ASHLAND - Freeman J. Deabay, Sr., 90, died peacefully Friday, May 24, 2014, at an Eagle Lake health care facility. He was born Feb. 16, 1924, a son of the late Michael and Melvina (Theriault) Deabay.
Growing up on the family farm, like all his siblings he developed an incredible work ethic. Unable to get into the war due to an eye condition, he moved to Portland to work as a ship builder. After he returned to northern Maine he did a variety of jobs from taxi driving to working for local lumber mills and potato farmers. He never seemed to be out of work. He worked for Great Northern Paper for over 30 years before his retirement in 1986. Early in his career, he distributed meat and goods to most of Great Northern Paper's camps all over the North Maine Woods. The majority of his later years at GNP were spent as one of their top scalers, servicing the pulp and paper industry from Millinocket to Ashland. During his retirement years, he worked as a devoted funeral attendant for over 13 years with former Stimson-Ouellette Funeral Home, Ashland, assisting his community members during their difficult times. He was a parishioner of St. Marks Church and was one of its first Eucharistic Ministers. In addition to volunteering at the church, he was also an advocate of the parish cemetery, establishing the cemetery's perpetual care fund and enlarging the cemetery grounds. He was also a long-time member of the Knights of Columbus. In addition to tending his vegetable garden, Freeman, an avid hunter and fisherman, loved the outdoors and spending a lot of time at the family hunting camp with his brothers, children, grandchildren, relatives and friends.
He is survived by: seven children, Mike Deabay and his wife, Heather of Brandywine, MD, Freeman Deabay, Jr., and his wife, Donna of Ashland, Joy St. Pierre and her husband, Dennis of Bucksport, Peggy Tibbetts and her husband, Lennie of Garfield, Scott Deabay and his wife, Margie of Carmel, Lyn Bragdon-Clark and her husband, Don of Old Town, and Shawn Deabay and his wife, Sloane of Hutto, TX; two brothers, Omer Deabay and his wife, Pauline of Bristol, CT and Allen Deabay and his wife, Sheila of Bangor; a sister-in-law, Yvette Deabay of Millinocket; 24 grandchildren; many great-grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews. Besides his parents, Freeman is predeceased by his wife of 59 years, Pauline (Goslin) Deabay in 2008 and 11 siblings.
A funeral service will be celebrated at 1 p.m. Thursday, May 29, 2014, at St. Marks Catholic Church, Ashland. Relatives and friends may greet the family Thursday morning, 11:30-12:45 at the church. Interment will follow in the parish cemetery. Arrangements are entrusted to Lajoie Funeral Home-Ashland, 114 Exchange St., Ashland. In lieu of flowers, donations in Freemans name may be made to: St. Marks Cemetery Perpetual Care Fund, c/o Parish of the Precious Blood, 31 Thomas Ave., Caribou, ME 04736. To share condolences online, please visit www.LajoieFuneralHome.com.