Brian E. Bachelder, 75

SOUTH PORTLAND — Brian E. Bachelder, 75, passed away peacefully at Mercy Hospital on Saturday, March 18, 2017, after a period of declining health.

Born in Lewiston, on May 27, 1941, to Harvey L. and Ellen (Richards) Bachelder, Brian attended South Portland schools and was a graduate of South Portland High School, Class of 1959. He attended the University of Maine in Portland and proudly served in the U.S. Air Force. On Aug. 30, 1969, Brian married Cynthia L. Hanscom.

Before and after his military service, Brian worked in the family businesses of Bachelder’s Cities Service gas station on Broadway and then Realty Oil Company, Inc. He helped expand the oil company to include heating and plumbing installations and subsequently formed a home construction business, Bachelder Brothers and Chipman, which built homes throughout southern Maine.

In 1990 Brian purchased Portland Speed, a high performance auto parts business where he shared his vast knowledge and experience of auto racing until his retirement in 2014.

Brian’s passion was cars, NHRA drag racing in particular. Owning several cars over the years, he raced with his brother, Bruce, and their crew at many tracks across the country and into Canada. His racing career was recognized and honored with his induction into the Maine Motorsports Hall of Fame in 2011 and into the New England Hot Rod Hall of Fame in 2012.

In retirement, Brian and Cindy enjoyed winters in Florida and, when at home, daily trips to Bug Light Park in South Portland where he enjoyed his coffee, most especially in the warm sunshine.

Brian was predeceased by his parents; his sister; Barbara Bachelder Chipman; and his niece, Melissa Chipman Vaillancourt.

Brian is lovingly survived by his wife of 47 years, Cynthia (Hanscom) Bachelder; his brother, Bruce and his wife Barbara, of Indianapolis, Ind.; and his sister, the Rev. Elizabeth J. Bachelder Smith and her husband Verne, of Lisbon Falls, Maine. He is also survived by his brothers-in-law, George Hanscom, Eric Hanscom and his wife Diane, Jeffrey Hanscom and his wife Winona, and Daniel Chipman; as well as nieces and nephews, Brian Scott Bachelder, Bethany Bachelder Allspaw and her husband David, Brenda S. Chipman, Matthew T. Drost and his girlfriend Julie Gallup, Aaron J. Drost, Angela and Amy Hanscom, Curt Hanscom and his wife Leah, Belinda Vandecker and her husband Ryan, Jennifer Smith and her husband Jared, and Jeffrey Lee Hanscom; in addition to special friends, Jimmy and Diane Brown.

Brian’s family wishes to express its sincere gratitude to the Critical Care Unit staff at Mercy Hospital. Your care of our loved one was exemplary and we will forever remember the compassion and kindness you showed each of us.

A graveside service will be held at 1:00 p.m., on Friday, May 19, 2017, at Brooklawn Memorial Park in Portland. In lieu of flowers, those who wish may donate in Brian’s memory to the Iris Network, a nonprofit agency which serves the visually-impaired. Their address is 189 Park Avenue, Portland, ME 04102.

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