WATERFORD — The Town Office was quiet Tuesday as officials and others mourned the loss of longtime Code Enforcement Officer Bill Haynes, who died unexpectedly Sunday. He was 70.

William “Bill” Haynes  Submitted photo

“His warmth and charm filled a room as much as his broad 6-foot, 6-inch stature did,” Selectman John Bell wrote in an email Tuesday. “He was involved socially and civically with so many people and organizations in the area that his loss has created a void that cannot be filled.”

Bell called Haynes a “walking encyclopedia of everyone and everything Waterford.”

Haynes, informally known as the Mayor of Waterford, was everywhere, he said.

“He had 10 jobs,” Deputy Clerk Betty Becker said.

At the town office, he was known as the code enforcement officer and cemetery superintendent. A longtime firefighter, Haynes was assistant chief of the Waterford Volunteer Fire Department. He coached basketball, helped merge the Bear Mountain Library with the Waterford Library and was active in the Historical Society. He was a big presence in a small town.

“I used to call him Mr. Waterford,” Becker said. “He always had somebody’s phone number. He’d say, ‘let me look on my phone,’ and by god, he’d have the phone number. He had ways of finding things, and we couldn’t figure out how he did it.”

Born in Bridgton but brought up in Waterford, Haynes graduated from Oxford Hills High School in 1967 and was a varsity basketball player. He attended the University of Maine in Orono, where he earned a degree in journalism. After graduation, he had a nearly two-decade career in newspapers, working as a managing editor for the Advertiser Democrat and a reporter and photographer for the Portland Press Herald.

According to longtime friend and Oxford Code Enforcement Officer Joelle Corey-Whitman, Haynes was a dedicated, knowledgeable code enforcement officer. She said she’d often bounce ideas back and forth with him.

“When you kind of sort of think you know a subject like that, you can broach it with another code enforcement office just to see ‘am I on the right track?’ He really was one of the best people I’ve ever known,” Corey-Whitman said.

According to Becker, Haynes was a ‘fixer’ who’d drop everything to help.

“Our town clerk and myself, we’re not the best at computers,” she said. “Every time we’d come up with a problem,” they would say, “‘Let’s just wait for Bill to come in,’ or ‘let’s just call Bill.’ He was always ready to help us. He was kind of our right arm.

“It’s been very difficult,” Becker.

“Even if we wasn’t having hours here if we needed him, he’d say, ‘I’ll be up in a little while,'” Becker said. “He had a cellphone that was for the CEO . . . he took calls all the time.”

Becker said the Town Office on Valley Road was quiet Tuesday, partly because of Haynes’ huge presence, but mostly because she and the entire town had lost a dear friend.

“He was one of the best friends anyone could ask for,” Becker said. memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday at the Waterford Firehouse on 366 Valley Road.


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.

filed under: