Leo's Story

CROUSEVILLE - Leo Delwin Flewelling, 98, passed away Dec. 17, 2014 at a Presque Isle health care facility. He was born July 29, 1916 in Crouseville, the eldest son of George Frederic and Avis (Crouse) Flewelling.

Leo grew up in Crouseville, Caribou, and Mapleton. He graduated from Washburn High School in 1934. Even in his youth his interests were many and varied, including church activities, Boy Scouts, and Future Farmers of America. Ever industrious, he earned his own money selling garden seeds door to door, doing farm chores and taxidermy, mending fur coats, and barbering classmates' hair. His efforts and frugality gave him the means as a boy to buy his mother her first washing machine. Starting in the Great Depression he tended his Uncle Willie Crouse's cows to provide milk for his parents' growing family.

As a youngster Leo accompanied his father in horse and buggy or sleigh, depending on the season, on Reverend Fred's pastoral rounds to Advent Christian Churches in Fort Fairfield, Limestone, Ashland, and Mapleton. He recalled hearing the same sermon three times each Sunday.

Leo also revered his mother, Avis, who by her example instilled in him the values that guided and exemplified his long life, including optimism, kindness, patience, generosity, loyalty, and honesty.

In his adult life Leo was on the Maine Potato Growers board of directors for 32 years. He also served on the Washburn school board, the A. R. Gould Hospital board, and the Northern Maine Advent Christian Conference board. He long served his home church in Crouseville as both a board member and elder.

An avid sportsman Leo spent many contented hours fishing, hunting, canoeing, and boating. In 1949 he and his wife, Lila, designed and built a wonderful camp at Cross Lake, which family and friends haveenjoyed to the present. Their legacy will always be treasured.

Leo taught himself many skills and took pleasure in a wide variety of activities. Among them were gardening, cabinetmaking, designing and building machinery, welding, stonemasonry, wrought iron work, andstill life and landscape painting. He was a perfectionist in all things and could do almost anything and solve just about any problem. Of his many artistic talents, Leo is perhaps best remembered for his bird carvings and feather pins, which took numerous awards at shows and are cherished by all who have them.

In 1938 Leo married the love of his life, Lila Carvell of Mapleton. They were happily married for 73 years until her passing April 2, 2011. Together they created two beautiful and comfortable homes in Crouseville where they lovingly raised four children. Leo purchased their first house from his Aunt Peryl Crouse in the center of town and 28 years later bought land from his Uncle Willie Crouse to build their second home just up the road. They spent the next 45 years enjoying their new home, indulging their creative passions, and hosting family, friends, and visitors.

Farming was another of Leo's great loves. The first land he purchased was the Flewelling homeplace on the Cross Road where once stood a handsome home, barn, and outbuildings built by his great grandfatherEdrick J. Flewelling. Leo subsequently bought other farmland nearby, successfully growing potatoes and grain for over 40 years.

The Northern Maine Advent Christian Campmeeting was another venture in which he took part. Leo helped his father build several of the first cottages at the campgrounds and also helped build the dining hall/dormitory.

Upon retirement Leo and Lila joined the Washburn historical society and proudly helped establish the Salmon Brook Historical Society Museum, where he was curator for many years.

His was a full and virtuous Christian life. Leo was a generous pillar of the Crouseville church and community. He had a beautiful voice and sang in the church choir and in men's quartets, including one with his brothers. He taught Sunday school for many years. Leo also helped erect the first steeple on the church and set the bell in the belfry. He was always ready and willing to help anyone who needed him.

Leo was an extraordinary man and will be greatly missed by all who knew and loved him.

He is survived by his siblings, William Flewelling, Anna Newton and her husband, Larry, Clarissa Jordan, Erwin and his wife, Ellen, and Wilmot Flewelling and his wife, Ruth; his children, Sally F. Derrenbacher, Ann Flewelling and her husband, Charles Read, Robert Flewelling and his wife, Janet Diehl, and Richard Flewelling and his companion, Mary Doran; and granddaughters, Kimberley Weiner, Frances Flewelling-Diehl, and Anna Flewelling-Diehl. Besides his wife, Leo was predeceased by his parents, Fred and Avis Flewelling, and his brother, Gerald Flewelling.

The family wishes to thank the wonderful staff of Leisure Village and the Presque Isle Nursing Home for their conscientious care and kindness, and Victoria Grover, PAC at Full Circle Health Care, and Dr. David Jones of Aroostook Family Practice, for their expert and sensitive medical care.

A memorial service and burial will take place in the spring on a date to be announced. In lieu of flowers, donations in Leo's memory may be made to Salmon Brook Historical Society, P.O. Box 71, Washburn, ME 04786. Online condolences may be expressed at www.duncan-graves.com.
Published in Bangor Daily News
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