SOUTH PARIS — Franklin L. Flanders Sr., 97, of Norway passed away peacefully on Thursday, June 7, at the Maine Veterans’ Home with his family by his side.

He was born in Lewiston on Jan. 16, 1921, the son of Lloyd C. and Mabel Damon Flanders. He attended schools in the sawmill towns that they were living in at the time and received his “formal” education when he left school early and went to work in the sawmills after he completed the eighth grade. He served two years in the Philippines and Japan while in the U.S. Army. He was proud of being a World War II veteran and still proudly able to wear his uniform.

He married Florence M. Green on Aug. 31, 1940; they enjoyed 76 years of marriage before her passing in 2017. He went to work for his father in the sawmill, Lloyd C. Flanders & Son, which he took over after his father’s passing in 1954. He also worked for P.H. Chadbourne Sawmill and Schiavi Homes. While vacationing in Florida he couldn’t bring himself to “vacation” and ran into a Caterpillar dealer and ended up landing a job as a grader operator and helped build the Orlando Airport. After impressing his supervisors, he was asked to work on a secret job that ended up being Disney World.

He was a 50-plus-year member of the Odd Fellows. He enjoyed doing some blacksmith work and woodworking and often volunteered at the Oxford Fair Museum displaying his woodworking and blacksmithing work. He took great pride in being the “Mayor” of the veterans’ home.

His greatest pride was the love of his life, Flossie, and the children and grandchildren that they had together. He often would talk of “his girls” Kelly and Vicky, and then the great-grandchildren when they came along. He was trying hard to make it to his “Little Man” Cody Phillips’ graduation, passing just before, but in his heart, he knew that Cody had made it.

He is survived by his daughter, Eleanor Jean Thompson; daughter-in-law, Ellen Morse Flanders (Lou) Bernier; grandchildren Kelly Ann (Abel) Rugg, Vicky Lynn Phillips (Randall) Withee, Eric and Arthur; great-grandchildren Melinda Sue Rugg, Mariah Ellen Kimball and Cody Lee “Little Man” Phillips; step-great-grandchildren; a step-great-great-grandson, Declan Witham; honorary grandchildren and great-grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews; as well as their Pleasant Street neighbors and the many special friends that he made through the years.

A special thank-you goes out to the staff at Maine Veterans’ Home in South Paris; there are too many names to mention, he was graced with many great friendships that he made with the staff and his fellow residents. He was known for trying to make a difference in his fellow veterans’ lives, often sitting with a passing veteran who had no family and saluting these veterans on their final passing as they left the building.

He was predeceased by his parents; his wife; his two sons, Franklin L. Flanders Jr. and Frankie Lee Flanders; a grandson, Jeffrey Lee; a sister, Katherine Melvin; a brother-in-law, Frank Green; and a nephew, Ed Quinn. Online condolences may be shared with his family at www.chandlerfunerals.com.

Franklin L. Flanders Sr.

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