- Robert Arthur LaBree, 92, peacefully left us September 9, 2016 after a long illness, at his home surrounded by family. He was born in Milford, December 12, 1923, son of Nelson and Philomene (Tremblay) LaBree.
Robert grew up on the Bradley Road in Milford, the third of eight children in a large and loving family. As a young man, he served his country in military service, participating both in the Second Wave of Normandy and the Battle of the Bulge. He was a member of VFW Post 3381 in Old Town, and for many years, he proudly marched in the Bangor Veteran's Day Parade with other World War II Veterans. After the war he returned home, and in 1946 married Eva Goodwin and raised his family in West Old Town. He helped build the road into Pushaw Lake, and later he and his father built the family camp which is still enjoyed by his family and was one of the first cabins built on the lake.
Robert was employed for 38 years at James River Company in Old Town, and after retiring, worked part time for eight years at Bangor Ford. Eva died after 55 years of marriage, but God is good, and Robert met and married Joy Hemphill in 2008. His later years were filled with warmth and love. He was a faithful member of the United Baptist Church in Old Town, and served as an usher, on the Board of Trustees, and on several committees throughout the years. Robert was a talented and hard-working man, and in his life could build and repair anything: boats, bulldozers, tractors, or cars. He enjoyed hunting and fishing and had many enjoyable days with his fishing buddy, Jerry Stormann. He had a natural musical talent and could play several instruments by ear. He also enjoyed to travel and liked to mention that in his travels he had made eight trips to Alaska. He was courageous in diminishing health and faced these difficulties with determination and courage.
Robert is survived by his beloved wife, Joy Williams LaBree; his children, Galen (Ann) LaBree of Plano, TX, Charity (Brett) Delana of Anchorage, Alaska, and a special niece, who he loved as a daughter, Carleen (Bruce) Caswell of Old Town; grandchildren, Michelle LaBree of Old Town, Tara (Terrence) Mitchell of San Francisco, CA and Shea Robert Delana of Anchorage, AK; stepsons, Hardy (Afsaneh) Hemphill and Anders (Bev) Hemphill, all of CA, Chad (Kecia) Hemphill of CT, and Jamie (Kiley) Hemphill of NH; seven step-grandchildren; two sisters, Marie O'Keefe of Milford and Theresa Pollard of Bangor; 11 nieces and 15 nephews,two cousins; and his cat, Mittens. He was predeceased by his first wife, Eva Goodwin LaBree; sisters, Rose Walinchus, Margaret Martin Salisbury, and Corinne Caswell; brothers, Francis and Walter LaBree; niece, Gayle Pollard; and nephews, Stephen Chabe, Francis LaBree Jr., Wayne Pollard, and Ronald Caswell.
The family would like to extend their deep appreciation to Hospice of Eastern Maine, and to friends Paul and Kay Gagnon for their assistance, compassion, and support during the last few months.
A funeral service will be conducted at 11AM Tuesday at the United Baptist Church of Old Town, where friends may visit from 10AM until time of service. Immediately following the service, all are invited to share in conversation and refreshment in the church fellowship hall. A graveside service with military honors will be conducted 2PM Tuesday at the West Old Town Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to the United Baptist Church, 86 Middle St., Old Town 04468 or to the Old Town Animal Orphanage PO Box 565, Orono, ME 04473.