He graduated from Lee Academy in 1945 and served as a sergeant in the U.S. Army during World War II, stationed in Pisa, Italy, with the 503rd Military Police Battalion. After his military service, he returned to Maine to work in construction and trucking. He then served with the Maine State Police. On Nov. 18, 1955, he and JoAnn Barton were married in Houlton. They started farming in Littleton and also ran John & Dusty’s Service Station until 1967, when they returned to Ellsworth to run the family farm in Waltham. In the 1970s, he started T.E. Haslam Building Movers and later added storage rentals. Throughout his life, Thurston had an enormous influence on the people who met him. His sense of humor, integrity and hard work were an inspiration to many. Work to him was as recreation to others. He most recently enjoyed restoring his antique truck and tractor collection, as well as competing in tractor pulls. Thurston was on the board of directors of the Maine Antique Tractor Club, a member of the Northern Maine Antique Tractor Club, International Structural Movers Association, a lifetime member of New England Association of Structural Movers, 63 year- member of Monument Masonic Lodge No. 96 in Houlton, the Order of Eastern Star, life member of Aroostook Chapter Royal Arch Masons, the Anah Shriners and Hancock County Shrine Club and the American Legion.
Thurston is survived by his wife of 59 years, JoAnn (Barton); a son, Andrew H. Haslam and Kellie Stratton of South Portland; a daughter, Perian M. Haslam; his very special granddaughter, Laney JoAnn Phillips and her father, Stephen M. Phillips, all of Orr’s Island; three brothers, Dwight Haslam and wife, Estelle, of Portland; Donald Haslam of Trenton and Wayne Haslam of Eastbrook; and many, many special multi-generational nieces, nephews and true friends. He was predeceased by his sister, Donna Barrows; and cousin, Roland Giles, who was like another brother to him.
Friends are invited to call, 5 to 7 p.m., with a Masonic service at 6:30 Tuesday, Nov. 18, 2014, at Jordan-Fernald, 113 Franklin St., Ellsworth, where funeral services will be held 10 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 19, 2014, with Pastor Robert Maddocks officiating. Interment will be at Hillside Cemetery, Waltham, followed by a reception at the Eastbrook Community Center. Contributions in lieu of flowers in Thurston’s memory may be made to Waltham Cemetery Association for improvements to the Hillside Cemetery, 11 Libby Road, Waltham, ME 04605 or Shrine Hospitals for Children, 516 Carew St., Springfield, MA 01104. Condolences may be expressed at www.jordanfernald.com.