Walter Edward Musson

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Walter Edward Musson

November 30, 1950 - January 04, 2019

Newburgh Walter Edward Musson, known as the Slate Man, 68, passed away on January 4, 2019. He was born on November 30, 1950, the son of the late Edward and Doris (Monaghan) Musson.
Walter grew up in Great Pond, Maine, a little town of 46 people, "over east of Bangor" as he used to say. He attended a one room school house at the end of his driveway. He was one of six children in the school and the only one in his class all the way through the eighth grade so his teacher had him read the encyclopedia. Over the years he read through W. He spent summers waterskiing, boating, and fishing on Loon Island, the family island. He received his driver's license at 14 so he could drive his sisters and himself to Brewer High School where he excelled academically and athletically. He loved sports and played on the 1968 Class-A State Championship Brewer Football team that won with an 11-0 season. Walter was offered admission to the United States Naval Academy, MIT, and Yale.
Walter found passion in his trade, working outside doing slate roofing, copper work, and building and repairing chimneys. His family taught him to reuse and salvage. This desire was reinforced in 1972, when he and a friend worked at a salvage lumberyard in the Netherlands. He saw that they wasted nothing, that they had reclaimed the land and that every bit of building material mattered.
Returning to Maine, he saw that many buildings were being torn down. It was then he began to salvage some of the used slate, brick, doors, and other building materials. He took down buildings and houses for a fee and as his slate inventory built up he taught himself how to repair roofs with recycled slate originally from quarries in Monson and Brownville. Walter had great affection for the old slate houses, libraries, and churches of Bangor and neighboring towns. His wife considers his work on the turreted People's United Bank located on Bangor's Main Street as his masterpiece. Walter was on the board of directors for the Leonard's Mills Logging Museum in Bradley, another effort to preserve a past way of life. Many people liked Walter's work ethic, friendliness, generosity, and Santa-like beard.
Walter is survived by his loving wife of 30 years, Ellen Pariser; sisters, Suzanne Irving and husband, Philip of Elgin, IL, Joanne Spencer of Belfast, ME, and Dianne Grant and husband, Robert, of Ellsworth; and brother, Richard Musson of Clifton. He will be deeply missed by his six nieces and nephews. Walter was loved by the Pariser family as well. Special friends, Killian Pottle, and Skip Parent. He loved his cat, Rosie Piranha, and his bunnies, Tarzan and Jane.
The family invites relatives and friends to share in a memorial reception, 12 p.m. - 2 p.m. Saturday, January 12, 2019, at the Family Reception Center of Brookings-Smith, 163 Center Street, Bangor. Those who wish to remember Walter in a special way may make gifts in his memory to the Bangor Humane Society, 639 Mount Hope Avenue, Bangor, or the Maine Forest and Logging Museum, P.O. Box 104, Bradley, ME 04411. Condolences to the family may be expressed at
Published on January 4, 2019
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89 posts

Melissa L. Doane
Jan 15, 2019
I met Walter while on the Maine Forest and Logging Musem Board of Directors. He simply was one of the nicest men I have ever had the pleasure of meeting. He always treated everyone in his presence with such respect. May your family find comfort in knowing how much all those who knew Walter felt nothing by admiration and appreciation for what a wonderful man he was.
Karen Oakes
Jan 14, 2019
I didn't know Walter but he was a familiar face around Vinalhaven for a while working on our library slate roof and other homes. A friend of mine joined me on a photography tour and she took this picture of Walter...she said he had a friendly face and a twinkle in his eye. Condolences to the family.
Hope Ronco
Jan 14, 2019
Oh Ellen I am so sorry for your loss!! I only had the opportunity to meet your husband a couple times and just like you he was a very kind soul. My thoughts and prayers are with you!!!!
Mindy Gasteier
Jan 13, 2019
Dearest Ellen, just learned of your dear Walt’s passing. Philip and I are so very sorry for you unimaginable loss. You and Walter were so very perfect for each other and I hope you find joy as you work through your grief remembering the wonderful years you had together . I am sorry we couldn’t be there with you during this detestating time. A lovely man gone way too soon. Sending our love. Mindy and Philip
Maria Coates and Bill McGrath
Jan 12, 2019
So sorry for your loss. With deepest sympathy your family is in our thoughts and prays.
Candy Cunningham
Jan 12, 2019
Dear Joanne & Family💔. Just Want You All To Know That Our Thoughts & Prayers Are With You On This Most Difficult Day😥.
I Am So Very Sorry That I Cannot Be With You Today, Due to “All If Us Trying To Recover From This Stuff That Has Hit Several Of Us; Twice !!
Love & Hugs😘To All Of You😘
Jan 11, 2019
so so sorry Walter was a great guy sorry for your loss ellen and family
Jan 11, 2019
My fondest memory of Walter is this large muscular man coming into Dr Farrens office tenderly carrying his pet bunny. My thoughts are with you Ellen and family. I was so sorry to hear his passing.
Jan 10, 2019
Oh Ellen such sad news. Don and I send you our love.
Camillo DiBiase
Jan 10, 2019
Linda and I send our sincere condolences to Ellen and the family. I was lucky to know Walter during my years at UM. Always with a smile and a laugh. And a lot of fun times.
Jan 10, 2019
Ellen, I am so sorry to hear of your loss. Walter made Bangor better because of his astounding, unique presence. He was a Bangor icon and will be sorely missed. Thinking of you and your family at this difficult time.
Carol Toner
Jan 10, 2019
Dear Ellen, we are so saddened by the news of Walter’s death. I remember him repairing the slate roof at Skitikuk School. He was so skilled, smart, and kind. We are so sorry for your loss - and the community’s loss. Jim and Carol Toner
Dale and Ann Covey
Jan 10, 2019
Ellen and family, I was so saddened to hear of Walter's passing. He was such a pleasant person and I really feel blessed to have met him. Please know that our family is thinking of you and praying for some comfort in this difficult time.
Carla and Bill Leathem
Jan 10, 2019
We are so sorry to hear about your loss. Walter will be missed. Our hearts go out to you in this difficult time. Love, Carla and Bill
George Molinski, Jr.
Jan 10, 2019
My heart goes out to the family and to his friends and he will be sorely missed. Walter and I were classmates at Brewer High and it's not a surprise that he went to Yale, he was extremely intelligent and had a caring heart. Rest in peace, my friend.
Julie Lacerda
Jan 09, 2019
Sad news.. Condolences to the Musson family.. A beautiful tribute to a unique life..
Jeffrey Gray
Jan 09, 2019
It was a pleasure and a privilege having you work on our buildings Walter. Your legacy will live on. Rest in peace big guy.
Serena Pariser
Jan 09, 2019
He will be missed. ~Serena
Tom Gocze
Jan 09, 2019
This is such sad news. To me, he never seemed to age. We would meet every several years somewhere and it was just like we left off. A truly brilliant man and a great craftsman.
I am so sorry for his family. He left a legacy all over the area, preserving old buildings for generations to come. A true legacy.
I only wish we had him a lot longer.
Bert & Patty Mohrbacher
Jan 09, 2019
We have never met Walt, but wish we had as he certainly was a very talented and special person. Our deepest sympathies go out to his wife Ellen and all of his beloved family and friends.
Susan and Doug Williams
Jan 09, 2019
Sending condolences to Walter's family and friends. Sorry for your loss..
Lindsay Harmon
Jan 08, 2019
No words, only thoughts.
Thinking of you and Killian both.
Lindsay, Leah and Andrew
Stephanie and Mark Francis
Jan 08, 2019
Ellen, so very sorry to hear of the early death of what I perceived as a wonderful human being. Interesting how word spreads, but I learned of his untimely and sad passing via a friend’s friend living in Spain. Not sure how to express our sadness for you and all for whom he was a part of their life. Sending Love , Mark and Stephanie
Jen and Ethan Pottle
Jan 08, 2019
We are so saddened to hear of Walter’s passing. What i will remember most about him is his kind, compassionate and generous spirit. You and Walter were both there for my family when we needed support the most and words cannot express what a profound and meaningful effect you both had on my nephews life.

Sending strength and love from my family to yours,

Jen and Ethan
Dani O'Halloran
Jan 08, 2019
Several years ago I was fortunate to work with Walter when he was in real estate. Walter always had a wonderful sense of humor and was a joy to work with. Walters slate roof work was renowned. We will never be able to replace him! Thinking of you and your family at this difficult time.