Robert V. Waes

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Robert Van Waes, 86, died after a long illness on July 12, 2010 in Scottsdale, Ariz., where he had made his home since 2007, moving with his wife, Barbara, from New Harbor.

He was born on July 29, 1923, to Philip and Grace (Green) Van Waes in Kewanee, Ill. He was a veteran of WWII, enlisting in the Navy a month after Pearl Harbor. He served as a signalman aboard the battleship USS New Mexico. He received his bachelor's degree from Tufts University in Medford, Mass. and his master's degree from Columbia University in New York City. As an educator and organizer throughout his lifetime, he taught American History and Political Science at Monmouth College in New Jersey, and later worked for the American Association of University Professors in Washington, D.C. until his retirement to Bridgton.

Always involved in education, he taught a popular course in American History entitled, "Roosevelt and Hitler, the great protagonists" for Senior College in Brunswick. Active in community affairs and Democratic politics, he twice ran and was twice defeated for a seat in the state legislature. A voracious reader and writer, he authored various publications, the last of which was a weekly humor column for the Lincoln County News in Damariscotta. These columns became the source of his book, Maine Folks and Maine Ways, which he also illustrated.

While living in Bridgton, he served on many boards, including Good Neighbors, Western Maine Counseling, the Bridgton Public Library, and was a director of community relations and development for Northern Cumberland Hospital.

After moving to New Harbor, he was a most active and ardent supporter of the Friends of Colonial Pemaquid. A life member, he served as secretary, president and fundraiser.

He married first Lois Larson Van Waes (deceased), and second, Barbara S. Hamlin Van Waes, who survives him. He leaves three children by his first wife, Willow Femmechild of Portland, Rebecca Redwing Wilderbrook of Fryeburg and Dr. Carter Van Waes of Brookesville, Md.; six grandchildren; stepsons Jeffrey Dover of Scottsdale, Ariz., Kent Dover off Sanbornton, N.H. and Mark Dover of Prairie Village, Kan.; seven step-grandchildren; and five step-great-grandchildren.

A brother, Jackie, and an adopted brother, Brother Bernard Van Waes, predeceased him.

An informal Celebration of Life will be held in New Harbor on Saturday, Sept. 11, 2010 at 2 p.m. in the Willing Workers Hall on Route 130. Friends are invited to attend.

In lieu of flowers, contributions in Bob's memory may be made, if desired, to: Friends of Colonial Pemaquid, P.O. Box 304, New Harbor, ME 04554.

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