Perry A. Munroe


LEWISTON – Perry Allen Munroe, 82, of Lewiston, passed away on New Year’s Eve, Dec. 31.

He was born July 27, 1924, in Presque Isle, the son of Enoch and Blanche (Atkinson) Munroe. He grew up on an Aroostook County potato farm during the Great Depression, attending the one-room Merritt School and later graduating from Presque Isle High School in 1942.

He continued to work on the farm until 1944, when he joined the U.S. Army during World War II. The war ended while he was on a transport ship in the middle of the Pacific, and he spent the remainder of his service as a military police officer in occupied-Japan and the Philippines.

Upon his discharge, he resumed his role as head of the potato farm. He married Galena Katherine Brown of New Brunswick, Canada in 1953, and together they managed the family business while raising a family of five children. Massive changes in the agriculture industry prompted him to change careers in 1970.

Working as a claims representative with Social Security, he spent a brief period in New Haven, Conn., before being re-assigned to the Lewiston/Auburn bureau in 1972. where he remained until his retirement in 1992. He enjoyed his work assisting retirees in obtaining their benefits and his calm and friendly manner made him perfectly suited for speaking to large groups on behalf of Social Security. He was also the media liaison, writing press releases and arranging news interviews to keep the public informed about changes in the program.

He was a member of the Lewiston/Auburn Toastmasters for many years, serving several times as president of the local chapter. Although public speaking was important in his civil service career, he maintained his club membership after retirement and rarely missed a meeting. He especially enjoyed participating in humorous speech competitions throughout New England and entertaining family and friends with stories of growing up in Maine. He also volunteered for several years with the Lewiston Library Outreach Program, reading stories to young children.

He loved spending time with his wife and extended family of children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews. The family celebrated the couple’s 50th wedding anniversary in 2003. His favorite pastimes included Sunday drives, daily walks and exercise, listening to country music and leading sing-a-longs, watching the Red Sox and Patriots on television and daily visits to Dunkin’ Donuts.

Never one to be idle, he also made deliveries part-time for Blais Flowers and assisted locally with the National Association of Retired Federal Employees. His career and volunteer efforts made him a recognized figure in the community, where he was known not only for his tall stature and crewcut, but for his kindness, humility, generosity and willingness to help anyone in need.

He is survived by his wife, Galena of Lewiston; his daughter and her husband, Judy and Bill Cartmel of Lewiston; son, Stephen, and his wife, Shelagh, of St. Albans, Vt.; daughter, Nancy, and her husband, Bob Delaney, of Yarmouth; daughter, Susan of Springvale and daughter, Kim, and her husband, Craig Davis, of Marietta, Ga.; eight grandchildren include, Natalie and Lauren Cartmel, Grady and Ceilidh Munroe, Ben, Kayla and Stewart Davis and Ashton Delaney; he is further survived by the children of his good friend, and only brother, Maynard Munroe who predeceased. They include Marcia McCullough, Mark Munroe, Bonnie Sammons and Glen Munroe.