Malcolm "Max" Folsom

Obituary of Malcolm "Max" R. Folsom

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Greenville – Malcolm R. Folsom (Max), 68, passed away September 19, 2023, at Northern Light CA Dean Hospital surrounded by his loving family.  He was born July 24, 1955, in Greenville, the son of Richard B. and Laura M. (Given) Folsom. Max Folsom was in every essence a true bush pilot. He lived and breathed aviation and was “all but born with wings.” He grew up in the De Havilland Beaver floatplane and “from a young age was flying around the country with his father and mentor Richard “Dick” Folsom.” He admired his bush flying mentors and came of age flying behind legendary bush pilot Charlie Coe and learned so much from both his father and Charlie. He was quoted as saying “I flew behind Charlie’s plane for three years before I could keep up with him. He knew all the landmarks. A lot of times I turned around, mad as hell, because I didn’t dare to go where he was going.” However, Max was determined and excelled in the field of aviation both in the air and on the ground as a master mechanic. He worked hard from a young age to achieve his ratings and his accomplishments are many. He officially soloed on his 16th birthday in a land plane, floatplane, and a helicopter! However, there may have been some “unofficial solos” with his brother Rodney at the young ages of 13-15. He went on to receive his private pilot’s license at 17, and due to the age stipulation, waited until his 18th birthday to get his Commercial Certificate. On July 27th, 1982, at the age of 27 he attained his Certified Flight Instructor (CFI), Certified Flight Instructor for Instruments(CFII), and Multi-engine Instructor (MEI) certificates in one day! He was the first to do so. He also completed his ATP, multi-engine sea, and rotorcraft ratings and was type-rated in many complex aircraft including Cessna Citations, the DC-3 which he flew on amphibian floats, and several other jet ratings. He attained his A &P mechanics license at a young age as well. He could fix anything and like a true bush pilot spent a lot of time fixing planes in interesting locations, including floating down the West Branch of the Penobscot River! A day’s work could have him hopping from floatplanes, to twin engines, helicopters, and jets. He accumulated tens of thousands of hours in his lifetime but always said that he enjoyed float flying most. His father once said about Max, “The bigger the load, the worse the weather, the more that boy likes to fly.” Max once stated that “his first flight in the DC-3 Amphib was the most exciting experience I’ve ever had in aviation.” He was the mastermind behind the DC-3 on floats and helped to make the one of a kind aircraft a reality along with his father and partners. He once flew the Folsom’s famous De Havilland Beaver(N1537V) on straight floats 6000 miles to and from Angel Falls, Venezuela for a Camel Cigarette Ad (boy are there some stories) and believe it or not he’s a member of the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) for his work on the movie Sweet Home Alabama.  In his later years Max enjoyed many hours of flight instruction and put a lot of folks in the left seat throughout his lifetime. He spent extensive hours in the hangar overhauling engines and rebuilding airplanes. He loved planning and flying high arctic adventures with his friends. When he wasn't working Max enjoyed spending time into Wilson Pond with his family. He took over the role of caretaker after Uncle Max “Unc” passed away and was always there when his family needed him. Most importantly, Max had a big heart. To his family and friends, he was the most dependable person we have ever known. He was generous, determined, optimistic, good-natured, and selfless in life and work, always worrying about everyone else.  He was a hard worker and he loved his work. He always finished the job. He didn’t have to say a lot, he led by example, and if you were around him you learned to fly, to fix, and so much more. He was so brave, and his family is so proud and in awe of him. In addition to his loving wife, Judy (Ryder) Folsom, Max is survived by his daughter, Sarah Yates and her husband, David, and their children, Arthur and Mabel; daughter, Kimberly Folsom and her partner, Chris Leclerc, and their son, Christian; son, Richard Folsom and his wife, Valaree, and their children, Chloe and Adelia; three brothers, Rodney Folsom and his wife, Vanessa, James Folsom and his wife, Diane, and Roscoe Schroeder; three sisters, Linda McEachern and her husband, Hugh, Ann Hansen and her husband, Fred, and Helen Smeaton; brother-in-law, Willis “Mickey” Lakeman Jr.; and several nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his parents, and his sister, Ellen Lakeman. Max’s talents could have taken him anywhere in the world. Like his father and uncle, he was proud to be from Greenville and cherished his family’s long history in the Moosehead Lake region. In lieu of flowers donations can be made in his name to The Moosehead Historical Society and Museums, P.O. Box 1116, Greenville, ME 04441. A special thanks to the family and friends who kept him flying and helped him finish his hangar projects the last few months. You know who you are. Much love. A private family gathering will be held in early October at Wilson Pond to reflect and honor his wishes. An epic celebration of life in the tradition of a good old Folsom’s Air Service hangar party, will be held the weekend after his birthday, July 27th, 2024. We wish to invite Max’s close friends and family from near and far to attend, share memories, and have a good time.  Inquiries can be sent to his daughter Sarah at Arrangements are in the care of the Lary Funeral Home. Messages of condolence and memories may be expressed at
A Memorial Tree was planted for Malcolm "Max"
We are deeply sorry for your loss ~ the staff at Lary Funeral Home-Dover-Foxcroft
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Malcolm "Max" Folsom

In Loving Memory

Malcolm "Max" Folsom

1955 - 2023

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