EASTON - Senator Richard C. Kneeland, 82, went home to be with his Lord and Savior, Thursday, April 28, 2016, at Maine Medical Center, Portland. He was born May 16, 1933, in Easton, the son of Afton and Dorothy (Johnson) Kneeland.
Operator of Kneeland Farms for 45 years, Richard served the agricultural community as director and vice president of Maine Potato Growers, president of Aroostook Farm Bureau, director of Maine Farm Bureau, chairman of Maine Potato Commission and president of Maine Potato Board. The Kneeland family was named Farm Family of the year in 1997.
Richard served on the Easton Board of Selectmen for 20 years. He was elected to the Maine House of Representatives in 1992 from District 144 comprised of Blaine, Easton, Fort Fairfield and Mars Hill, where he served on the Appropriations and Financial Affairs Committee and Economic Development Committee. Elected State Senator in 2000 from District 2, he represented Caribou, Easton, Fort Fairfield, Limestone and Presque Isle. As Senator, he was on the Taxation Committee and Chairman of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry.
The National Republican Legislative Association honored him with the 1999 Legislator of the Year Award for his remarkable legislative leadership.
A member of Calvary Baptist Church in Westfield, he was deacon and Sunday School teacher for many years.
He is survived by his wife of 61 years, L. Jean (Keirstead) Kneeland of Easton, son Keith (Alice) Kneeland of Easton; daughters Cheryl (Scott) Koenke of Greer, SC, and Barbara (Douglas) Blackstone of Easton; seven grandchildren; twelve great grandchildren; sister Avis (Llewellyn) White of Easton; sister-in-law Carol Keirstead, Greer, SC; several nieces and nephews and many cousins.
In addition to his parents, Richard is predeceased by a sister, Mary Daigneault, and a great granddaughter, Sadie.
Family and friends may call 6-9 p.m., Tuesday, May 3, 2016, at Duncan-Graves Funeral Home, 30 Church Street, Presque Isle where funeral services will be held 2 p.m., Wednesday May 4, 2016 with Pastor Larry Palmer officiating. Interment will be later in the spring at Estes Cemetery, Easton. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Richard's memory to Child Evangelism Fellowship, Northern Chapter, PO Box 28, Mars Hill, ME 04758 or to Easton High School Scholarship Program, RE: Richard Kneeland, PO Box 66, Easton, ME 04740. Online condolences may be expressed at www.duncan-graves.com.