HOPE – Kenneth E. Bailey, 62, died Tuesday, July 10, 2012, at Penobscot Bay Medical Center, Rockport, after an extended battle with cancer. Born Oct. 22, 1949, in Moncton, New Brunswick, he was the son of Archibald K. and Isabel F. Payson Bailey.
Growing up in Camden he attended local schools and graduated from Camden-Rockport High School. He served in the U.S. Army, including a tour of duty in Vietnam. On July 19, 1969, Ken married Sandra M. Thurston of Rockport. They made their home in Camden, where they raised their family, until moving to Hope in 2001. Returning from military duty, Ken was the owner/manager of Hodgman’s Footwear from 1971 to 1981. He became a master Maine guide in 1978 and operated Wilderness Ways Guide Service. Ken served as director of Camden Parks & Recreation Department, and from his original idea the U.S. National Toboggan Championships began in 1991 at Camden Snow Bowl. Ken worked 28 years for Megunticook Watershed Association, first as lake warden and then in 2004 he became the executive director/lake warden, a position he served until his death. Other areas of Ken’s dedication to his neighbors and community could be seen in his service of two terms as a member of the Camden Board of Selectmen, 12 years as a member of Camden Volunteer Fire Department and a reserve officer with Camden Police Department since 1984. He emceed the Sea Goddess Pageant at the annual Maine Lobster Festival, Rockland, for 22 years. He was a member of Camden Veteran’s Honor Roll Dedication Planning Committee and served as master of ceremonies of their 2007 dedication event. Ken received the 2008 Townsperson of the Year award from Camden-Rockport-Lincolnville Chamber of Commerce. Ken held various journalism and writing positions, bringing his knowledge, wit and humor to countless readers. Ken’s "In the Field" columns were recognized by the Main & New England Press Associations. He was managing editor of the Camden Herald, sports/outdoor editor for the Camden Herald, managing editor with Villagesoup.com and outdoor editor with VillageSoup publications. Other affiliations included being a member of West Bay Rotary Club, where he was honored as a Paul Harris Fellow; Camden-Rockport-Lincolnville and Rockland Chambers of Commerce Board of Directors; Camden Area YMCA Board of Directors; volunteer water quality monitor for 27 years; member of Maine Fish and Wildlife Advisory Council. Ken was an avid outdoorsman with a special passion for hunting and fishing, never hesitating to share his interest and vast knowledge with family and friends.
He was predeceased by his father, Archibald K. Bailey; father-in-law, Ronald E. Thurston; and a grandson, Cameron K. Ridlon. Ken is survived by his best friend and wife, Sandy of Hope; his mother, Isabel F. Bailey of Camden; his son, K. Aaron Bailey and wife, Jessica, of Brunswick; his daughter, Michelle S. Ridlon and husband, Todd, of Topsham; a brother, Robert A. Bailey and wife, Ronda, of Covington, Wash.; a niece, Jessica Bailey of Covington, Wash.; uncle and aunt, Maurice and Marjorie Payson of Rockport; five grandchildren, Madison Bailey, Gavin Bailey, Tripp Bailey, Zackary Ridlon and Griffin Ridlon; mother-in-law, Marie D. Thurston; and sisters-in-law, Karen Huntley, Diane Warner, Lisa Reichert and Rhonda Campbell.
A celebration of Ken’s life will be held 1 p.m. Wednesday, July 18, at Camden Snow Bowl with reception to after. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Ken Bailey Memorial Scholarship Fund, care of Key Bank, 141 Elm St., Camden, ME 04843. To share a memory or story with Ken’s family, please visit his online Book of Memories at