Robert J. Rand Sr. of Ellsworth passed away Nov. 3, 2021, at Seaport Village Healthcare in Ellsworth.
Lover of Maine woods, lakes, ponds, rivers and streams, the state loses a native son devoted to preserving and enjoying its wildlands, fish and wildlife.
Born Aug. 29, 1930, in Harrington to Harry and Julia (Nash) Rand of Harrington, Robert survived childhood polio and attended Harrington High School, graduating in 1950. He followed in his father’s footsteps to work for the Maine Central Railroad for 38 years, training at the station in Harrington where Harry was the stationmaster.
He was a loving husband to June (Lindsey), also from Harrington, through 68 years of marriage. They moved frequently in Robert’s early days with the railroad, living in Harrington, Lincoln and Vanceboro, before settling in Stillwater for 23 years when Robert was stationed at the Old Town and Bangor yard offices. In 1978, they moved to 7 acres on Red Bridge Road in Ellsworth, which Robert managed as woodlands and eventually some wetlands when he lost his long battle with the beavers. He retired from the railroad in 1990.
Robert called the out-of-doors his church and shared his love of camping, hiking, canoeing and fishing with family and friends. A family ritual on leaving a campsite was to clean up trash left by others and leave firewood so the next campers would enjoy a welcoming camping spot. He was at peace in the woods and inspired family and friends to also find solace and beauty in nature.
His favorite place was the family log camp on Spring River Lake, near Franklin, built in 1952 by his father and uncle. Sisters Geraldine and Kay (both predeceased) also built camps immediately next door, to create a Rand family gathering place. He became the keeper of the camp after Harry died.
Robert spent six years at Seaport Village Healthcare in Ellsworth, where he received kind, compassionate and loving care. The family wishes to thank all those at Seaport who took such good care of him and who treated Robert and June as family.
He is survived by his loving wife, June, and two sons, Roger (Lori, predeceased) and Robert Jr. (Laura), and grandchildren Joshua (Krista), Zachary (Jess), Max (Chandaria), Marisa and Warren (Angel).
A private burial is planned for a later date.