MAPLETON, Maine — Mr. John Y. Edgecomb, second son born to Wilbur “Satch” and Margaret (Cliff) Edgecomb, surrendered to the forces of cancer on Nov. 1, 2012. During his 66 year lifetime he wore many hats, beginning in Presque Isle where he was born on July 22, 1946. The first hats were the cowboy hats he wore copying the heroes of his youth while he rode his horse, Thunder, through the wilds of Hillside Street, Conant Road and Mantle Lake with his cousins. John attended Presque Isle High School graduating in 1965 and then received an Associate Degree in Mechanical Engineering from Wentworth Technical Institute. His next hat was the “pot” of the U.S. Army where he served in Vietnam. Upon returning home he returned to school, graduating and wearing the mortar board of the University of Maine at Presque Isle in 1971. In 1973 he married Lyn Griffin, no hat required.
John’s work hats were varied…a hard hat working for Scovil Building, no hat while at E.C. Jordan, Cutchin Steel Buildings, and Northern Maine Development Commission, a pencil behind the ear while teaching drafting at Northern Maine Technical College and many hats of much variety while community development director for the City of Presque Isle for fourteen years and town manager for Mapleton, Chapman, and Castle Hill for 15 years. Some of his proudest accomplishments during these work years were overseeing the construction of the Presque Isle Forum building, the birth of the Aroostook Centre Mall, creation of the Presque Isle Landfill, and acquisition of the rail bed for a bike/walking path for the city of Presque Isle. While guiding Mapleton, Chapman, and Castle Hill he took pride in the cooperation between the three towns and the extensive work on comprehensive planning that allowed a boom in home construction in the area. As work commanded one set of hats, his personal life provided another set. When children arrived and grew he wore the baseball cap of a number of little league teams he coached, helmets as he traveled the trails and not-so-trails on his snowmobile, a hot pink hat for water-skiing, warm florescent orange hats for his favorite season and sport of hunting in the beautiful woods around Portage Lake. His more serious side was with hat removed as he attended the Presque Isle Congregational Church where he served as a trustee, and worked in the Range Rider program through the Maine Municipal Association.
Of all his hats, three were definite favorites — his captain’s hat for piloting his many boats, his Town of Portage Lake hat where he served a short stint as town manager and the happiest days of his life were spent with family, past and present, and his “Grampa Buck” hat as that was the position he most enjoyed. He was “Buck” to son Dan and Jenn’s little girls, Samantha and Olivia, son Jake and Lucinda’s Logan, and daughter Julie and Jarrad Clark’s, Grady. He will be missed greatly by his wife of 39 years, Lyn, his children and grandchildren, his brother Fred and wife Pat Edgecomb of Kure Beach, sister Nancy Edgecomb of Presque Isle, the children of his deceased sister Judy; Bill Akeley, David and Laura Akeley, Margo (Akeley) and Geoff Dyer, and Becky (Akeley) and Peter Jurovich, their children, and numerous other in-laws, out-laws, cousins, and friends.
A memorial service was held on Saturday, Nov. 3, at 2 p.m. at the Presque Isle Congregational Church with a reception following in the fellowship hall. In lieu of flowers, those who wish may send donations to Aroostook House of Comfort, PO Box 867, Presque Isle, or the Presque Isle Congregational Church, PO Box 1787, Presque Isle.
Our hats are off to you, John, for a life well-lived. Online condolences may be expressed at www.duncan-graves.com.