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Starting as a clerk and rural letter carrier in 1956, he began a long tenure in postal service, becoming postmaster in Pittsfield in 1973, and then transferring those duties to Rockland, Maine, in 1985. He remained active in postal affairs well after his 1996 retirement, serving over his career as President of the Rural Maine Letter Carriers, President of the Maine Postmasters Association, Vice President of the National Association of Postmasters (NAPUS) and President of the NAPUS Retirees of Maine.
A fixture in Pittsfield community affairs over many decades, Arey was active in Boy Scouts, Little League, Jaycees, and the Kiwanis Club. In 2006, he was elected to Honorary Life Membership in the Sebasticook Valley Elks Lodge #2713. He served on the SAD 53 School Board for fifteen years. In 1984, the Boston Globe reported that outraged parents confronted Pittsfield school board members after worms were discovered in a shipment of green beans served to students. To quote the Globe, "Parents presented the board with bowls, forks and a dish of the contaminated beans. Arey Bryant was the only board member willing to sample them, and he preferred to pick out the corn borers first. He said the beans were cold, but all in all tasted pretty good."
Arey is survived by his life companion, Suzanne Mercier; her daughter, Megan, her sons, Mark and Michael; Arey's daughter, Kathleen; Arey's sons, Richard, Kevin, and Robert; seven grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.
His memorial service will be held at the Elks Club on Middle Street in Pittsfield on Saturday, March 31, 2018, beginning at 1 p.m. At 2 p.m., a U.S. Navy honor guard will present a ceremonial flag to honor Arey's military service and a ceremony will be officiated by the Rev. Scott Jones.
Arey requested that in lieu of flowers, his memory would be better served by contributions to either Maine Central Institute, 295 Main Street, Pittsfield, ME 04967, or the Sebasticook Valley Elks Club, PO Box 459, Pittsfield, ME 04967. In addition to the fine community work performed by the Elks, they need a new roof for their Middle Street Lodge. Here are the links: www.mcischool.org and www.elks.org/lodges/home.cfm?lodgenumber=2713.
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Care has been provided by Shorey-Nichols Funeral Home, Pittsfield.
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