William “Bill” Walker

AUBURN – William “Bill” Walker, dearest husband, father, and grandfather, passed away at home on Friday, Sept. 8, 2023 after a four-year battle with lung cancer. He was 82 years old.

Bill was born May 19, 1941, in Biddeford, Maine, and he grew up in Clarks Mills, Hollis, Maine with his parents Warren and Marjorie Walker and grandparents Cecil and Blanche Clark. It was a very large home to maintain, and Bill with his four younger siblings learned how to help in keeping equipment running, paths cleared, animals fed, and the household squared away. Play came later. Those years shaped Bill’s work ethic that led to his success as a man committed to crafting, designing, fixing, and maintaining tools, engines, toys, home, and boats.

He attended the one-room schoolhouse in Clarks Mills in grades 1-8. As a 6th grader, he volunteered the janitorial duties, and early each morning he walked to school to start the fire in the wood stove. One year he wired in a floor outlet so his teacher could use the film projector and – aha! – so classmates could watch a movie on Fridays.

Ever the mechanic, Bill worked in an auto repair business during high school and college. It helped him keep his souped-up, fast, 1947 Ford coupe on the road. He also ran the planer in the L.L. Bradbury Corp. saw mill.

He graduated from Hollis High School in 1959, and attended the University of Maine, majoring in mechanical engineering. He was a member of the Alpha Tau Omega fraternity.

Bill met Carole when they were in college, and after their marriage in 1966, they moved to Arlington, Mass., as Bill was employed at Eastern Refractories Co., Inc in Belmont, Mass. His transfer to the branch office in Lewiston, in 1967 brought them back to the state and family they loved. They bought their home in Auburn, Maine. 

His work at Eastern Refractories required designing and fabricating hot and cold commercial insulation on pipe lines, duct work, kilns, and chimneys. He supervised installations in the many major pulp and paper mills in Maine. Bill retired in 2002.

He was the family meteorologist, a builder of horse barns, chicken coops, a rabbit hutch, a dog house, and a bluebird café. He spread pure Maine maple syrup on his toast every morning. College buddies introduced Bill to the joy of sailing in the ‘60’s. He sailed the Maine coast with his family on Arion, a Lawley Weekender, and more recently, on Snowbird, a Le Compte Medalist. He was a 50-year member of the United States Power Squadron where he took and taught courses. Cruising with friends, blue water sailing, crossing the Gulf Stream, plotting courses on the chart table, taking sights with his sextant, celestial navigation, helping buddies deliver their boats, encountering a whale at night when he sailed Snowbird to Lunenburg, N.S., … all that kept his heart ticking. Bill’s love of the outdoors included memorable deer hunting expeditions with clever buddies in several beautiful regions in Maine. 

Dearest Bill, dear Dad, described the sober moment in 2019 in the doctor’s office when he realized he was not immortal. A few months after that appointment, his spiritual path began. Bill and Carole enjoyed evening hours reading aloud and learning from the Bible. He loved the guidance Pastor David English provided. Pastor Steve Bascom gave Bill helpful encouragement at home and in church. Bill wanted to “know God”.

He is survived by his loving wife, Carole, who is grateful Bill could accomplish so much in the past four years. He is also survived by daughters Susan, Joanne with Brianna and Curtis, and Jill and son-in-law Eric, with Erin, Selah, and Bryce.

Bill is survived by his brother John Walker with wife Lee in Kennebunk, Maine, sister Marcia Steenstra in Rockland, Maine, and brother Charles Walker with wife Donna in Winter Garden, Florida. Bill was predeceased in 2013 by his sister, Mary Sanborn, wife of Leonard Sanborn, in Standish, Maine. He was “Uncle Bill” to ten nieces and nephews, and seventeen grand nieces and nephews.

A private family burial service will be held at the Highland Cemetery, Dayton, Maine Nov. 4, 2023. We will Celebrate Bill’s Life in the spring of 2024.

His family wishes to thank Dr. Milaim Mustafa and Dr. Daniel Rausch and the truly compassionate care teams at Central Maine Medical Center and New England Cancer Specialists.

“The Lord is my strength and my shield; in him my heart trusts, and I am helped: my heart exults, and with my song I give thanks to him.” Psalm 29:7

Arrangements are under the care of The Fortin Group Funeral Home | 217 Turner Street Auburn, ME 04210 | (207) 783-8545

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