CARIBOU and FORT FAIRFIELD – Walter S. Ireland, 95, husband of the late Thelma (McGarrigle) Ireland, passed away peacefully Friday afternoon, July 27, 2012, at a Caribou nursing facility, after a brief illness. He was born May 23, 1917, at home on West Limestone Road, Fort Fairfield, the son of Coleman and Alta (Jamison) Ireland.
Walter attended Fort Fairfield schools and was a graduate of Fort Fairfield High School, class of 1935, where he was a member of Future Farmers of America and Fort Fairfield High School Ski Jumping Team. He started farming in 1935 and purchased the farm from his father in 1943. Walter was married to Thelma McGarrigle June 20, 1940, and served on Fort Fairfield Town Council for six years in the 1970s, two years as chairman. He also served three years on the F.M.H.A. Committee and was chairman of Agway Growers Group for one year. Mr. Ireland was a member of Gray Memorial United Methodist Church, Caribou, was a lifelong hunter and fisherman, and loved snowmobiling and cross-country skiing. He and Thelma were longtime members of Honey Bears Square Dancing Club. Walter was very devoted to his family and greatly enjoyed the frequent Ireland family get-togethers and reunions. He and his cookie jars will be greatly missed by his entire family.
In addition to his parents, Walter was predeceased by his beloved wife of 63 years, Thelma, March 1, 2003; two brothers, Carl and Winston Ireland; and five sisters, Audrey Brochu, Marian Ireland, Ruth Langley, Glenis Hale and Helen Lister. He is survived by two sons and daughters-in-law, Roger and Barbara Ireland of Sherman, Conn., and Richard and Sharon Ireland of Fort Fairfield; six grandchildren, Todd Ireland of Fort Fairfield, Kelly Frick and her husband, James, of Kailua, Hawaii, Troy Ireland and his wife, Eleni, of Gilbert, Ariz., Matthew Ireland and his wife, Malani, of Princeton Junction, N.J., Heather Sinclair and her husband, Todd, of New Gloucester and Jennifer Ireland of Palm Desert, Calif.; 13 great-grandchildren, Devin and Kendra Ireland, James, Sarah and Hannah Frick, Kieran and Mira Ireland, Collin, Bryce and Kinder Skilling, Will and Jasper Alwine, and Michael Sinclair; numerous nieces and nephews who were very dear to him; as well as his very good friend, Leila Robertson of Caribou.
Friends may call 7-9 p.m. Tuesday, July 31, at Giberson-Dorsey Funeral Home, 144 Main St., Fort Fairfield, where the funeral service will be conducted 11 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 1, with Pastor Ellen Cleaves officiating. Interment will be held after the service at Riverside Cemetery, Fort Fairfield. A time of continued fellowship with refreshments will be held after the interment service at Veterans of Foreign Wars Paul Lockhart Post No. 6187, Presque Isle Street, Fort Fairfield. In lieu of flowers, those who wish may contribute in memory of Walter to Gray Memorial United Methodist Church, 2 Prospect St., Caribou, ME 04736 or the charity or organization of one’s choice. Envelopes will be available at the funeral home.