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HOULTON – Alton Vernon Titcomb, 91, passed away peacefully July 28, 2012, after a long illness. He was born Feb. 12, 1921, in Houlton, son of Alton Crosby Titcomb and Doris Ruth Davis.

He enjoyed a childhood with memories of fishing in Dudley Brook with his best friends, Lester Thompson, Earl "Squirt" Tomilson and Gerald "Peanut" Gardner each spring, working on his grandparents farm in Littleton each summer, skating on the Meduxnekeag River during the long cold winters, and snuggling in his bunk listening to the men tell stories at the family hunting camp each fall. Vernon graduated from Houlton High School, class of 1938, where he played football and baseball. His college education was interrupted with the bombing of Pearl Harbor, at which time he promptly enlisted in the Navy. He spent most of the next four years as a gunner’s mate on the USS Bennion, a Fletcher Class destroyer, in the Pacific Theater of Operations. He endured months of heavy action, and his ship played a major role in the battle for the Philippines and Okinawa. Vernon completed his college education in 1948 with a Bachelor of Science degree in agricultural engineering from the University of Maine. He worked for a time as an industrial engineer at Pratt and Whitney Aircraft, East Hartford, Conn., but his dream was to move back to Maine and build a campground. This dream was realized in the spring of 1963, when despite extraordinary amounts of snow, Sunrise Shores, Perry, was officially opened for business. The next 25 years were happily spent building up a thriving business with loyal campers who became part of a large extended family of lifelong friendships. During the winters, "Vern" taught grades five through eight at a two-room grade school in Charlotte. He always had a great rapport with children of all ages, and found innovative ways to teach in a one-room setting while making time to play ball with his students at recess. Vernon was a kind and gentle man who loved to spend time with friends and family. He was a man of many interests who loved to hook up his fifth wheel and travel across the continent, or jump on his snowmobile at Lake Ebeemee for a hotdog roast in the woods. He was always on the spot with a helping hand and a ready smile. He had a great sense of humor and a wonderful wit. He and his wife, Athlyn, made friends wherever they traveled in life, and were comfortable with people of any age. Vernon was truly young at heart, and he will be greatly missed by all those who have had the privilege of sharing a part of his life.

Surviving Vernon are his wife of 66 years, Athlyn Walton (Simpson) of Houlton; three daughters, Ellen Askren and her husband, Bob, of Houlton, Susan Beasley and her husband, Joe, of Houlton and Rebecca Begin and her husband, Greg, of Norfolk, Mass.; one sister, Shirley Mader and her husband, John, of Boxford, Mass.; 10 grandchildren, Kristen Askren Wood, David Askren, Mark Askren, Nancy Beasley Dunn, Joe Beasley IV, Julie Beasley De Grasse, Vernon Beasley, Sarah Beasley Johnston, Jennifer Beasley Parlee and Gregory Titcomb Begin; great-grandchildren, Athlyn, Katherine and David Wood II, Barrett and Elizabeth Dunn, and Lily, Wyatt and Squire De Grasse; numerous nieces and nephews, and their children and grandchildren.

Calling hours will be held 9:30-11 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 1, at Dunn Funeral Home, 11 Park St., Houlton, with the funeral service 11 a.m. Interment will be at Littleton Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations in Vernon’s memory may be made to The Houlton Community Arts Center or Southern Aroostook Agricultural, care of Dunn Funeral Home, 11 Park St. Houlton, ME 04730. Online condolences and guest book at


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