LEVANT - Raymond Darke, 92, passed away Thursday, March 27, 2014, at his residence surrounded by his family. He was born Jan. 20, 1922, in Kirkland, New Brunswick, Canada, the son of Leon and Sarah (Darke) Demerchant. He was adopted at a young age by his maternal grandparents, John and Gertrude Darke.
Raymond graduated from grade school in Bancroft and went to work on his grandparents farm. He served with the U.S. Army in Europe during World War II as a tank gunner and was promoted to tank commander as the war ended. He earned many medals during the war including the Purple Heart. He married Audrey Irish of Sherman and after several moves they settled in Hermon. After his marriage he acquired his GED and graduated from M.V.T.I. in Augusta, then went to work for Owen Darling in Bangor, Bean & Conquest, and E.R.Dysarts, where he retired. He was the Past Master of Lynde Lodge AF&AM of Hermon, Past Noble Grand IOOF of Hermon, Past Commander of Post No. 200 American Legion of Hermon, Past Noble Grand Eastern Star Rebekah Lodge of Hermon, Past Patron OES Jonathan Hunt No. 9 of Hermon and Star in the East of Hampden.
In addition to his parents and grandparents, he was predeceased by his sister, Beulah Mackie; and several adoptive brothers and sisters. He leaves behind his wife, Audrey Darke of Levant; two daughters, Karen Higgins and her husband, Dennis, of Levant, and Betty Pomeroy and her husband, Gene, of Howland; a son, Wayne Darke of Holden; a bonus daughter, Kathy Tracy and her husband, Milt, of Hermon; three granddaughters, Angela Gordon of Wellington, New Zealand, Marie Helmick of Waynesboro, Va., and Allison Young of Richland, Wash.; three grandsons, Clint Gordon of Leesburg, Va., Allen Hartley of Glenburn, and Philip Tracy of Kennebunkport; four great-grandsons, Aidan, Clayton, Logan, and Vincent; and three great-granddaughters, Sarina, Kathryn, and Lillian. He is survived by a brother and sister he found late in life, Frederick Demerchant and his wife, Donna, of McAdam, N.B. Canada, and Una (Demerchant) Blue of Brownville Junction.
Friends are invited to call 10 a.m. Thursday, April 3, at Brookings-Smith, 133 Center St., Bangor, where funeral services will be conducted at 11 a.m. with the Rev. Grace Bartlett officiating. The family invites relatives and friends to share conversation and refreshments at the Family Reception Center of Brookings-Smith, 163 Center St., Bangor, following the service. Interment with military honors will take place at a later date at Snow's Corner Cemetery, Hermon. Those who wish to remember Raymond in a special way may make gifts in his memory to either New Hope Hospice, P.O. Box 70, Eddington, ME 04428-0070; or American Legion Memorial Fund, Arnold R. Kelly Post 200, P.O. Box 6116, Hermon, ME 04402. Condolences to the family may be expressed at www.BrookingsSmith.com.