FALMOUTH AND BANGOR - Richard Webster Files, 97, formerly of Bangor, died peacefully on June 14, 2015, at The Falmouth House in Falmouth. He was born December 24, 1917, in East Orange, New Jersey, to Ralph and Harriet (Webster) Files.
Richard spent his early years in New Jersey, graduating from East Orange High School in 1935. In his youth, his summers were spent at the family camp at Lucerne in Maine where, in 1937, he met Ellen Hathorn. They were married in 1942.
Richard graduated from Duke University in 1940, where he lettered in Track and was a member of the swim team, the Tombs and Sigma Nu fraternity. After college, he became a flight instructor at Franklin Marshall College for the Army Air Corps. He joined the Navy in 1942, and remained in service as a Naval Aviator until the end of World War II.
Richard returned to Maine after the war and was an instructor at Doanne Airport in Brewer until he joined Hathorn Auto Supply, later known as Dick Files Firestone. He stayed in the tire business for forty years.
Richard was active in many civic efforts in Bangor. He helped develop many projects during the Urban Renewal era, including the Penobscot Plaza, Merchants Bank, Waverley Restaurant and reconstruction of the Bangor High School on Harlow Street.
Richard was a long time member of All Souls Church, The Rotary and City Clubs, Captain of the Civil Air Patrol, former Corporator at Bangor Savings Bank and Co-President, with Ellen, of the University of Maine Parents and Friends Group. Maine became his adopted home and he worked, in his later years, as an avid promoter of the state's history and heritage.
Richard moved to Oceanview in Falmouth in March of 2008. He loved his time there and made many friends there, both residents and staff. He was known for the endless number of boards he created for the enjoyment of the residents, for being the original Movie man, and for his positive outlook.
Richard will be remembered fondly for his true love of life, his great generosity and his wonderful sense of humor. He lived every day to the fullest and found joy in meeting new people and sharing stories new and old. Those who were lucky enough to have known him often described him as "one of a kind".
Richard was predeceased by his wife of 66 years, Ellen Hathorn; his daughter, Susan Tagg; his sons-in-law, Greg Stevens and Peter Dumas; his brother, Dr. Thomas Files; and his sister, Elizabeth Hall.
Richard is survived by his son, Kip Files of Carrabassett Valley; his daughter, Deb Dumas of Scarborough; his daughter, Judi Stevens and her partner, Mark Crasnick of Yarmouth; his son-in-law, Jim Tagg of Hampton Falls, NH; his grandchildren and great-grandchildren (who knew him as Ga), Erin, Drew and Julia Dumas; Clark, Brent and Luke Stevens; Jim and Kim, Steven and Kerry, Richard, McKenna, AJ, Paige and Clarke Tagg. He is also survived by his brother, Robert, and many nieces and nephews, especially his nephew, Andrew Files, who made such an effort to visit him often; and a special caregiver and friend, Victoria Swan.
The family would like to express their gratitude to the Oceanview and Falmouth House staff and Life Choice Hospice for all the love and care given to Richard through the years and in his final days.
A celebration of Richard's life will be held on Thursday, June 25 at 2:00 at Oceanview, 20 Blueberry Lane, Falmouth, Maine. Interment at Mount Hope Cemetery, Bangor will be held at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Richard's name to Iron Duke Track Club, Iron Duke Office, 116 Cameron Indoor Stadium, Box 90542, Durham, NC 27708 or The Parent's and Friends Program, University of Maine Student Life Fund, University of Maine Foundation, Buchanan Alumni House, Two Alumni Place, Orono, ME 04469-5792.
Condolences to the family may be expressed at www.BrookingsSmith.com.