Leroy's Story

BELFAST AND PENOBSCOT - Leroy K. Flanders died January 9, 2016 at the age of 98 in Belfast, Maine. He was born August 14, 1917 to Fred and Ellen (Hayden) Flanders in Kingsbury Field while his mother was picking blueberries. Born prematurely at 1 1/2 pounds, he was kept in the warming oven over the woodstove and fed eyedroppers of whiskey to stimulate his tiny heart.

He married Bernadine Lowry on September 2, 1939 in Fairfield where he worked for the railroad at that time. In 1941, they moved to Portsmouth NH, where he worked at the Navy Yard. He served on active duty as a temporary member of the U.S. Coast Guard in 1944 until 1945 when he joined the Army, serving during World War II in Company L 18th Infantry Regiment until his discharge on July 22, 1946.

Leroy returned home to Portsmouth, NH and resigned from the Navy Yard on June 19, 1950. Rheumatoid arthritis forced him to move with Bernadine and their two young children to Arizona. There, he worked at the Kennicott Copper Mines as a millwright for many years and was a skilled carpenter. He loved doing odd jobs and keeping busy. Leroy moved back to Maine at age 70 after the death of his wife to live with his 90-year-old mother. With no signs of the arthritis that had once almost crippled him, he was once again able to enjoy ice fishing and other activities.

He was an active member of the Free Masons, holding many offices over the years. In 2006, he received his 75-year pin at the Orland Masonic Hall. He was most proud of his receipt of the Knights Templar Cross of Honor.

Leroy was predeceased by his parents, his wife, his son David Flanders, and his sister Louise Ward. He is survived by his longtime significant other Barbara Black, with whom he shared many happy years, and her family; a daughter, MaryEllen Balfanz of Layton, Utah; his sister Maple Conary and brother-in-law Raymond of Orland as well as many grandchildren, great-grandchildren, great-great-grandchildren, nieces and nephews.

A memorial service is planned for Saturday, January 30th at 2:00pm at the Orland Masonic Hall. In lieu of flowers, donations in his memory may be made to the charity of one's choice.

Arrangements are under the care of Riposta Funeral Home, 182 Waldo Avenue, Belfast. Memories and condolences may be shared at www.ripostafh.com.
Published in Bangor Daily News
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