Barry Esler
Barry Esler

Obituary of Barry T. Esler

Albion - Barry Thompson Esler, 87, passed away peacefully at home surrounded by family on January 30, 2024. Barry was born on March 9, 1936, to Cleo (Thompson) Esler and Davis Esler, and was the first baby born in Mayo Memorial Hospital the year it opened in Dover-Foxcroft. Barry graduated from Foxcroft Academy in 1954, and immediately enlisted in the U.S. Navy. He served as a sonarman for three years, traveling around the world. He received an early, honorable discharge due to hardship in December of 1957, to assist his mother with the care of his three younger siblings and his stepfather, who had been diagnosed with leukemia. He met Betty (Crocker) Esler, the love of his life and wife of 65 years, in August of 1958. They wed just 2 ½ months later, on October 17th. He then joined the Warden’s force and went on to study at the Higgins Classical Institute in Charleston, Maine. At his graduation, he was teased for being the only dad in the group. He and Betty went on to build their first house with the help of her brother, Melvin, and settled in Garland to raise their family. Barry worked as a diesel electrician for several railroads including CP Railroad, Bangor & Aroostook, Maine Central, and Alaska Railroad. In 1984, he and Betty settled in Albion as their final home. Barry retired from Springfield Terminal in Waterville, after 28 years of service, in 1995. He and Betty enjoyed wintering in Florida for 14 years. He leaves behind a lifetime of cherished memories and endearing stories. Known for his deep voice, low drawl, and an unconventional sense of humor, he made fast friends wherever he roamed. He was a man of many interests and hobbies including fishing, hunting, trapping with lifelong friend Bob Martin, running his Alaska Malamute sled dog team, snowmobiling, kayaking and boating, and even flying his Aeronca Champ airplane. He loved Harleys and continued to ride well into his mid-80’s alongside his son and grandson. He and Betty also toured the White Mountains in New Hampshire on their motorcycles. Barry fully enjoyed spending time with his children; from canoe racing with his son Jason, to running and skiing with his daughter Lori. He liked cutting wood lots with his son, Eddie, at the camp he built in Amity. He was proud of the log cabin he built with his two boys with just a chain saw, an axe, and a work horse. He was also immensely proud of helping to raise his grandson, Shawn, and teaching him how to hunt and fish. He instilled in all his children a love for the outdoors. In his downtime Barry enjoyed gardening, spending time at camp on Sebec Lake, quiet evenings at home with family, suppers and card games with Aubrey and Doreen Mallett, reading the Bible, and also reading hundreds of western novels. On any given day, he could be seen outside sitting in the sunshine or, while in Florida, riding his recumbent bike. Barry will be forever remembered by his wife, Betty; his children, Jason Thompson Esler and wife Sharie of Albion, Lori Esler Wing of Waterville, and Eddie Chambers and Christine of Linneus; his grandson, Shawn Esler and his wife Amanda, and their children, Orianna and Gavin; his sisters, Debbie (Hill) Gray of Bangor, Kathy (Hill) Ames and her husband Russell of Brewer; his brother, Norman Hill and his wife Linda of Bucksport; his niece, Stacia (Mason) Fredericks, her husband Thomas, and their son, Mason; and nieces, Heather (Thomas) LeClair, her children Harper and Hudson, and Sierra (Thomas) Archer. He will be missed by his faithful canine companion, Chief, who remained at his side until the end. He was predeceased by his parents, Cleo Elizabeth (Thompson) and Davis Gilman Esler; his maternal grandparents who helped raise him, Hazel Eusse (Moore) and J. Lester Thompson; his stepfather, Norman Hill; his paternal grandparents, Florence Harriet (Padham) and Hugh Hatch Esler; brother-in-law, Melvin Crocker of Florida; father- and mother-in-law, Merle and Ruth Crocker of Dexter; his nephew, Adam Thomas; and his foster daughter, Judy Chambers of Texas. The family wishes to thank the team from Beacon Hospice Care who helped Barry spend his final days at home. Arrangements are in the care of the Lary Funeral Home in Dover-Foxcroft. Barry did not want a formal service. Instead, his final request was that his ashes be spread up to camp at Sebec Lake and in one of his favorite spots in the woods near his home, where he will forever be at peace. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in his name to the Albion Fire Association and sent to the Albion Town Office at 22 Main Street, Albion, ME 04910.
A Memorial Tree was planted for Barry
We are deeply sorry for your loss ~ the staff at Lary Funeral Home-Dover-Foxcroft
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