CHARLESTON – My Father, Thomas J. Popham, passed away Feb. 8, 2013, at the Maine Veterans Home, Bangor. He lived at his beloved Red Farm home for 63 years as a resident of Charleston. Dad was born March 19, 1924, in Hodgdon, the son of Thomas L. and Murial Williams Popham.
My Dad was educated in the schools of Hodgdon and a 1941 graduate of Houlton High School. He attended Higgins Classical Institute and graduated from the U.S. Maritime Service Officers School, Fort Trumbull, New London, Conn. My Father was commissioned an ensign upon graduation and later promoted to lieutenant. He received his engineering license in both steam and diesel unlimited horsepower. During World War II, he sailed with the U.S. Merchant Marines on Liberty and Victory ships, C3 tankers and troop ships, seeing considerable action. Dad received the Atlantic, Mediterranean and the Pacific War Zone Bars for his loyalty and dedication to his country and freedom. Following service to his country, my Father moved back to Charleston, where he built a dairy comprised of registered Ayshire cattle and later, with his parents, he operated a successful truck farming business. The Red Farm offered fresh produce to local folks as well as the Boston Market, during which time Dad drove truck for Triangle Produce of Hamden. A 50-year member of Olive Branch Lodge of Masons in Charleston and a member of Anah Temple Shrine, Dad also served as town selectman, first director of SAD 68, was instrumental in the formation of Charleston Fire Department and served on the board of directors of Higgins Classical Institute.
My Father was predeceased by his wife, Arline Lord Popham, in 2000. He is survived by one daughter; Wendy Popham Valenzuela of Corinth; three grandsons, Michael Valenzuela of Truckee, Calif., Seth Strout and wife, Erichka, of Glenburn and Tristan Strout and girlfriend, Erica Lyford, of Brownville; stepdaughters, Linda Lord Lugdon and husband, Ernie, Sharon Lord Patterson and husband, Ed, and Carolyn Lord Huntley and husband, Richard; and stepsons, Hardy Lord, David Lord and wife, Mary, and Lawrence Lord and wife, Jody.
A spring interment with a Masonic service will be held at Corinthian Cemetery, Corinth. Date and time will be announced. Those who wish to remember my Father may offer gifts to Charleston Volunteer Fire Department, care of Charleston Fire Department, P.O. Box 30, Charleston, ME 04422.