PENOBSCOT - Denis Anthony Roessiger passed away suddenly Monday, Sept. 22, 2014, while visiting family in Tuftonboro, N.H.
Born in New York City, on Feb. 9, 1942, to Marianne and Hans Peter Roessiger; his mother passed away when he was an infant. He grew up moving between New England and his fathers' native Switzerland with his two brothers and stepmother, Hazel MacComas Roessiger.
He graduated from the Thompson School at UNH, where he met Lucybell Keeler; they married and settled in Mirror Lake, N.H., in 1966, to found Blue Wagon Farm, where they lived for more than 30 years, raising livestock, vegetables and gorgeous geraniums and annuals. He was an active member of Farm Bureau, a 4-H club leader and state board member, served as a volunteer firefighter with the Mirror Lake Station, and served in the Army Reserves. In 1994 he moved to Penobscot, Maine, where he designed and built his greenhouses and house. He continued raising geraniums and annuals until he retired and returned to his early passion for collecting orchids. Generous with his time, knowledge and treasure, he was an involved member of the community, sharing his love of orchids and world travel with the children at the Penobscot Elementary School. A member of the Eastern Maine Orchid Society, he spoke at area garden clubs. Avid traveler, his love of orchids took him among other places to Switzerland, Ecuador, Singapore and most recently several areas of Africa.
He is survived by his wife of 48 years, Lucybell Keeler Roessiger; his daughter, Elaine and her husband, Mark Follansbee; and granddaughter, Crystal, of Tuftonboro, N.H.; his brothers, Peter Roessiger and wife, Leigh, and Claude Roessiger and wife, Amina, all of Wolfeboro, N.H.; his mother-in-law, Lucille Keeler; brother and sister-in-law, Ralph and Carolyn Keeler of Penobscot; and a number of nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his grandson, Christopher Follansbee.
A memorial service will be held 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 4, at 132 Farnham Lane, Penobscot, in the hosta shade garden created by Denis. All are welcome. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Eastern Maine Orchid Society Scholarship Fund, send to EMOS, care of Mary Lou Hoskins, 154 Mills Road, Exeter, ME 04435.