Ellsworth “Sonny” Chipman

POLAND – Ellsworth “Sonny” Chipman, 88, passed away after a year-long illness on Jan. 8, 2022.

Born Sept 15, 1933, in Lewiston, to Merle and Georgia “Hamilton” Chipman of Poland. Sonny came from a long line of farmers dating back to the 1780s. As a boy, he helped his dad raise cows, pigs, and chickens until he graduated from Edward Little High School in the class of 1952.

Shortly after graduation, Sonny met Mary Dorr of Cumberland at a dance. He impressed her with his red curly hair and 1940 Chevy truck. They wed in 1954 and continued to go dancing on the weekends for half a century. 65 years into their marriage, Sonny and their oldest son, Ron, restored a 1940 Chevy, identical to the one Sonny had when he first met Mary.

Sonny worked for Harry Lewis Poultry Farm in New Gloucester and drove for Highway Transportation Trucking Co. in South Portland for many years. In the ’60s, he took over his family farm. He farmed just about anything he could, but strawberries were his specialty. His contribution and expansion to Chipman Farm were impressive.

Even with such a physically demanding job, Sonny still took his family skiing on the weekends, belonged to multiple associations and clubs, and rarely missed watching a Red Sox Game. He was a member of Poland Spring Preservation Society, Androscoggin Soil and Water Conversation, North American Strawberry Growers Assoc., North America Marketers Assc., South Paris Snowhoppers Snowmobile Club, and Pinetree Post Card Club of Gray.

Sonny had extensive knowledge of Maine and Poland history, serving as president of the Poland Historical Society for many years. He collected antiques and built an impressive museum on his farm. He would light up when he got the chance to show it to others. Keeping history alive was in Sonny’s blood. He fiercely respected his ancestors and cherished their stories. He devoted his life to honoring the farm they built by working to preserve their legacy through his 88th birthday.

Just as Sonny kept his ancestor’s stories alive, his family will now keep Sonny’s story alive. The story of a kind, gentle, and honorable man. He was a tough farmer with a heart of gold who was profoundly respected and greatly admired by everyone who had the pleasure of meeting him. He will be deeply missed by his family, friends, and community.

Sonny leaves his wife of 68 years, Mary; daughter, Jane Chipman, sons Ronald Chipman and Douglas Chipman; granddaughters Amy Chipman Finley, Heidi Chipman, Tomi Chipman Ricker, Alana Chipman, Marybeth Chipman Noonan, and Georgia Chipman Noonan; as well as six great-grandchildren.

He was predeceased by his father, Merle Chipman in 1971, his mother, Georgia in 1978; and sister, Dorothy Coffin in 2017.

His family would like to thank the staff of Androscoggin Home Health and Hospice. There will be a celebration of life at the family farm this summer, date and time to follow. Arrangements are under the care of the Chandler Funeral Home and Cremation Service, 26W, Dwinal St., Mechanic Falls.

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