Carl L. Stearns died on January 5, 2017, in Bangor, Maine. He was born on October 1, 1931, in Murphysboro, Illinois, to Carl L. and Leon Marie (Bellm) Stearns. After graduating from Dupo (IL) Community High School in 1950, Carl joined the Air Force and was ultimately assigned to the 3080th Operations Squadron at Loring Air Force Base in Limestone, Maine. When he arrived, he had no idea he would never leave, but a chance meeting with Joyce Graves from Mars Hill changed his plans forever. They were married on August 31, 1954, raised their two children, and remained together until her death in 2012.
Carl went to work for AT&T in 1955 as a lineman and held several positions in Denver, CO, and Bangor. until his retirement in 1986. Traditional retirement, however, was short-lived and he soon returned to work as a contract employee in Vermont and Pennsylvania, where he was close enough to his adored grandchildren in Virginia to spend many weekends attending baseball and softball games and all manner of other activities. After he and his wife returned to Bangor, he worked for Uniship until 2011. Despite all the postretirement work, he found time for hundreds of road trips across the country with his wife to visit family and friends and always managed to make time for golf.
Carl is survived by his son, Jon C. Stearns, of Bangor; his daughter, Jan Umphrey, and son-in-law, Daniel, of Herndon, VA; grandchildren Matthew Umphrey of Cape Charles, VA, and Jill Albers, her husband, Stephen Albers, and two great-grandchildren, Edel Marie and Noel Timothy Albers of Fall Church, VA; sister, Ann Shannon, and brother-in-law, Roger Shannon, of Baxter, MN; brother, Pat Stearns, of Belleville, IL; sister-in-law Norma (Ginn) Graves of Winterhaven, FL, and many beloved nieces and nephews, great nieces and nephews, and cousins. He is predeceased by his wife and his parents.
Relatives and friends are invited to call from 5-7 p.m. Wednesday, January 18, 2017, at Brookings-Smith 133 Center St., Bangor, where funeral services will be held 2:00 p.m., Thursday, January 19, 2017, with the Rev. Dr. Stan Moody, pastor, Columbia Street Baptist Church, officiating. The family invites relatives and friends to share conversation and refreshments at the Family Reception Center of Brookings-Smith, 163 Center, St., Bangor, immediately following the service. Interment will be held later this spring at the Fairmount Cemetery in Presque Isle.
Carl and Joyce attended Columbia Street Baptist Church in Bangor, where they made many friends and found a church home. Donations in his memory may be made to a preferred cancer research organization or the Columbia Street Project, a mission of the Columbia Street Baptist Church at 63 Columbia Street in Bangor. Condolences to the family may be expressed at www.BrookingsSmith.com