FARMINGTON — Harland R. “Spike” Kidder, 98, of Rangeley, an avid hunter, trapper, angler, and guide, passed away peacefully on Sunday, Oct. 8, at Sandy River Center in Farmington. At the time of his death he was the oldest citizen of Rangeley and holder of the Boston Post Cane for the honor.

One of the state’s authentic outdoorsman, Spike was born on Jan. 20, 1919, to Ferne and John Kidder in Weld. He graduated from Rangeley High School in 1937 and married Hilda Stewart on Oct. 7, 1941. They were married for 52 years before she passed away in 1993. They had two sons, Stewart and James, and four grandchildren, Todd Kidder of California, Karin Dagley of Massachusetts, Andrew Kidder of Vermont, and Jeffrey Kidder of Farmington.

In his younger years, Spike hung around the Barker Hotel in Oquossoc where his father was a well-known guide. He sold minnows to guides and fishermen until he was old enough to become a guide himself. For many years he, his father, and his brother, John “Bub,” would guide during the summer and trap mink, muskrat and beaver in the winter.

In 1950 Spike became the superintendent of the Oquossoc Angling Association, the oldest private fishing club in the nation. He and his wife, Hilda, ran the camps for 39 years. He was one of the founders of Saddleback Ski Area and worked at different capacities at the mountain until the late 1980s. Spike’s love of hunting and fishing was passed on to his sons and grandchildren, to whom he enjoyed teaching the art of both. An inveterate storyteller, and always at the ready with a joke; he loved to sit and talk about his many hunting and fishing experiences. He detailed a lifetime of adventures on the water and in the woods in his book, “A Good Life in the Rangeley Lakes Area.”

A man of many interests, Spike is a past master of Kemankeag Lodge 213 A.F. & A.M. He belonged to the Kora Temple Shrine and was a member of the Krazy Cops unit.

Spike is survived by his son, Jim and his wife, Debbie of Farmington; daughter-in-law, Gail of New York; grandchildren, Todd, Karin (and her husband, Bob Dagley), Andrew (and his partner, Robin) and Jeffrey (and his wife, Karen). He is also survived by seven great-grandchildren: Skyler, Edith, Talia, Grace, Olin, Jack and Ella Bee. He leaves behind a niece, Kathryn Cook; nephew, Harland Huntoon (both of Texas); and a special nephew, Jack Kidder (and his wife, Barbara) of Saco, who shared his love of fishing and hunting.

He was predeceased by his parents, John and Ferne; his wife, Hilda; his son, Stewart (2010); his brother, John Kidder Jr. (and his wife, Dorothy); and his sister, Doris Huntoon (and her husband, Rupert).

The family wishes to extend a special thanks to the Sandy River Nursing Center staff and friends for the care and compassion that they showed him while he was a resident.

Condolences may be sent for the family at

Comments are not available on this story.

filed under: