HOWLAND - Bernard Francis Ireland, 78, died at home on Wednesday, February 10, 2016, surrounded by his loving family. The son of Leo K. Ireland Sr. and Ella LaPlant Ireland, Bernard was born in Old Town, Maine.
He graduated from Howland High School in 1956, and married Avena Alice Crosby on Sept. 27, 1958. Bernard worked in the construction industry for more than 40 years, traveling across large swaths of the United States and Canada, as a welder and later as a project manager. After retiring, Bernard founded A-Plus Towing out of his son Bruce's automotive repair business in Passadumkeag. More than anything, Bernard enjoyed spending time with his family, especially his five grandchildren. He found great joy watching them grow up at his camp on Cold Stream Pond. Racing also played an important part of his life. He drove stock cars with his brothers beginning in the late 1950s, and in his later years loved watching his sons and grandsons drive at Speedway 95 and Dunkydega. He also enjoyed attending his granddaughters' dance performances, soccer matches and field hockey games.
Bernard is survived by Avena, his wife of 57 years; and three children: daughter, Lynda Reeder and her husband, Steve Reeder, of Bangor; son, Fred Ireland and his wife, Renee, of West Enfield; and son, Bruce Ireland of Old Town. He is also survived by five grandchildren, Josh Ireland and his wife, Kacey, of Windham, Austin Ireland of Lincoln, Bernie Reeder and boyfriend, Dan Adams, of Boston, Mass., Amanda Ireland of Lincoln and Hilary Reeder of Old Town; two brothers, Wayne Ireland of Edinburg and Douglas Ireland and wife, Vesta, of West Enfield; sisters-in-law, Beverly Ireland of Howland and Betty Ireland of Howland; two brothers-in-law, Fred Crosby and his wife, Blandine, of Passadumkeag and Alan Crosby of Howland; and sister-in-law Florence Merrill of North Howland. He was predeceased by his parents; brothers, Leo Kenneth Ireland Jr. and Ronald Ireland; sister, Lynda Ireland; sisters-in-law, Rebecca Ireland, Joan Crosby and Leslie Crosby; and brother-in-law, Ronald Merrill.
Bernard's family will host a celebration of his life on Saturday, February 13, 2016, at the home of Fred and Renee Ireland, 41 Oak View Road, West Enfield. Those who wish to remember Bernard in a special way may make donations in his memory to CHCS Home Health and Hospice Services at www.chcs-me.org, or at P.O. Box 425, Bangor, ME, 04401; or to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research at www.michaeljfox.org.