- The family of Ralph "Mike" Basil Lancaster bid him a happy and pain free forever life on Sunday, June 4, 2017, at The Maine Veteran's Home in Bangor, Maine. Mike, as he was known by family and friends, was born the last of 7 children to Pitt and Lillian (Bowker) Lancaster on December 2, 1926, in West Enfield, Maine.
Mike joined the United States Navy in 1944, at the age of 18, serving as a Coxswain until discharged in 1946. He received the World War II Victory Medal, the American Theatre Medal and the Asiatic-Pacific Medal.
Upon his return home, he met and married Louise Emery, February 18, 1950. They tried living in Connecticut but missed home and returned after 6 months. He dabbled with auto-body work through the 50's and in the early 1960's, he was hired as a truck driver, operator of heavy equipment and did body and fender work for G. E. Goding & Son, Lincoln, Maine. He did not have a sick day or miss work in over 35 years. Goding's presented him with a very cherished belt buckle denoting "One Million Miles" of safe and accident free driving. He happily continued to work for the company until the age of 81.
"Pup" or "Papa" adored his grandchildren. They never failed to bring a smile to his face or a hearty laugh if they were acting silly. Easy going and gentle, his daughter Roxanne expressed it best at his bedside while saying goodbye: "Dad, you were always so, so very kind."
Mike and Louise were married just over 66 years, when Louise lost her battle with cancer in November, 2016. The last 6 months, he had missed her terribly and reminded us just a week ago of how much he wanted to see her again. Well Dad, you made it. Please give her a big hug from all of us and and know we miss you both terribly.
Dad or Pup will always be remembered for his passion for hot, hot weather and wearing his insulated underwear until July 1 (provided the weather had warmed sufficiently), his love of outdoor fires, camping trips and his annual pilgrimage to Florida every March and April.
Mike leaves behind his daughters and their husbands, Rachel and Paul Means and Roxanne and Clark Shorey; grandchildren, Mikele Neal and Jay, Lisa Hall and Mike, Scot Shorey and Leita Washburn, Leslie Libbey and Wink, David and Kathryn Means, Zachary and Bailey Means, and Alexander and Katie Means; great-grandchildren, Drew and Camryn Neal, Samantha Hall, Dillon and Sydni Shorey, Nikk and Brittany Libbey, Chase and Harper Means and Wyatt and Evie Means; brother-in-law, James Emery and wife, Pat; and sister-in-law, Althea Michaud. He was predeceased by his parents, wife and daughter, Erin.; sisters, Jenny Gould, Hazel Knights, and Philota Dunay; brothers, George, Victor and Clayton; and a cousin, who was like a brother to him, Vinton Lancaster.
Mike's life will be celebrated at a graveside service at the Lincoln Cemetery on Park St., Lincoln, Maine, Wednesday, June 7 at 11:00 AM, Reverend Darrell Joiner, officiating.
In Mike's memory and to aid in the cause of his great-grandson, Drew Neal, donations may be made to: The Epilepsy Foundation of New England, 335 Main St., Wilmington, MA 01887 or online at epilepsynewengland.org.
Published on  June 6, 2017