BELGRADE LAKES — Heaven was blessed in the early-morning hours of Wednesday, March 21, with the readmittance of a self-taught chef, builder, craftsman and woodworker extraordinaire who used his God-given talents to make this world a better place than when he first arrived on March 10, 1952.

Kurt Allan Rosell, 66, “middle child” and son of the late Harry Olaf and Ernestine (Knight) Rosell was a Maine boy — born in Biddeford and raised in Saco. His strong work ethic began when he was a young boy, working many long hours at the arcades with his siblings at the Pier at Old Orchard Beach until Mother Nature claimed the pier in a September storm. In his free time, he loved the thrill of catching the perfect wave on his surfboard in the middle of the winter.

Those who knew and loved him would tease him and suggest that he was true to his ancestry — a strong-willed (stubborn), square-headed Swede. There were many ways to approach a project, but one could depend upon his impeccable research and thoughtful deliberation for optimum results, whether it was problem-solving in the workplace or the completion of his “honey-do” list(s).

He was a 1970 graduate of Thornton Academy and enrolled in the animal medical technology course at the University of Maine at Orono with the hope of becoming a veterinarian. For a variety of reasons, when life seems to trip you while you are standing still (financial consideration and worries over being No. 360 in the draft for the Vietnam War, to name a few), he graduated with an associate degree and switched gears from having a stellar reputation as a straight-A microbiology and chemistry student, to working with his hands.

He learned the art of Chinese cooking in the greater Augusta area and was employed by area builders, working with crews building new homes in and around Winthrop, Gardiner and Augusta. He lived on Lake Shore Drive (Tall Pines) in Readfield and proudly converted an efficient seasonal fishing camp into a year-round home, complete with raised-bed organic gardens and was just a short walk to either wet a line in Maranacook Lake or jump on his ice-fishing sled in the winter months.

From a career perspective, Kurt saw an opportunity in the communication field, and with the guidance of paternal mentors, heeded their advice and worked his way up, beginning as a lineman for Community Telephone in Winthrop. He later was employed by Norm Taylor in Brewer, Northstar Communications, Central Maine Communications and retired in December 2017 as a sales engineer and project manager for Oxford Networks, Lewiston. A diagnosis of stage 4 cancer shared with him in a telephone conversation on the 3rd of July did not dissuade him from seeking quality medical care at Maine Medical, The Lahey Clinic, Dana-Farber, Southern Maine Cancer Center, the Alfond Center and MaineGeneral; nor did it distract him from continuing his home improvement projects.

He and his family will forever be grateful to the quality nursing staff on 2 West at MaineGeneral where he was a patient for 15 days. They remain grateful to the palliative care team, under the thoughtful leadership of Dr. Robert Dohner, who was very willing to think “outside of the box,” encouraging the team of MaineGeneral Hospice to do the same, while considering the myriad end-of-life care options for individuals and their families, never looking at the patient as a number, but rather, as a whole person. Though his family may have pushed for the possibilities of coloring outside of the lines, those most committed to working from a place of heart rose to the challenge and hopefully, in return, experienced a personal and professional growth that will accompany them in their future work with others, and also as they personally consider their own mortality and personal family choices. It was a difficult task to be in the position of receiving from others, but Kurt and his family will always be grateful to those who reached outside themselves to honor his requests for confidentiality and silence; for those who called, visited, saw a need and rose to the challenge of offering help, from shoveling roofs and furnace vents to going the extra mile to make the pilgrimage to his home, to offering home-cooked meals, care packages in the mail, cards, notes, flowers and the simple, beautiful gift of simply offering him your unique gift of presence, his precious present.

Kurt was not a “joiner” of organizations, but rather was engaged in living humbly, honestly and within his personal means. He took seriously the role of being a parent and serving his son and all children as a role model for life’s simplest and yet seemingly most difficult task, that of following “The Golden Rule.” He expected no more of others than he did of himself. And he would consider it an honor if those who survive him might find something positive that you choose to commit yourself to doing to make this world a kinder, gentler place and, most especially, to make the difference in the life of a child. If you feel comfortable, his family would appreciate reading your personal vows. Their grief journey will involve compiling these self-proclaimed “gifts” as tribute to his life, well-lived.

God blessed him with the grace of a quick wit and sense of humor.

He and his wife, Rhonda Ann Wiles-Rosell, of Belgrade Lakes, formerly of Farmington, felt they were blessed with an imperfect marriage, and their joy was revealed in the result of diligence that is required to truly celebrate the differences, similarities and the uniqueness of being in a loving relationship with a best friend. They will always be the proud parents of a son, Adam Emery Wiles-Rosell, of Portland.

Kurt is survived by an older brother, Karl Rosell, and his partner, Patricia Rodrigue Cunningham, of Manchester; and a sister, Elin Rosell-Raff, and her partner, J. Terry Christopher, of Wappingers Falls, N.Y.; his mother-in-law, Roma Lou Kent Wiles, of Farmington; brother-in-law, Kent Wiles, and his wife, Suzie Boyce Wiles, of Farmington; sister-in-law, Susan Harris Rosell, of Winthrop; several nieces, nephews, grandnieces, grandnephews, cousins and friends, whom he thought of as family (you know who you are). He was predeceased by his folks, an older brother, Eric Rosell; his father-in-law, Gerry Wiles; and his bluetick hound, Daisey; and springer spaniel, Luke.

His family asks that you consider sharing your life journey stories on his memorial wall at www.wilesrc.com.

Kurt Allan Rosell

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