ENFIELD - Frederick "Rick" Alan Leighton passed away at his home in Enfield on Friday, July 18, 2014, surrounded by members of his loving family. Rick had lived with ocular melanoma and diabetes for several years, but finally admitted that two against one was not a fair fight and surrendered to his formidable foes after valiantly facing both with humor and all the while continuing to live life to its fullest.
Rick was born Dec. 16, 1954, a son of Frederick "Dick" and Elizabeth "Betty" Leighton. He was raised in Enfield and attended schools in that area, graduating in 1974 from Penobscot Valley High School.
Rick met his wife, soulmate and best friend, Brenda, when his sister, Rose, brought her best friend to Enfield for a weekend visit in November of 1976. Rick and Brenda were married in 1980 in her hometown of Paris, Maine, but chose to live in Enfield where they met. They built their own home there and raised two sons, Alan and Todd.
Over the years, Rick became well-known and respected throughout the area as a firefighter with the Howland and Lowell fire departments and a driver for the East Millinocket Ambulance Service. He was also employed by Enfield Public Works and served as one of the town's fire wardens for many years. The widespread admiration and respect for Rick was clearly evident recently through the outpouring of love and support demonstrated at a large and extremely successful spaghetti benefit on Rick's behalf. Firefighters, police and ambulance crews from several towns made this event possible; it was attended by many of these dedicated people as well as countless other caring friends and family members from around the state.
Rick was a fishing and hunting enthusiast who enjoyed numerous camping trips with family and friends. Admired as a master woodworker and carver, his walking sticks and other creations became gifts to many loved ones. Also, in his spare time, Rick enjoyed boating and fishing at the Leighton family camp on Cold Stream Pond or being with family members on Thunder Island on Sebago Lake. His presence around the campfire singing songs and telling jokes and at the grill as the chef serving breakfast sandwiches, homemade beef jerky and deep-fried turkey will be greatly missed. "Brenda and Rick" was a phrase spoken by many as the two were rarely apart; Rick had a particular knack for keeping a smile on Brenda's face -- a smile which was contagious to those in the couple's presence.
Rick also traveled outside of Maine with his devoted wife. The two vacationed in several states, Mexico and Canada, exploring the attractions near their camper or the location of their annual timeshare in such places as Orlando, Fla., San Antonio, Texas; Las Vegas, Nev., Atlantic City, N.J., Virginia Beach, Va., and the Poconos. Most recently they traveled to Tennessee. Rick and Brenda also took a memorable cruise to the Caribbean, camped on Prince Edward Island, and vacationed in Mazatlan, Mexico.
Besides Brenda, his wife of 34 years, Rick is survived by their two sons, Alan Leighton andTodd Leighton and his companion, Whitney MacArthur; parents, Dick and Betty Leighton; sister, Rose (Leighton) and her husband, Ollie Emery; brother, Danny Leighton and his wife, Suellen; his father and mother-in-law, Al and Mary-Alice Bancroft; sister-in-law, Leslie (Bancroft) and her husband, DJ Townsend; sisters-in-law, Kristi Bancroft and Holly Bancroft; brother-in-law, Mark Bancroft and his wife, Angela; numerous aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews; and many, many beloved friends.
A celebration of Rick's life will be held on Saturday, July 26, from 1 to 3 p.m. at Enfield Town Garage, Hammett Road, Enfield, Maine 04493. In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to either the Howland Fire Department, P.O. Box 386, Howland, ME 04448, the Lowell Fire Co., P.O. 166, Burlington, ME 04417, or a special charity of your choice. Condolences may be expressed at www.clayfuneralhome.com