In memory of
Francis W. Fenton
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In memory of
Francis W. Fenton
Francis Wendell Fenton 1915 - 2015 MERCER - It is with deep, and heavy sadness that we announce the death of Francis Wendell Fenton of Mercer, who passed on May 11, at his home in the same room that he was born in July 15, 1915. He grew up on the family farm along West Sandy River Road, raising Flemish Giant Rabbits, graduated from Coburn Classical Institute, and as a young man was a member of the Civilian Conservation Corps in Greenville. His father, William, urged him to be adventurous, and he joined the Navy in 1937. He began his career as a boot camper in San Diego and served three years on the USS San Diego (CL-55) during Word War II as an engine room Machinist Mate. The San Diego was the highest decorated ship of the war and was the first U.S. Navy ship to enter Tokyo Bay in August 1945. Francis completed a rewarding 20 year naval career and retired as a Chief Petty Officer in 1957. After 15 years working maintenance for the San Diego school district, Francis returned to his roots and his home in Mercer. There he reenergized the 100 year old apple orchard and became Maine's "Apple Man," known for his 43 apple varieties, many of them unique and considered heritage. He was predeceased by his wife Dollie Lea; survived by sister Annie Fenton of Madison; daughters Linda Lea Higgins of Belgrade, Carol Fenton Gilbert and son-in-law Capt. Jim Gilbert, USN (Ret) of San Diego, Calif.; grandsons: Zak, Garret, and Aaron; and great-grandchildren: Michaelee, Trevor, Owen and Jake. A service will be held in Mercer, 11 a.m. on July 18, at the Meeting House on the hill with burial following in the churchyard. A celebration of life will be held at the family farm, Sandy River Apples, immediately afterwards. Arrangements are under the care and direction of Smart & Edwards Funeral Home, 183 Madison Ave., Skowhegan. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Double B Equine Rescue 997 West Mills Rd. Industry, Maine 04938
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