attracting the hairy woodpeckers.

Hairy woodpeckers have helped control pest outbreaks.

The hairy woodpecker is virtually identical in plumage to the smaller downy woodpecker. The downy has a shorter bill relative to the size of its head, which is, other than size and voice, the best way to distinguish them in the field. These two species are not closely related, however, and are likely to be separated in different genera. Another way to tell the two species apart is the lack of spots on its white tail feathers (present in the downy). Their outward similarity is a spectacular example of convergent evolution. As to the reason for this convergence, only tentative hypotheses have been advanced; in any case, because of the considerable size difference, ecological competition between the two species is slight.

The hairy woodpecker inhabits mature deciduous forests in the Bahamas, Canada, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Saint Pierre and Miquelon, and the United States. It is a vagrant to Puerto Rico and the Turks and Caicos Islands. Mating pairs will excavate a hole in a tree, where they will lay, on average, four white eggs. Hairy woodpeckers are common in mature woodlands with medium to large trees.

These birds are mostly permanent residents. Birds in the extreme north may migrate further south; birds in mountainous areas may move to lower elevations.

These birds forage on trees, often turning over bark or excavating to uncover insects. They mainly eat insects, but also fruits, berries and nuts, as well as sometimes tree sap. They are a natural predator of the European corn borer, a moth that costs the U.S. agriculture industry more than $1 billion annually in crop losses and population control. They are also known to peck at wooden window frames and wood-sided homes that may house prey.

Courting birds stretch out their necks, point their bills high, and bob their heads from side to side, flicking their wings as they circle a tree trunk. They also sometimes chase each other in fast, looping flights through the trees.

The entrance to the nest is about 2 inches tall and 1.5 inches wide, leading to a cavity 8-12 inches deep. The inside widens at the bottom to make room for the eggs and the incubating bird. It’s typically bare except for a bed of wood chips at the bottom for the eggs and chicks to rest on.

The female probably selects the nesting site, but both sexes work alternately at the labor of excavating the cavity. This work requires one to three weeks, depending on how hard the wood is; a cavity in the soft wood of a poplar, which is a favorite with this species in some localities, might be excavated in a very short time. A new nest may often be recognized by the presence of fresh chips on the ground around the tree, as the birds are not very particular about removing them.

Both male and female incubate and brood the young. The male sits on the eggs and broods the young during the night and the female relieves him every morning after sunrise. They alternate these duties throughout the day. Incubation last about 11-12 days and the young leave the nest in about 28-30 days after hatching.

We continue to watch the hairy woodpeckers, and the downy, come and go at the feeders, but we haven’t seen the exchange of food recently. Maybe the fledglings are now old enough to go out on their own.

Roland’s trivia question of the week:

Which Boston Red Sox player won back-to-back American League batting titles in 1999 and 2000?

Answer on can be found here.

Roland’s Trivia Question for Thursday, July 1, 2021

Trivia QuestionsWhich Boston Red Sox player won back-to-back American League batting titles in 1999 and 2000?


Nomar Garciappara.

SOLON & BEYOND: Schools and what should be taught

Marilyn Rogers-Bull & Percyby Marilyn Rogers-Bull & Percy
Solon, Maine 04979

Received the following information from Margaret Chase Smith Library.

Sorry it’s coming out so late in the month. We miss editor Angie Stockwell. Speaking of which, in this issue you will be introduced to her replacement, Nicole Potter, although she has not been brought on board to edit the newsletter. You can also read about the many awards the Margaret Chase Smith Library and Foundation presents to honor and encourage young people involved with National History Day, the Margaret Chase Smith Essay Contest, the United States Military Academy, and the United States Naval Academy. You will also find a concluding report on the Library’s Maine bicentennial Maine Town Meeting series as well another installment about the recently discovered Clyde Smith letters. End.

In this day and age much is spoken and discussed about schools and what should be taught there. I came across this little yellowed piece of paper that I had cut out and saved entitled Character Traits, and it says “In 1995, the Alabama legislature passed a law that requires schools to discuss 25 traits that they consider make good character. Here are those traits: Cheerfulness, Citizenship, Cleanliness, Compassion, Co­oper­ation, Courage, Courtesy, Cre­a­tivity, Diligence, Envi­ronment, Fairness, Generosity, Honesty, Kindness, Loyalty, Patience, Patriotism, Perse­verance, Punctuality, Respect for others, School pride, Self-control, Self respect, Sportsmanship, and Tolerance. It would be interesting to know how many of the above mentioned character traits are still taught in 2021.

The above is the only recent news that I have received, and so again, I’m going to print something from an old clipping (don’t know what paper it came from, but the writing is mine!) At the top of this little piece of paper it states, Bear Visits Solon! Raps May Prompt Natives To Ask, ‘Who’s That Knocking At My Door? by Marilyn Rogers SOLON:

When I was asked last week by the Morning Sentinel to become the Solon correspondent, they emphasized the importance of feature and unusual stories. At that time, I thought what a silly idea – an unusual story in Solon! But the idea intrigued me as I have always wanted to write so I dreamed that someday maybe….? Then, Monday morning, I received a tip that the Victor Baika family on Pleasant Street had an unexpected visitor during the night. My thoughts quickened with the idea of a feature story, photo and the works, but was somewhat disappointed as far as to get the picture was concerned because the visitor was no longer around. I went to see Mrs. Baiko to get the story and it proved to be an exciting tale. At 10:15 p.m., when the Baiko’s daughter, Linda, came home from her work at The Country Store everything seemed as usual about the grounds of their home. About 11:30 p.m., Mrs Baiko and Linda heard someone shaking the screen door and their two dogs started barking excitedly. The shaking and scratching continued, and they thought someone was trying to break in. Suddenly, there was a big thud and one of the dogs let out a yelp of pain. Well, Linda wasn’t about to let anyone hit her dog, so she picked up a butcher knife and started for the door. But by this time, Mrs. Baiko had awakened her husband. When he opened the door there didn’t seem to be anyone around, but the dogs were barking madly at the bottom of a tree on the front lawn. As the Baikos flashed a light in the tree, two immense eyes peered back. They soon discovered that their visitor was a bear. That was surely a great way to start a new job!

But now for another incident that happened about a wild animal and Lief recently! We feed the birds and enjoy watching them. But, of course, the small animals enjoy the seeds as well! Anyway, three raccoons had been taken for a ride in Hav-A Heart traps this summer and released with no problems, but the fourth one, which happened last week was a disaster! Lief had gloves on when he tried to get the cranky animal out and got a nasty bite on one finger! We started for Skowhegan to the hospital and were there for quite some time so that Lief could get medications for several things. We went down this morning to get the next to the last shot that he needed. It has not been a fun experience!

And now for Percy’s memoir: “Love is not written on paper, for paper can be erased. Nor is it etched on stone for stone can be broken. But it is inscribed on a heart and there it shall remain forever.” – Unknown.

OBITUARIES for Thursday, July 1, 2021


VASSALBORO – Diane B. Pomerleau, 66, of Vassalboro, died peacefully at her home on Friday afternoon, June 4, 2021, from pneumonia associated with Alzheimer’s. Diane was born on Jan­uary 26, 1955, the daughter of William H. and Theresa (Veilleux) Bean.

She was raised on the Cony Road, in Augusta, attended St. Augustine School, and graduated from Cony High School in 1973. Diane married Michael Pomerleau, of Winslow, in May 1974, and settled in Vassalboro where they raised three children.

The sixth of nine children, Diane was a wonderful mother and homemaker. Besides keeping an immaculate home, she tended several gardens, sewed, canned fruits and vegetables, and loved to cook and bake sweets. Over the years, she also enjoyed candlepin bowling, “Beano” at the American Legion, hosting parties, attending country music concerts, winemaking, exercise and meditation, long walks, and family vacations.

Diane was hardworking and industrious. She began working in high school at A&W and then Deering Ice Cream, in Augusta. She worked as a bookkeeper at Malcolm Cadillac-Oldsmobile, babysat several Riverside area children when her kids were young, was a cashier at Shop-n-Save, a hostess at the SenatorInn, in Augusta, and a receptionist in Radiology at the Veterans Administration Hospital, in Togus.

She began her career for the federal government as a clerk-typist at GSA, in Augusta, became the secretary for the director of the IRS, in Augusta, and then returned to work for GSA as a building management specialist until her early retirement in 2010. As her health declined, she received in-home care from family, caregivers, and hospice until her death.

Diane was always a perfectionist. She would do anything for her kids, but she once gave the “gift of life” to a total stranger as a bone marrow stem cell donor. Diane was very social, quick to laughter, loved to joke, and had an energetic, playful spirit. She carried these traits with her even as her disease progressed into its later stages. She will be dearly missed.

Diane was predeceased by her parents; her brother, Richard Bean, of Augusta; her sister, Linda Merrill, and nephew, Troy Merrill, of Windsor; and her nephew, Shawn Cormier, of Augusta.

She is survived by her husband, Michael; her son, Jason Pomerleau, daughter-in-law, Flora (Ming), and their daughters, Adelle, Celine, and Sophie, of Califon, New Jersey; her daughter, Mindy Puri, son-in-law, Rajeev, and their son, Maxwell, of Falmouth; and her son, Daniel Pomerleau, daughter-in-law, Elizabeth, and their daughters, Lucia and Fiona, of Alexandria, Virginia; her brothers and sisters, William R. Bean and his wife, Louise, of Augusta; Ronald Bean of Augusta; Ann Dube and her husband, Robert, of Vassalboro; Roland Bean and his wife, Diane, of Sidney; Donald Bean and his wife, Carol, of Augusta; Nancy Dumont and her husband, David, of Sidney; brother-in-law, Michael Merrill, of Windsor; and many nieces, nephews, grandnieces, and grandnephews.

A funeral Mass will be held at St. Augustine Church, in Augusta, at 10 a.m., on Saturday, July 17, 2021. A reception, memorial service and luncheon will follow at the Elk’s Lodge, in Augusta. All who knew and loved her are invited to attend.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Diane’s memory to MaineGeneral Hospice, P.O. Box 828, Waterville, ME 04903-0828 (give.mainegeneral.org).


BENTON – Faye Isabelle Pottle, 91, passed away on Thursday morning, June 10, 2021. She was born in Albion on September 22, 1929, to Cla­rence and Lizzie (Dow) Cookson.

She attended Besse High School, in Albion, and graduated in June 1948 as valedictorian of her class. Later that year, she married Edwin Pottle, of Benton, and they both went to work at Diamond Match Company, in Oakland. They both retired in 1982 after 34 years. Then they traveled by motor home for eight years to California and Florida in the winter months. Faye said it was always heaven to return to Maine and home.

She greatly enjoyed gardening and had many beautiful potted plants. She spent most of her time in her gardens and also in the woods helping to cut pulp and firewood. She attended the East Benton Church where she was church clerk for 13 years and Sunday School teacher for over five years where she had a great troop of 12 youngsters who came every Sunday.

Faye is survived by her children, Barbara and Gary Richards, of Clinton; grandchildren, Kelly and Bill McKenzie, of Albion, Greg Richards and wife Jennifer, of Clinton, Beth and Travis Brown, of Washburn; nine great-grandchildren; great-great-granddaughter, Evelyn McKenzie.

She was predeceased by her parents; husband in 1991; son, Fred; John and Dot Cookson, Luana and Norman Willette, Elsie and Norman Wilson, Shirley and Edward Ellis, Dora and Shesler Blaisdell, Gloria Cookson, Edith Cookson and Ralph Webber III; brothers, Robert and Mayo Cookson; and sister, Beverly Webber.

At her request, there will be no visitation hours or funeral service.

A graveside service and celebration of life will be held at a later date at the convenience of the family.

Arrangements under the direction and care of Dan & Scott’s Cremation & Funeral Service, 445 Waterville Road, Skowhegan, ME 04976.


WATERVILLE – Jonathan George Joseph, 59, passed away peacefully at the Gosnell Hospice House, in Scarborough, on Tuesday, June 15, 2021. Jon was born in 1961 and raised in Waterville.

He graduated from Water­ville High School and attended Thomas College, in Waterville. He lived in San Antonio, Texas, and Kennebunk, ultimately returning to Waterville. He was a well-liked waiter whose customers followed him to jobs at several local restaurants. Later, Jon took over Joseph Vending, at Colby College. He was a bartender at the Colby Pub and events, most recently worked at Thomas College under the Sodexo umbrella.

He was a long time Waterville Country Club member and was an avid golfer. He enjoyed golfing adventures with his brother Duke, in San Antonio, and beach days with his brother Chris and family, in Kennebunk. Jon also enjoyed continuing the family weekly tee time with Dave Burbank. After his father passed, he took over as primary caregiver for his mom. He was known for his jumbo shrimp platters and his secret cocktail sauce he prepared for all holiday gatherings. Jon had an easy laugh and was the life of the party.

He was predeceased by his father Alfred “Al” Joseph.

He is survived by his mother, Ruth Joseph, of Waterville; his brother, Alfred Jr. “Duke” and Lyn Joseph, of San Antonio, Texas; his sister Sue Dunn and Robert White, of Bartlett, New Hampshire; his nieces, Lauren Dunn, of Denver, Colorado, and Caitlin Dunn, of New Zealand; his brother, Christopher and Frieda Joseph, of Kennebunk; his nephews, Lee Joseph, of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, and Sam Joseph, of Arundel; and niece, Sophie Joseph, of Saco.

Arrangements are under the direction and care of Gallant Funeral Home. 10 Elm Street, Waterville.

An online guestbook may be signed, condolences and memories shared at http://www.gallantfh.com.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Jonathan Joseph’s name to Maine General Hospice, P.O Box 828, Waterville, ME 04903-0828.


VASSALBORO – Raynold L. Dudley Sr., 67, of Vassalboro, passed away at MaineGeneral Medical Center, in Augusta, on Monday, June 21, 2021, due to COPD and heart failure. He was born on November 16, 1953, son of Theron Dudley Sr. and Patricia Dudley (Studley).

Ray loved fishing, hunting, cooking, and especially camping in Pemaquid in his younger days. He held a variety of jobs in his life – cook, meat cutter, construction worker, welder and iron worker, at Cives Steel, in Augusta.

Ray was well liked and had quite the sense of humor. He had many a good stories of his life’s ad­ventures to tell. Ray enjoyed his time with his grandson, Conner. He enjoyed getting Conner to laugh and giggle with his silly antics. He loved to feed him his viddles and sneak him his sippy cup and other things when others weren’t around. He’d say “Grampa will take care of you.”

He is survived by his son, Joshua Dudley and fiancée, Devin Henderson; grandson, Conner Dudley, as well as a brother, Theron Dudley Jr.; and two sisters, Linda Beaulieu and Tricia Darcia.

A family gathering will be held at a later date.


WATERVILLE – Sandra Santos Knights, 65, died Tuesday, June 22, 2021, at Mount Saint Joseph Residence, in Waterville, having had a long battle with several medical issues. Sandra, or “Sandy” as those who knew her best would call her—was born April 26, 1956, born in Cheyenne, Wyoming, to Raul and Ester Santos, their only child.

She enjoyed being with her family, reading the Bible, conversing about Christianity, doing crosswords and trivia games, watching the news and her crime shows. She loved strawberries, traveling and animals, especially cats.

Before early retirement, Sandy was a registered nurse with the state of Maine and working for 20-plus years at MaineGeneral Medical Center, in Waterville. She loved working in the pediatric department, she absolutely loved babies and taking care of them. She was most happy when surrounded by infants and young children – and she knew how to care for them and show love.

Having been in the U. S. Air Force for so long, she traveled with them her whole life until they landed in Fairfield when she was in the eighth grade.

She was a good Christian lady. Even at the end she knew her Lord and Savior. She loved to sing in her early years, she loved to host her friends and laugh for hours. She was a very bright and special woman. Towards the end she would often discuss her favorite Bible passages. One being PSALM 46:10, “Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” Another one she would discuss would be Roman’s 8:28: “And we know that in all things God works for the good (A) of those who love him, who have been called (B) according to his purpose.” She was predeceased in 2013 by her mother, Esther B. Santos and father, Raul F. Santos, in 2001.

She is survived by her husband, Leland L. Knights II; daughter, Kerrilee M. Knights, son, Daniel S. Knights; grandsons Orestes Christopher Dixon, Alexander and Logan Knights, granddaughter, Akasha Rose Dixon.

There will be a private graveside service held in Fairfield at the Maplewood Cemetery, at noon, on Friday, July 9.

Arrangements are under the care and direction of Veilleux and Redington Funeral Home, http://www.veilleuxfuneralhome.com.


WATERVILLE – Nancy Marie LaBrie, 77, died at her home on Tuesday, June 22, 2021, following a long illness. She was born March 4, 1944, in Portsmouth, New Hamp­shire, the daughter of the late Alice Chapman and Harley Gallagher.

Nancy loved her cat Molly, listening to Neil Diamond, playing cards, and trivial pursuit. Above all, she was madly in love with and predeceased by her husband of 58 years, Joseph Robert Luis “Bob”. “Nanny”, as she was known, was highly creative and loved to cook with her family, needle point, quilt, and paint, among other things.

She is survived by her children and their spouses, Joseph and Bonnie, Martha Spaulding, Allison and Mike Campbell and Kevin and Robin; 12 grandchildren; and 15 great-grandchildren; brothers Herbert Gallagher, Calvin, Fred and Michael Chapman; and her sister, Christine Pullen.

Above all, the family would like people to, instead of mourn her passing, celebrate the wonderful life she had and the love she shared with us all. We will all miss her dearly.

A Celebration of Life will be held Saturday, July 10, at 1 p.m., at the Saint Bridget’s Center, 864 Main St., Vassalboro.

Arrangements under the direction and care of Dan and Scott’s Cremation and Funeral Service, 445 Waterville Rd., Skowhegan ME 04976.

In lieu of flowers, friends wishing may make donations in Nancy’s memory to the
Kidney Foundation of Maine, P.O. Box 1134, Portland, ME 04104.


KINGSTON, New Brunswick, Canada – Blaine Gordon Henry, 70, of Kingston, New Brunswick, Canada, passed away on Saturday, May 22, 2021, at the Saint John Regional Hospital. He was born in Waterville on January 11, 1951, the only child of the late James and Jacqueline )McGregor) Henry.

Blaine graduated from Lawrence High School, in Fairfield, class of 1969, and then attended Central Maine Vocational-Technical Institute, in Auburn, where he graduated with a diploma in process control and instrumentation technology in 1971. Following graduation, Blaine was employed by Mobil Oil, in Chicago, Illinois, for a short time and then moved back to Maine where he worked at Bath Iron Works, in Bath. In 1974, Blaine and Gail were married and emmigrated to Canada (Saint John, NB) to start a career at Irving Oil, where he worked for 42 years.

Blaine had a wonderful sense of humor and could tell a great story. He was knowledgeable in just about every subject, and if you asked him a question you had better be prepared for a lengthy answer. One of his many sayings was, “to make a long story longer.” He loved the outdoors, was an avid hunter, and had a great love for animals. For many years Blaine enjoyed Friday night pool with his many friends.

Blaine is survived by his wife, Gail; his sons, Nathan and wife Sherry and son Justin; his daughter Sarah and husband Joe Gilliland; and his granddaughter, Summer.


WATERVILLE – Rodney A. Deschaine, 77, passed away peacefully Tuesday, June 22, 2021, at Northern Light Inland Hos­pital, in Water­ville. He was born in Water­ville on April 26, 1944, a son of Rene and Anne (Martin) Deschaine.

He was raised in Waterville and graduated from Waterville High School in 1963. Over the years, he worked at Scott PaperCo., in Winslow, Carleton Woolen Mill and retired from Dorothy Egg Farm as a delivery driver. He was also known to be puttering around the house all the time.

Rodney was predeceased by his parents, infant daughter Terry and his sister Geraldine MacArthur.

He is survived by his life partner, Sharon Lane; his children: Trina Nickerson and husband, Frank, of Fairfield, Ken Deschaine, of Jay, Pam Howe and husband Millage, of West Coxsackie, New York, and Jaime Lane and domestic partner Claudia Jones, of Kiezer, Oregan; siblings: Roland Dechaine and wife Diane, Rose Paulette and husband Gene, David Deschaine, Martin Deschaine and wife Jane; grandchildren, Brock Deschaine, Zachary and Allison Nickerson, Freeman, Owen, Shayna and Haylic Howe; several cousins, nieces and nephews.

At his request there will not be a funeral service, but a Celebration of Life will be held on August 7.

You are invited to offer your condolences and share fond memories with the family by visiting Rodney’s guestbook at http://www.veilleuxfuneralhome.com.

A Service of Veilleux and Redington Funeral Home, 8 Elm St., Waterville, Maine 04901. (207)872-7676.


OAKLAND – Elaine Joyce (Bickford) Collier was born in Oakland on May 4, 1938, to Bessie and Earl Bickford, one of five children.

She worked her way through the Williams school system and married the love of her life, Buddy Collier in 1957. Together they shared big dreams. They shared five children together. Growing their family, they spent time traveling the west.

Montana proved to be an intriguing place with promises of mill work and missile silos, but two days before their final return trip in the early ’70s, President Nixon signed a peace treaty eliminating those job opportunities. To think that one stroke of the pen would be what finally determined Maine was where they would keep their family. In 64 years together, what started as two, would turn into 61, nearly a person for every year together. Five children, 16 grandchildren and 21 great-grandchildren. Not to mention the countless people she took in as her own.

She spent many happy years working for the Registry of Deeds, in Augusta. She also found great joy later in life working by her daughter’s side at Grower Merchandise Services. She loved to shop whenever she could and was always drawn to the ocean. But in the grand scheme of things, her true passion was always found in her family.

Her favorite holiday was Halloween because it gave her the opportunity to scare all her growing grandchildren and follow it with a chuckle. Simply the best seems the most accurate description for her. A rock. A sounding board for all your troubles. The storm. Pure heart and an everlasting fire for life. She is the reason we are all here. Her fire transcended through the generations and molded us into the beautiful, strong, passionate people we all are today. She was the force that drove the ship, the glue that bound us all together, the one we all strived to be. She was and will always be our guide through every hill and valley this life throws at us.

Every moment she spent here was enjoyed fully with not a second wasted. She ran, she danced, she laughed, cried and sang. She saw the world from cruise ships and gambled until her heart was full. She loved everyone, so strong, with everything she had. There will never be a replacement or a fix for this hole in all our lives that she will leave behind. She would not want us to cry for her, a resounding “I don’t need nothin’,” would have been the directions given. She lived, she loved, and as a family we are all better people for the priceless gifts she has bestowed upon us. She is finally at peace, Big Gram and Gramp, dancing away in Paradise together. This is how she would want to be remembered, smiling, dancing, laughing and loving. She was our light and she will be forever missed by every single person she ever touched.

Elaine was predeceased by her husband, Buddy Collier; her mother and father, Bessie (Knox) Bickford and Earl Bickford; her brother, Neil Bickford and sister, Janice Dorval.

She is survived by four sons, Chad Collier and his wife Lauralei, Flint Collier and his wife Susan, Nathan Collier and his wife Terri, Cord Collier and his wife Frannie; a daughter, Debbie Smith and her husband Terry; grandchildren Paige Collier and partner Kelsey, Joe Gagnon and wife Julie, Kahlie Desrosiers and husband Josh, Lucas Collier and wife Kristen, Jaimie Gagnon, Matthew Collier and wife Jessica, Kailyn Morlano and husband Joe, Jake Collier and partner Shelby, Alei Collier and fiancé Brandon. Carson Collier, Jennifer Langella and husband Nick, Meaghan Webster and husband Chad, Nikki Cummings and husband Casey, Delaney Collier and partner Jake, Abby Collier and Cassie Smith; great-grandchildren Aiden and Emilyn, Remington and Roanoke, Gracelyn, Madelyn and Joey, Gabby, Raya and Nathan, Charli and Liam, Evelyn and Maelyn, Gunner, Aubri, Lydia, Finn and Barry, River and Clark, Elaine; brothers, Earl Bickford and wife Alice, and Jack Bickford and wife Dorothy;

A celebration of Life will be held Saturday July 10, 3 p.m., at Gram’s home, in Oakland.


WATERVILLE – On Monday, June 21, 2021, Jason Burnham, 46, of Water­ville, unexpectedly passed away at his residence. Jason was born in Skowhegan on September 25, 1974, to parents Joan and Wayne Burnham.

He graduated from Madison Area High School with the class of 1992. After graduating he went on to work at Wood Tech like his father.

On his free time as a young adult Jason enjoyed riding snowmobiles and was the self proclaimed “#1 dancer at any bar around.” As a father he enjoyed spending time with his family and sidekick pup, Isabelle, and was often seen in his red Jeep jamming out to his favorite tunes. Jason will always be remembered for looking his best while having a Mountain Dew in hand.

Jason is survived by his daughter, Miriah Jo Casey; his son, Benjamin Ross Warrell; grandson, Ashton-Wayne Bautista; the love of his life, Brigette Warrell; grandparents, Marie Fortin, Donald and Elaine Burnham as well as many cousins, aunts and uncles.

Jason was preceded in death by his parents, Joan and Wayne Burnham, grandparents, Jean-Paul Fortin, Bernard and Stella Heil.

Services will be held at King Parish Cemetery, in Skowhegan, on July 7, 2021, at 1:30 p.m., with a celebration of life held afterwards at an undisclosed location. The family appreciates and welcomes anyone who loved and knew Jason to come pay their respects.

LETTERS: Thanks for the parade

To the editor:

The Sylvester family, on behalf of Jack and Ann Sylvester, extend their appreciation and unending thanks to the town of China, China Village Fire Department and the surrounding municipalities for the parade on May 30. In his own words Jack would like to say, “Thank you all so much for the reception. I’m so happy I could help you folks all these years and it’s awful good to be seen.”

The Sylvester family

Video of Sylvester parade from Facebook.

No quorum for China recreation committee, but discussions continue

Hikers on Bridge in Thurston Park (Photo courtesy: Town of China)

by Mary Grow

With only Chairman Martha Wentworth and member Todd Dunn at the June 23 China Recreation Committee meeting, discussion could not lead to any votes, but they and an interested resident talked about program plans.

The town-owned ballfields for which the committee is responsible are being used for spring sports. Wentworth said the dugouts had been refurbished by volunteers from Central Church, after the committee bought materials.

The recreation committee plans to schedule two August movie nights. Dates and names of movies are to be determined. Wentworth said whatever is shown will be “family-oriented.”

The committee has up to $1,000 to buy a screen, projector and speakers, she said. The first two she expects to cost about $300 each.

There will be no charge for admission, and Wentworth sees no reason to limit attendance to China residents. Those who want to sit in the front rows need to bring their own blankets and sit on the ground; those who prefer chairs will set up farther back.

Dunn and Wentworth considered inviting a town nonprofit organization to sell refreshments during the movies, but were unable to make a decision.

They intend to ask movie audience members for suggestions for additional programs and to invite them to sign up to assist the committee. They discussed working with school officials, the China Days Committee or organizations like the Four Seasons Club that promote sports and recreation. Especially, they welcome suggested activities that would encourage children to exercise outdoors, after too much time indoors.

Wentworth and Dunn scheduled the next recreation committee meeting for Wednesday evening, July 28. Wentworth will try to find out in advance how many members can come, so she can cancel the meeting if there is no quorum.

China will not receive ConnectMe grant

by Mary Grow

The China Broadband Committee (CBC) did not get a state ConnectMe grant that members had hoped to use to hire Hawkeye Connections, Inc., of Poland, Maine, to establish the cost of new broadband infrastructure for the town.

Meeting the afternoon of June 23, committee members and consultants who had watched part of the state meeting that morning agreed they had not heard China on the list of towns receiving grants.

CBC members had asked for $7,500, to be matched with $2,500 from town Tax Increment Financing funds. Their goal was to have Hawkeye engineers give them a firm figure for construction costs.

There was consensus no other possible grant could provide funds soon enough so that Hawkeye engineers could survey the town in July and the committee could report costs to the selectboard in August. Other possible sources of an immediate $10,000 were discussed, including asking the selectmen for money from the contingency fund voters approved at the June 8 town meeting.

The China Broadband Committee invites all residents to a public meeting to learn about the proposed broadband expansion in town. The meeting will be at 4 p.m., Sunday, July 11, in the China Middle School gymnasium. Committee members and consultants plan a short presentation followed by a question and answer session.

On June 25, committee member Jamie Pitney emailed that Ronald Breton, Chairman of the China Selectboard, agreed to add a request for $10,000 from contingency to the July 6 selectmen’s agenda, if committee members submit one.

The same day, Mark Ouellette, President of Axiom Technologies, the company CBC members plan to have as internet provider, reported that Hawkeye engineers plan to do a detailed survey that would result in a firm construction-cost estimate; but, he said, the work will take two months, not the one month CBC members had planned on.

CBC members plan to ask selectmen to put a construction bond issue on the Nov. 2 local ballot. Pitney said they should have information to the selectmen by July 29, in preparation for discussion at the Aug. 2 selectmen’s meeting.

The committee has discussed rough estimates of potential construction costs. Given the uncertainty, and, Pitney added, fluctuating costs of materials, members decided they had no “ceiling” figure they could use as they explain their proposal to town residents and officials.

The other major action at the June 23 meeting was a final review of the informational flyer the committee will distribute as widely as possible, to ensure residents are aware of their plan and have opportunities to get more information.

The next CBC meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. Thursday, July 1.

Vassalboro recreation committee, selectmen talk about reorganized programs

by Mary Grow

Members of Vassalboro’s Recreation Committee joined Vassalboro selectmen at their June 24 meeting to talk about a reorganized, post-pandemic recreation program, policy changes needed, town ballfields and related topics.

Town Manager Mary Sabins said she attended the recreation committee meeting earlier in the week at which committee members discussed issues to be brought to selectmen.

In the past, the committee has had a single chairman who received a small stipend. Talk of hiring a recreation director has so far gone nowhere because of cost considerations.

Sabins referred to Brian Stanley, who attended the selectboard meeting, and Becky Jenkins, who was not present, as the committee’s two point people. Stanley had a list of concerns and questions selectmen discussed, with assistance from committee members Mary Presti and Melissa Olson.

The first issue was providing security cameras at the ballfields, to deter or identify unwanted users. Selectmen and committee members came up with numerous options they will explore.

Committee members are also concerned about parents who smoke while their children play. Joe Presti said state law bans smoking in children’s recreation areas; his wife asked if the committee therefore cannot designate a smoking area.

Dogs are a lesser problem. Committee members asked about liability if a dog present during recreation-sponsored activities were to bite someone.

Stanley and Presti said ballfield signs banning smoking and dogs were stolen months ago.

The committee owns a gazebo, bought by the prior director as an auxiliary refreshment building. Current members said they do not share her purpose and have no plans to use the structure. They will send Sabins more information as they debate whether it could be part of the proposed streamside park on Route 32, should be returned if possible or might have another use.

The main financial issue Stanley mentioned was easy to resolve. Committee members want to save money by buying equipment and supplies at a variety of different places. They proposed a committee credit card; Sabins suggested instead opening committee accounts with more suppliers, and Presti promised an updated list of the places they shop.

Selectman Chris French asked Stanley to keep track of the hours he and Jenkins spend on recreation program business, to give selectmen an idea of hours and compensation for a future paid director.

One advantage of a paid director would be that he or she would presumably work for more than one year, providing continuity for the program. Presti suggested amending the committee by-laws to provide for directors elected for staggered multi-year terms, instead of a year at a time, would have the same benefit.

The director Sabins envisions would provide programs year-round for residents of all ages. Recreation committee members have lots of program ideas, Presti said; they need someone to implement them.

Their summer program, listed on the town website, includes three movie nights beginning at dusk at the ballfields. Twelve was presented June 25; Sonic is scheduled for July 16; and Jumanji: Next Level is scheduled for Aug. 13.

In addition to the recreation program discussion, selectmen heard an update from Codes Officer Paul Mitnik, with supplementary comments from Fire Chief Walker Thompson, on an ongoing construction project at the former church on Priest Hill Road, in North Vassalboro.

As the fiscal year drew to a close, selectmen reappointed board and committee members for 2021-22 and approved the additional lists of appointments made by Sabins and other town officers. French declined to be reappointed to the Conservation Commission.

Now that voters have approved Vassalboro’s Marijuana Business Ordinance, selectmen need to set licensing fees for existing marijuana businesses in town. After discussing the wide range of fees other area towns charge, and the amount of time they estimate Mitnik, Sabins and other officials will need to administer and enforce the ordinance, they postponed a decision to their July 15 meeting.

Mitnik said the deadline for owners of existing businesses to apply for a town license is Aug. 7, 60 days after voters approved the ordinance. He has developed an application form and notified those who need to apply.

Mitnik, who retired for the third time this spring, only to be rehired when his successor left after a week and a half, is working only two days a week. Sabins said she had received one application for the position so far.

The next regular Vassalboro selectmen’s meeting is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Thursday, July 15.

On Thursday, July 1, the town office staff host a public retirement party for bookkeeper Jean Poulin; residents are invited to stop in that afternoon. Selectmen agreed on an appropriate retirement gift.