Winston G. Edwards
1908 – 2010

WINTHROP — Winston Gerard Edwards, 101, of Farmington and Winthrop, died Jan. 18, at the Heritage Rehabilitation and Living Center.

He was born Nov. 2, 1908, in Madison, the son of Albion K.P. Edwards and Sadie (Smith) Edwards. He grew up on his parent’s farm on New Portland Hill, East New Portland. He attended a one-room schoolhouse and graduated from Central High School in North New Portland at the age of 16.

While he was still working for his father on the farm, he and his brother, Marshall suffered from polio and their devoted mother nursed them back to health. He taught himself to trap. Money from his furs was a big help with farm expenses and he bought a good rifle and the first automobile in the family, both of which were assets on the farm.

During the Great Depression, he worked at numerous jobs including lumbering, working on a river drive, peeling cedar posts and dredging sand for a gravel company. He also worked at Small’s Store in Farmington, where among other duties he loaded Narrow Gage Railroad cars headed for Strong and beyond. One winter he drove the beloved country doctor, Eugene Hutchins, to and from his house calls during the day or night in all kinds of weather.

On Aug. 6, 1932, he married the doctor’s niece, Theona Emily Hutchins. Not long after they moved to Farmington, he went to work at the Maine Dowel Co. The owners soon realized he was a man of true Yankee ingenuity, good at working with both machines and people and an honest, hard worker. He retired after 40 years of invaluable service as foreman of the mill crew and the machine shop.

He and Theona bought 135 acres of land in Vienna and cleared the land to raise wild blueberries, providing extra income for many in the area. They were also very successful gardeners, a practice he continued into his late 90s. During the war, they tended a large Victory Garden, always preserving and sharing the bounty of their harvest.

he was a devoted family man, a good neighbor and friend…a “gentleman’s gentleman.” He was an active life member of the Maine Masonic Lodge, AF and AM of Farmington, was an avid reader, enjoyed playing bridge, tying flies and skiing.

After they began to ski, he and Theona enjoyed volunteering at Titcomb Ski Slope. He became one of the directors and many a bitter cold night he could be found with freezing hands splicing the broken rope of the rope tow. He didn’t wait for daylight. Folks would need the tow in the morning.

He was a true Maine outdoors man, never happier than when he was tramping the woods following a deer track or riding the back roads hunting partridge. In fishing season, he never tired of casting a dry fly he tied to entice the evasive trout. He loved dogs, especially Weimaraners; they were treated as family. A favorite pastime was going for rides on familiar back roads, often taking friends who could no longer drive.

He was a wonderful grandfather. “Gramp” taught his grandchildren by example, the value of hard work at an early age and always doing your best. For great-grandchildren, he was a treasured window into the history of the past 100 years in rural Maine.

He and Theona were blessed to have had 70 years together before she passed away on Dec. 1, 2002. Their marriage set a fine example for all. He will be greatly missed by his family and others who knew and loved him.

He is survived by his loving daughter, Priscilla E. Small and her husband, Alden G. Small, of Winthrop; three grandchildren, Galen Gene Small and Christy Joanne Foster of North Monmouth, Scott Alden Small and his wife, Jenny (Misner) Small, of Augusta and Heidi (Small) McNinch and her husband, Robert, of Old Orchard Beach; six great-grandchildren, Laura Lynn Small of Baldwinsville, N.Y., Mark Alden Small of Washington, D.C., Steven Edward Small of Hamden, Conn., Cassidy Rose Small and Thomas Winston Small, of North Monmouth and Anthony Mark Crossman of Old Orchard Beach; his sister, Edith (Edwards) McLeery of Farmington; stepbrother-in-law, Carryl Heath of Jacksonville, Fla.; and many beloved nieces, nephews and cousins.

He was predeceased by his loving wife, Theona (Hutchins) Edwards;
brothers, Marshall and Merton Edwards; sisters, Mildred Davis and Alma
Churchill; sisters-in-law, Evelyn Edwards and Ida Edwards;
brothers-in-law, Archie Davis and Robert McLeery, and Merton and Leslie Hutchins and their wives, Mildred and Mable; and a
stepsister, Nathalie Wilber Heath. 

The family of Winston Edwards would like to thank all of the staff at the Heritage Rehabilitation and Living Center in Winthrop for their loving and quality care.

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