Ken MacFawn

RUMFORD — Ken MacFawn is being remembered as the driving force to save the original town meeting house in Rumford Center, as well as his love for his community.

Members of the community are grieving the loss of the 79-year-old resident who died April 24 at his home on Andover Road.

For more than two decades, MacFawn was chairman of the Rumford Center Village Improvement Society, a group raising money to restore the 1828 Rumford Center Meeting House, the first town hall.

“We are reeling,” society member Linda Russell said. “Ken was the heart of this project, no question. His are big shoes to fill, but we have doubled down on our commitment. As a tribute to Ken, who really put the project in high gear, we all need to work harder to get it done.”

She said, “Ken was Johnny on the spot, worked hard, inspired others to work harder and was absolutely committed to restoring the Meeting House to its former structural glory, and also its use as a community center. He talked with love about Christmas parties there where he played Santa.”

She said MacFawn’s joy was infectious.


“When we lost the vote in Rumford for the town to front ($650,000) for the Meeting House, Ken focused on the 300-plus citizens that voted for the project: ‘If we have that many, more will follow.’”

She said MacFawn was a Renaissance man, knowing something about everything, and he was able to address any problem that arose or know someone to call.

“When the Meeting House stage curtains were unveiled, he was in awe of their beauty, and when the conservator needed something to roll them on to protect them, he and David Kimball went to their barns and found a carpet tube and a big PVC pipe, perfect!”

Russell said MacFawn was a leader of the rarest type these days. “He saw it as a good thing to bring people together that had varying backgrounds, skills and philosophies because he knew that was the best way to save the Meeting House, to save anything really, to build community.”

She noted, “He also made sure we were all thanked… lawyers do not often get thanked, but after we signed the 99-year lease with the town, Ken made a sign congratulating me for that accomplishment. I have never felt more appreciated.”

Russell said their membership totals 80 people and they have raised $80,000 this year in grants, donations and fundraising efforts, like the annual yard sale coming up on June 8-9 and wreath making, demonstrating the wider community support.


MacFawn worked as manager of the Rumford Falls Power Co. and at the time of his retirement was the utilities and maintenance manager at Mead Paper. He held his master electrician license and after he retired, worked as a self-employed electrician in the community until the day he died.

He was a member of the board of directors of the Greater Rumford Community Center, was very active at Black Mountain of Maine ski area, and was chairman of the Rumford Planning Board.

Richard Coulombe, town code enforcement officer, worked with MacFawn during his nearly two decades serving on the Planning Board.

“Ken loved his community and the history behind it, Coulombe said. “He cared very deeply about it and wanted the best for it and the people that called Rumford home and wanted to see it to continue to grow,” he said.

Coulombe said, “As Planning Board chairman, Ken would listen to whoever was presenting a project and got all the information he could to be totally informed so he could vote to approve a project or require more information before he would give a decision. He listened to both sides whether for or against something and give an informed decision, in the best interest of the town.”

Visiting hours will be held from 3-7 p.m. Friday at the Meader & Son Funeral Home, 3 Franklin St. A celebration of life will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday, June 15, at 195 Andover Road.

Those who desire, may contribute to the Rumford Center Village Improvement Society, P.O. Box 361, Rumford, ME 04276, in his memory. Friends and family are invited to share memories of Ken with his family at

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