Raymond Emery Amsden
Dec 14, 1920 - Mar 8, 2017
- Raymond Emery Amsden passed away peacefully surrounded by family on March 8th, 2017, at Montello Heights in Lewiston, Maine. He lived a long and healthy life of 96 years, leaving a legacy devoted to family, friends, work, and self care. Raymond was born in Jackson, Maine, on December 14th, 1920, the youngest of five children to Emery and Hattie Amsden.
During the many trips revisiting his family home and farm in Brooks, Maine, he shared memories of riding horseback to school and sliding down the hills of what is now Route 7, a road built by his father. Not one trip took place without a visit to the gravesites of family at Jackson Cemetery, a stop at the Dixmont water hole, and a lobster feed at Young's in Belfast, Maine. A 1938 graduate of Newport High School, he was the only child in his family to attend college thanks to a scholarship from Sears and Roebuck. While in college, he met the love of his life Margaret Findlen. They married on October 21st, 1944, and he graduated from the University of Maine with a BS Degree in Dairy Husbandry on June 24th, 1945. Together they began a life raising nine children and Raymond worked as a teacher, a farmer, and a Supervisor & District Director with Farmers Home Administration (FmHA). He was most proud of his accomplishments while in Aroostook County on the Fort Fairfield farm growing potatoes and vegetables, raising chickens and pigs, milking the cows, and teaching his family how to work hard and be self-sufficient.
Throughout his 27-year career of federal service, he counseled many farmers and was well respected by all. Following retirement in 1984, he continued his love of gardening and farming, growing squash and tomatoes selling them at the local supermarket in Newport, Maine. Prior to the death of his wife in 2011, Raymond experienced over 66 years of successful marriage enjoying many wonderful memories playing cards with friends, delighting in family picnics, joining in Amsden and Findlen reunions, traveling, and wintering in Florida. They were enthusiastic campers for years before taking pleasure in family gatherings at Schoodic Lake: boating, swimming and savoring the bounty of good food. Known as Ray and Peggy to the Lords and Ladies Square Dancers of Dexter, Maine, they loved square, round, and ballroom dancing for over 35 years before relocating to Montello Heights in Lewiston, Maine. He was an avid exerciser with a daily routine of walking, jogging, or biking up until the day he died.
A Catholic parishioner of St. Denis in Fort Fairfield and St. Agnes in Pittsfied, he was a member of the Knights of Columbus and a Eucharistic minister. He turned to his faith and trust in God for courage and hope during trying times, and always told his children to "count our blessings."
He is survived by all nine children: Joseph Amsden, Marie Hayes, Patricia Flynn, James Amsden, Richard Amsden, Joanne Yestramski, Robert Amsden, Steven Amsden, Katherine Amsden, their partners, 25 grandchildren and 28 great grandchildren. He was predeceased by his parents, siblings, wife, and granddaughter Tara Lea Hayes Lilly.
A devout Roman Catholic, Mass will be held April 1st, 2017, at 10 a.m. at St. Agnes Catholic Church in Pittsfield, ME. At Raymond's request, there will be no visiting hours. Interment at the Pittsfield Cemetery will occur at a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to hospice of Androscoggin Home Care & Hospice, 15 Strawberry Ave., Lewiston, ME 04240; the Tara Lea Hayes Lilly Scholarship Fund, Penquis Valley High School, West Main Street, Milo, ME 04463 OR to St. Agnes Catholic Church, P. O. Box 193, Dexter, ME 04930-0193 in Memory of Raymond E. Amsden. Donations, condolences, and a photo tribute may be accessed online at .