1929 – 2014

DIXFIELD — Ralph W. Oldham, 85, of Peru, passed away unexpectedly on Thursday morning, July 24, while doing something he enjoyed — working in the great outdoors.

He was born on April 9, 1929, a son of John Ralph and Lucina (Bryant) Oldham. Growing up in Peru and Rumford, he graduated from Stephens High School in 1947. After his graduation, he drove a truck and worked in the mill at Stowell-MacGregor. He then enlisted in the U.S. Army, in which he was a paratrooper in the 187th Airborne Division, where he made countless jumps and served in the Korean Conflict.

While serving, he married Mildred Mercier in Rumford; she died in 2008.

After his discharge, he went to work for Central Maine Power Co., where he served as a first class lineman, transferring to the Augusta district, where he served in the safety department. He later transferred to the Farmington district as a line foreman.

Ralph never “retired,” having driven tractor trailers until the age of 80. He continued doing odd jobs until his death, such as driving dump trucks and working for his son-in-law delivering ambulances to new customers.

He loved ATVs and would work on trails in local towns, riding daily, even in the hours before he passed. He was known most recently as the “donut” man by his granddaughter for bringing doughnuts most every Sunday morning; she loved to see him coming with that box from Dunkin’. He lived life to the fullest and truly enjoyed just being outdoors.

He leaves his daughter, Tanya Jordan and her husband, David, of Canton; a son, Scot Oldham and his wife, Lorraine, of Peru; his “daughter,” Sharon and her husband, Bill Gates, of Peru; grandchildren, Scotty and his wife, Melissa, Alexis, Alyssa and her husband, Chris Barlow, Jarod and his wife, Jen, Allyson, Josh and his wife, Kristen, Tara and her husband, Richard Korhonen, Tyler and Riley; great-grandchildren, Kaden, Korbin, Owen, Sophia, Silas, Waylon, Ivan, Haley, Kyle, Quinn and Harper; and his special friend, Janice Hall, of Dixfield.

He was predeceased by a brother, John; and a son, Gary, on Feb 8, 1985.

Condolences and tributes may be shared with his family on his memorial wall, where a memorial video may be shared after his service at www.wilesrc.com.

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