John Kezal’s son, Steve Kezal, and his wife, Susan, of Portland stand by a plaque unveiled Friday after a ceremony naming the Rumford bandstand The John Kezal Bandstand. Bruce Farrin/Rumford Falls Times

RUMFORD — More than 20 people gathered on Veterans Day to dedicate the town bandstand to the late John Kezal.

“I don’t know if there’s anyone else in our community who put in the time and the service that Mr. Kezal has,” Town Manager Stacy Carter said. “This is a long time coming. We should have done three years ago, but a pandemic kind of got in the way, and John’s failing health didn’t allow for it to happen. But on this glorious day, we get to do it today.”

Carter said the bandstand was built several years ago in Veterans Memorial Park at the end of Congress Street.

“When the committee decided whose name to honor for naming the bandstand, he said it was an easy decision to name it after John Kezal,” said Carter.

Kezal, a U.S. Coast Guard veteran, died at age 90 on Oct. 23, 2021.

A distinguished community leader, he was Rumford Citizen of the Year in 2012, a member of Maine’s Baseball Hall of Fame, president of the Pine Tree Bowling League for 51 years, served on the town’s Finance Committee and the school board, and served with the American Legion for 67 years.


Kezal also served as the liaison with the Maine Veterans Home for over two decades and was a board of directors member.

“Not only did John do things well, but did them for a very long time,” Carter said. “There’s not many people out there that have the commitment to do things for that amount of time and do it as well as John has done.”

Carter noted that Kezal was “a great citizen and a great service member, but we’re honoring him here in Veterans Park because of his love of country, and dedication to those at the American Legion and the Maine Veterans Home. He did everything with all of his heart.

“It’s fitting that such a remarkable man has his name on this bandstand in our glorious Veterans Park.”

John Kezal’s son, Steve Kezal, said, “I understood what Rumford meant to my father. But now, after today, I see what John Kezal meant to the town of Rumford.

“We miss him a great deal. The photos that I found going through the collection of my mother and father … it’s been a tremendous ride to try to go through all this.”

Regarding the ceremony, Steve Kezal said his father “would be very honored and say ‘wow.’ He would just love this event.”


Mitzi Sequoia shares a heartfelt speech Friday about the late John Kezal during a ceremony naming the Rumford bandstand The John Kezal Bandstand. Bruce Farrin/Rumford Falls Times

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