Leroy Daniel Day

WOODSTOCK – “Roy” Day was a good man, a mighty good man!

Roy was born and raised on the shores of North Pond in Woodstock, Maine, on June 24, 1916. He was the son of Ernest and Lura Swett Day (cousin of L.L. Bean) joining sisters, Daisy Martin LeClair and Diana Martin Forsyth, brother, Robert was born three years later.

He had fond memories of the “summer people” next door at Dudley Inn. He recalled as a very young child, catching frogs for bait, fishing with the guests and reading for hours at the inn’s library – forming the base of two of his grand passions – FISHING and READING.

In his teens, 20s and beyond, Roy enjoyed entertaining friends and neighbors in the nearby communities by playing his guitar and reciting poetry at length.

Roy was also a fisherman, hunter, an accomplished pianist, carpenter, cabinet maker, mason and millwright, working at the local Ecko Woodworking plant in nearby Locke Mills until his retirement. He had forgotten more than most people would ever learn.

A quiet unassuming man, it was surprising to hear of his escapades riding motorcycles with his friends, Lee Billings and Bud Low, during the late ’30s and early ’40s.

Roy joined the Army at the beginning of World War II. As a member of the Army Corp of Engineers, Roy was based at Dutch Harbor, Alaska, during the Japanese Invasion. He and his comrades climbed a 1000-foot cliff in the dark to confront the enemy. They found the camp had been abandoned. Recently, family found pictures taken and letters he had written home during his stint in Alaska. Roy recalled shipping out “halfway round the world” to the Philippines where he joined the engineers to build roads to help combat the invasion force.

He came home to become a proud lifelong member of various organizations including the American Legion Jefferson Lodge and the Grange.

In 1947, he married a hometown girl, Lois Hathaway. His family grew rapidly as children, George William, John Clinton, Amy Ellen, and Mary Elizabeth filled the house he built “over the hill” from his childhood home. The kids had great childhoods, playing in the rivers and brooks all over the state of Maine while dad was fishing, fishing, fishing.

A book could be written about his fishing adventures and his meticulous recording of every fish taken. He took his last trip at the age of 101, driving the back roads and climbing down the bank to one of his favorite fishing holes.

After retiring at 75, Roy built a house next door for daughter Amy. A few years later, he built daughter Mary’s home. He declared that he was done building, having built many others in his long life.

Also at 75, his wife declared that they were going to learn ballroom dancing. “Why? I’ve already got my woman!” They went on to join sister and brother-in-law, John and Althea Hathaway, square dancing across Maine and New Hampshire. The same year, Mom took a trip to Hawaii with sister Alice and husband Ken McInnis. He stated, “Only old people go to Hawaii.” At 80, he decided it would be okay. John, Althea, Roy and Lois became world travelers – Mexico, Canada, 16 countries in Europe, as well as too many trips in the USA to count. White water rafting in his 80’s on the Snake River, dancing on a Mississippi steamboat, Nashville, Hawaii, Alaska twice, to name a few.

Roy kept busy in his spare time (when not fishing, traveling, or reading) hand scything acres of fields on his beloved Buck Pasture, cutting brush anywhere he thought necessary and at one time, running across his home field to cut one blade of grass he had missed.

After giving up driving at 102, he spent his days reading, doing puzzles, recalling events of his long past, reliving his fishing and hunting adventures from his many journals, watching baseball games, and wearing his “chocolate” well! He was very content with his cat in his lap and his first dog in a “hundred years” entertaining him.

He was predeceased by his wife of 72 years, Lois, sons, George and John, sisters, Daisy and Diana, and little brother, Robert.

He is survived by daughters, Amy, Mary, daughter-in-law, Susan, nine grandchildren, 11 great-grandchildren, sisters-in-law, Alice McInnis, Althea Hathaway, Joyce Hathaway, and many many nieces and nephews.

There will be a celebration of Life on his 105th birthday on June 24 at his home on Bird Hill. All are welcome to come and share your stories.


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