WEST PARIS — Arden L. Andrews, 75, died Saturday, Feb. 25, at Ledgeview Living Center.
He was born in West Paris, Dec. 17, 1936, the son of John W. Andrews and Louella (Palmer) Andrews. He attended local schools and graduated from West Paris High School in 1954. Upon graduation, he was employed locally at various jobs before joining the U.S. Army in 1957, and serving overseas in West Germany.
Arden married Beverly June Yates on Oct. 2, 1959, at her parents’ home on High Street in West Paris. They enjoyed 44 years together and raised three children in their hometown, mostly at their Tuelltown Road residence that they built together. Beverly passed away in 2003.
During those years, Arden was a jack-of-all-trades and a master of some. He was employed locally as a carpenter and worked on projects in Portland, in York County and even in Florida, for a brief time during his early married life. He worked throughout his life in logging and construction businesses owned by himself, his family and other individuals in the Oxford County area.
In the early 1960s, Arden began a lifelong fascination with mining in the pegmatite formations of western Maine. He supplied feldspar to Bell Minerals, and the successors of that corporation, during the twilight of the industry in West Paris. He mined mica in the early years with the Wheeler family in Bethel, and later for himself in the Albany area.
Arden also worked several years for the Plumbago Mining Co. searching for semi-precious gemstones at famous quarries throughout Oxford County. He loved the idea that each blast of dynamite revealed something never before seen by human eyes — and that it might be incredibly valuable. He proudly accepted the nickname “Hardrock” pinned upon him by the early-morning coffee crowd at the former Trap Corner Store in West Paris.
Later in life, Arden bought and sold real estate throughout Oxford County. He often improved existing structures or built new homes to increase the value of his holdings. Building pine-log vacation homes with spectacular, hill-top views was his specialty.
Old Ford pickups, small Case bucket-loaders, rustic antiques, spring wildflowers and brook trout from a roadside culvert were prized possessions for him. But any of them might be sold, traded, or given away on short notice as circumstances dictated. He was emotionally attached only to his family and close friends.
He is survived by his sister, Marilyn (Andrews) Estrada and her husband, George, of West Paris; a son, James Andrews and his wife, Claire, of Farmington; his daughter, Bethany (Andrews) Curtis and her husband, David, of Lewiston; his daughter, Jennifer Andrews of Denver, Colo.; he will also be missed by his four grandchildren, Bailey Curtis, Kyla Curtis, Grace Andrews and Benjamin Andrews.
He was predeceased by his wife, Beverly, in 2003; his three older brothers, Richard Andrews of West Paris, Howard Andrews of Cape Elizabeth and John Andrews of Sanford; and three sisters predeceased him, Miriam and Annie (as infants) and Sylvia (Andrews) King of Massachusetts and Illinois.
Online condolences may be shared with his family at www.chandlerfunerals.com.