WILTON — Funeral services for Lt. Col. Michael J. Backus of Wilton were held at 1 p.m. Sunday, Jan.13, at the Olsen Student Center, University of Maine at Farmington, with the Rev. Dr. Douglas Allan Dunlap, chaplain, FMH; the Rev. David Smith, Pastor, First Congregation Church, UCC of Wilton; and Col. Andrew Gibson, chaplain, U.S. Army, officiating.
The pianist was Patricia Hayden. The American Legion Post No. 28, Farmington, under the direction of Post Commander Dennis Collins, honored Lt. Col. Backus by their presence at the entrance of the sanctuary space. The hymn of gathering was “When Love is Found.” The invocation was delivered by the Rev. Smith, followed by Chaplain Gibson, who recited Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 and the Rev. Smith reciting Psalm 23. The Rev. Dunlap offered John 14 and Philippians 4:4-9. Words of remembrance were given by Mike Doiron, Sen. Thomas Saviello and Maj. Gen. John Libby (Retired). Zack Kendall and Seth Wegner offered the music titled “Free.” The Rev. Dunlap offered the Prayer of Thanksgiving, and military recognitions were cited by Chaplain Gibson. The prayer of commendation was given by the Rev. Dunlap, and Siiri Stinson sang “Amazing Grace” a capella. Chaplain Gibson concluded with the benediction. Following services, a reception was hosted by the Backus family in the North Dining Hall. The military escort included the following comrades.
On Thursday, the honorable transfer from Augusta to Wilton was under the guidance of escort officer Lt. Col. Dwaine Drummond, accompanied by Sgt. 1st Class Norman Voter, Sgt. Timothy Libby, Spc. Daniel Seymour, Spc. Zacchary Mayo,; Spc. Benjamin Olson, Spc. Joseph Wenckus and Pfc. Julia Morrison.
The honor guard on Saturday’s visitation at the Wiles Remembrance Center included Sgt. 1st Class Christopher McBean, Sgt. David Chabe, Spc. Daniel Seymour and Spc. Denis Haiss.
The pallbearers for the funeral service were Sgt. 1st Class Christopher McBean, Sgt. 1st Class Norman Voter, Sgt. David Chabe, Sgt. Timothy Libby, Spc. Jeremy Szady, Spc. Daniel Seymour and Spc. Zacchary Mayo.
Spring committal services with full military honors will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, May 4, at Lakeview Cemetery, Wilton. Arrangements are in the care of the Wiles Remembrance Center and Funeral Home, 136 High St., Wilton.