Robert D. Waterman Sr.

MONMOUTH – Robert D. Waterman, Sr., 93, of Monmouth passed away peacefully at home on Tuesday, March 21, 2023, with his loving family by his side after a brief battle with pancreatic cancer.

He was born in Gardiner on June 21, 1929, the first son of Lola (Mitchell) and Erland Waterman. During the Great Depression Robert lost his father at 9 years old. He, his younger brother Donald, and a long-time employee, Frank Hinkley, helped their mother sustain their dairy farm. A hard-working farm lad, Robert was a brilliant student, skipping three grades in grammar school and graduating from Lewiston High School in 1945 at 15 years old. He continued his education at the University of Maine, graduating in 1949 with a bachelor’s degree in Animal Husbandry at the age of 19. At UMO he met a host of GIs returning from WWII, including Otto Wallingford of Auburn, his lifelong friend.

Upon graduation his mother passed the responsibility of managing and growing the family farm to him. He transitioned into Registered Holsteins and was involved with Soil Conservation and numerous farm organizations. He was a proud member of the State, New England, and National Holstein Associations. In 1955 he built a state-of-the-art dairy barn. He later enjoyed trips to Registered Holstein sales, particularly with Duane Conant and Pete Zacharias. Bill Briggs influenced a purchase into the “Cherry” family, which became the foundation of the herd from then on. The herd gained recognition as one of the top 200 in the USA!

In 1956 his brother, Donald, had completed college and Marine Corps obligations, so he returned to co-found Waterman Farm Machinery with Robert. They played Town Team baseball together in the late ’50s; a highlight of playing for Litchfield was when they beat the Auburn Asas 3-2!

In 1955 he married Nancy (Maher) Waterman and by 1963 they had five children together: four boys and one girl. The kids all worked for the family business and were active in sports. Robert and Nancy divorced in 1980 and she died in 1989. He married Betsy (Gadue) Waterman in 1982 and they enjoyed life together until her passing in 2000.

As an avid fisherman, hunter, and outdoorsman he loved time at his camp on Little Kennebago Lake. His buddies, Otto, Doc Gardner and Oscar Hahnel, Dave Sanborn, and his family enjoyed activities with him there. He enjoyed attending his kids’ sporting events and his best athletic feat was a hole-in-one at the age of 87!

At work his maturing responsibilities transitioned from the farm to Waterman Farm Machinery, where he was the parts manager and co-owner from 1956-1999. He enjoyed working with his brother Don, children, and nephews in the family business. After 50 years of dedicated service, he retired in 1999 at the age of 70.

He met Esther Lowell in 2005 through his daughter and they married in 2012. Robert and Esther enjoyed retirement together visiting family, relaxing at Kennebago, and wintering in Northport, Fla. The family is grateful for Ether’s love and care for him. Though he’ll be greatly missed, his love of family, generosity, hard work ethic, and passion for the outdoors will be remembered.

He is survived by his wife, Esther Lowell of Monmouth; sons Robert, Jr. and Nora of Auburn, Peter and Vicki of Sabattus, William and Sarah of Boothbay, Marty and Mary of Hyde Park, Vt., and daughter, Paula Rousseau and Mick of Lewiston; brother, Donald and Evelyn of Wales; nephews David Waterman and Carol, Tom and Julie Waterman, Jim and Jen Waterman, and niece, Donna and Troy Douglass; 12 grandchildren; and several great-grandchildren.

He was predeceased by his parents; and a grandson.

Messages of condolences may be sent to the family at

A celebration of life and committal is being planned later this spring at Pleasant Hill Cemetery, Pleasant Hill Road, Sabattus. Visitation will be from 1-5 p.m. on Saturday, March 25, at Bragdon-Finley Funeral Home, 707 Main St., Monmouth.

In lieu of flowers, donations are welcomed in Robert’s memory for the

Rangeley Heritage Trust,

2424 Main St.,

Rangeley, ME 04970;

American Cancer Society,

P.O. Box 6704,

Hagerstown, MD 21741; or

Androscoggin Home Health Care and Hospice,

15 Strawberry Ave.,

Lewiston, ME 04240

Robert D. Waterman Sr.

Comments are no longer available on this story