Walter R. McKeen, 87

Walter R. McKeen, 87, of Bridgton, passed away on Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2018, at the Bridgton Health Care Facility with his grandson and his longtime partner, “Ginny” at his side.

Walter was born in Bridgton on Dec. 26, 1931, son of the late, Lina and Milton McKeen Sr. He grew up, married, raised his family, attended the Bridgton United Methodist Church, and worked in the Bridgton area most of his life. He owned a camp on Bear Pond in Waterford, where he spent many summers with his family and later watched his grandchildren and great-grandchildren grow up there as well. The camp became his true family home where many memories were made. He taught the kids to swim, fish, drive the boat, build fires, and love nature.

He met his wife, Eleanor Libby, in 1953 at Bridgton Variety where she ran the soda fountain. He worked at the State Theater next door and would drop by for a Coca-Cola every night after work. They were married in June of 1954.

He had many jobs including working at a box shop in Fryeburg, in the dowel mill in Norway, but is most remembered for his many years as a butcher in the Red & White store in Bridgton. He later worked at Emery Waterhouse in Portland. His last job was providing a transport service for local doctors’ offices in the area. He was in the Army Reserves, and was a member of the Bridgton Fire Police. He was an active member of the United Methodist Church in Bridgton where he taught Sunday School and Youth Fellowship. He proudly won the title of TOPS King for New Hampshire.

He loved to travel and made his first cross-country trip with Eleanor to Texas in 1963, and later they visited family in Florida. After Eleanor passed, he partnered up with a longtime friend and neighbor, Ginny, and they traveled extensively.

He was predeceased by his wife Eleanor in 1998.

He is survived by his daughter Kathy Graffam of Kissimmee, Fla., and his stepdaughter Nancy Harriman of Falmouth; four grandchildren, Deborah Stafiej, of Phippsburg, Kimberly, McMakin, of Falmouth, Rebecca Bolduc of Morehead City, N.C., and Daniel Graffam of Vassalboro; six great-grandchildren, Christopher Voynik of Manchester, Katie Voynik of Winslow, Matthew and Gregory Bolduc of Morehead City, N.C., and Gwyneth and Ryan McMakin of Falmouth. He also leaves his brother, Milton McKeen Jr., and his partner, Virginia Hatch, both of Bridgton.

Visiting hours will be from 6 to 8 p.m., Friday, Jan. 12, at the Chandler Funeral Home, 8 Elm St., Bridgton. Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m., Saturday, January 13, at the funeral home. Words of condolence and tribute may be shared with his family and friends at www.chandlerfunerals.com

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