LEWISTON - Byron C. Adams Jr., 86, died with his five daughters by his side on April 9, 2005 at the home he built with his wife and friends at Sabattus Street in Lewiston.
He was born in Auburn on Feb. 4, 1919 to Jane (Thornton) Adams and Byron Adams Sr. He graduated from Lewiston High School in 1935.
He married Yvette Rosanna Allen on Oct. 11, 1941 at St. Peter's Church in Lewiston.
On Oct. 12, 1943, Byron was inducted into the U.S. Army as a military occupation rifleman 745 in Company 1, 358 Infantry during World War II. He was wounded in action on July 6, 1944 and on Dec. 14, 1944, fighting in battles and campaigns in Normandy, Rhineland and Northern France. He received a Purple Heart on July 27, 1944 for injury during the European African Middle Eastern Theater, ribbed with three Bronze Battle Stars, Good Conduct Medal and the Oak Leaf Cluster on April 9, 1945. He departed the European Theater on April 6, 1944 returning to the U.S. on March 12, 1945. He was discharged from the U.S.A. General Hospital at Camp Butner, N.C., on July 25, 1945.
He worked at Roak the Florist for 45 years. He was well respected as one of the top growers in New England and was offered a lucrative position with Vessey Seed Company in the 60s. Byron loved his job at Roak's and chose not to uproot his young family and leave the Lewiston/Auburn area.
He retired in 1982 to take care of his wife, Yvette who died on Feb. 29, 1984.
He did find love again and married Edith McRae on Sept. 27, 1986. Unfortunately, Edith died in January 1988.
Dad had a long and meaningful life. He touched the lives of many people with his gentle soul during his many endeavors.
He was a member of St. Patrick's Church. He bowled candlepin with the St. Pat's Bowling League and later with a senior citizen league both at Auburn Lanes. He was a member of both the St. Patrick's Men's Club and the Knight's of Columbus. He was also an usher at the church for many years at the 4 p.m., and 5:30 p.m., Mass on Saturdays. Dad also enjoyed planting the beautiful flowerbeds at the rectory, in front of the church and in the parking lot.
Byron and his younger brother, Jim organized the Twin City Fast Pitch Softball League in the 1950s. He played on local softball teams. He and his friend Fred Boyce created the Maine Softball Association back in the 1960s. He umpired softball games for nearly 40 years, the last one at Lewiston Jr. High School when he was 80 years old! When he wasn't umpiring, Dad was scheduling umpires for all the local games.
He was a friend with Eddie Feigner, the 'King and His Court' and his 4-man softball team who traveled the world beating 10 men teams. This team was much like basketball's globetrotters. Dad invited the team twice to play the local all-star team as a fund-raiser for different charities. He was recognized nationally for his contributions to the game of softball and the umpiring clinics he created to teach and certify aspiring umpires.
Byron was also very involved in the Disabled American Veteran's Association (DAV). Locally, Dad was a member of the DAV Emilen Hamann Chapter 11 holding all officers' positions at one time or another forming lasting friendships and raising money for the veterans. For years, Dad was the adjutant, faithfully writing the monthly chapter newsletter folding it and mailing it to over 500 members. His involvement in the local chapter led to Byron's holding both state and national positions with the DAV adding to his circle of friends.
He traveled to Washington meeting President George Bush Sr., George Mitchell, John McKernan, Olympia Snow, John Baldacci, Bill Cohen and other state, local and national leaders.
Dad also volunteered more than 9500 of hours of service at Togus Medical Center in a number of ways. He raised money that was used to meet individual patient needs. He organized special events for the Veterans like holiday parties, ice cream and pizza socials, and an annual summer carnival. Dad was also very involved with the Togus Inter-Faith Chapel, both decorating it with flowers and assisting veterans to weekly services.
When Dad needed nursing care, it was easy for us girls to admit Dad to the nursing care unit 73 at Togus. Dad was well-known and respected there because of his volunteering. The exemplary care he received every day for a year at the Togus Nursing Care Unit was a comfort for us daughters.
Byron is survived by his five daughters and their families, Anne and her husband, Roger Laplante, their daughter, Cindy and her partner, Steven Gilbert, Kevin and Lisa (Goddard) Laplante and their son, Dustin, all of Lewiston, his daughter, Cheryl and her husband, Robert Sands Jordan of Charlotte, N.C., his daughter, Beverly and her husband, Michael Derocher of Sabattus, his daughter, Diane and her husband, Bruce Clukey and their daughter, Catherine and son, Adam of Lisbon Falls, his daughter, Elaine and her husband, Leland Chateauvert and their sons, Matthew and Brian of Lewiston. Byron is also survived two cousins, Ada (Parker) Labonte and May (Parker) Burke of Lewiston; many nieces, nephews including Jane Doucette, Sandy, James Jr., and Scott Adams, Roger, George, Paul, Pauline and Anita Allen and their families and Robert Despres of Lewiston.
He was predeceased by his three sisters, Baby Adams, Margarite Higgins and Eileen Montgomery; and by his brother, James Francis Adams.
Funeral at St. Patrick's Chapel, Tuesday, 11 a.m., with committal at Mount Hope Cemetery.
A service of The Fortin Group Funeral Home and Cremation Services, Turner and Center Street, Auburn.