HAMPDEN — Ronald Albert Newcomb, 73, died peacefully at home surrounded by family on April 22 after an 8-year battle with Alzheimer’s disease.

He was born on March 11, 1938, in Livermore Falls. He was the son of Richard M. and Leona L. Chabot Newcomb.

After graduating from Livermore Falls High School in 1956, Ron began his life journey with a career at Livermore Shoe Co., marrying his beloved, Louise A. Boivin, in 1957, and soon thereafter had four children — three sons and a daughter.

Sitting at his bedside, listening to his kind generous heart beating during his final hours, it is easy to recall how he strived to be a professional human being, extending himself to literally hundreds of family, friends, co-workers, and strangers for seven decades. He was a gentleman and a gentle man.

In 1966, Ron and family moved to Brewer, where he began working as a shoe designer at Viner Bros. Inc. In 1982, he and Louise returned near his old stomping grounds, living in Jay and working as manager of product development at G.H. Bass Co. of Wilton. When this factory closed in 1998, he accepted a position as manager of technical services in Yarmouth. During his years in the shoe business, he traveled extensively, including visits to Europe, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, South America, Asia and many U.S. states. Ron retired in 2000, after 45 years working in the shoe business, and he and Louise moved to Hampden to be nearer to their immediate family. As a practicing Roman Catholic, he was a member of St. Rose of Lima when living in Jay and St. Matthews when in Hampden.

In his early teens, he taught himself the art of fly tying. He was notorious for handing out newly invented as well as well-known flies to friends and acquaintances. In 1986, Ron placed first in a fly tying contest, winning a custom-made bamboo rod from Partridge of England. In 2000, he placed third in the FQSA World Championship Fly Tying Contest, receiving a bronze medal, and in 2002 placed second with a silver medal. Photos and patterns of his flies appeared in multiple publications, including “Fishing Atlantic Salmon” by Joe Bates Jr. and Pamela Bates Richards; SPAWN magazine; and Fly Tyer magazine. As an avid angler, he was a great supporter and member of the Penobscot, Eddington, Veazie, Northern Penobscot, Union River and SPAWN salmon clubs. He felt it was vital to show support for each, putting together unique fly donations — taking an enormous amount of patience, agility, creativity and care.

Once retired, Ron volunteered at the Maine Council of the Atlantic Salmon Federation’s Friends of Craig Brook Hatchery museum in Orland, as well as serving on the Board of Directors. As a volunteer, he taught fly tying there, as well as at adult ed at Old Town High School, Bangor Recreation Dept., and L.L. Bean. Additionally, he volunteered as a Penobscot River Keeper, showing middle school children how to tie flies. Ron had many other hobbies and interests, such as woodworking and drawing exquisite pen and ink drawings.

Ron was a member of the Maine Archaeological Society for almost two decades, being honored to participate with the University of Maine at Farmington on digs, learning proper techniques. On an independent dig with his son Dana, they unearthed the largest 1,000-year clay vessel with the most pieces intact to date, which he donated to the Maine State Museum in Augusta, where it is on display. He learned flintknapping and demonstrated several years at the annual Native American Festival held in Bar Harbor.

Since he was a young boy, he always enjoyed fishing and hunting. In the 1960s he became a Registered Maine Guide. Although he was an excellent archer and rifleman, he had the utmost respect for wildlife, using any animal that he harvested in its entirety.

Ron is survived by his wife, Louise A. Boivin Newcomb; a son and his wife, Bruce R. and Karen Newcomb, of Orrington; twin sons, Dana R. Newcomb, of Rhode Island and Kirk R. and wife, Sarah, Newcomb of New York; daughter Jane Campbell and husband, Daniel Campbell, of Brewer; and three grandchildren, Daisy Campbell, Nicholas Newcomb and Abigail Newcomb. He is also survived by his twin brother, Donald W. Newcomb; and brother, Charles H. “Lin” and Marsha Newcomb, all of Livermore Falls.

He is predeceased by his parents; and brothers Clarence R., Earl E., and George A. Newcomb.

Messages of condolence and memories may be shared through www.hampdengilpatrick.com.

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