William E. Tedford, 74

William “Bill” Edward Tedford, 74, died on Monday morning of July 1, 2013, in Casco.

Born on March 9, 1939, in Camden to Eleanor “Elsie” Brice Tedford of Surrey, England and Lawrence “Ted” Douglas Tedford of Brazil Lake, Nova Scotia, he was well aware of the long line of Tedfords who had come and gone since the first had immigrated to this country in 1749. He grew up during F.D.R.’s administration in a family and a Camden, which was weathering the Great Depression. His was a family, which had strong friendships and community ties, instilled a sense of civic responsibility — with humor — but above all a strong work and moral ethic.

In his youth, he sang in the Camden Men’s Choir and carried a rich singing voice throughout his life. He mowed lawns, caddied at the Camden Hills Golf Course and worked summers at the White Hall Inn until graduating from Camden-Rockport High in 1957. He then went on to attend and graduate from what was then called the Maine State Teacher’s College in Presque Isle, where he met and married his first wife, Laura Lee Raymond, with whom he had five children — Ric, Pam, Larry, Ted and Frank. For two years, he taught fifth grade at Saccarappa Elementary School in Westbrook, working summers at Riverside Golf Course in Portland, before becoming an insurance adjuster, and eventually the Maine State Fire Adjuster for Commercial Union Insurance, before retiring in 1994.

In 1970, the Tedford family moved to Bridgton. The decade that followed found him as an original member of the Lake Region District School Board (that planned, approved and built Lake Region High School); a member of the town of Bridgton Planning Board; Cub Scout master; member of the Bridgton Lions Club, working the Fourth of July Lobster Clambake and starting the ski sale; hockey and spelling bee coach. He was a jack of all trades, a few classes away from getting his master’s degree in History, gentleman farmer, Civil War buff, hunter, fisherman, ping pong player and teller of intriguing stories.

As one of his granddaughters said, he lived a big life.

In 1980 as one marriage was ending, he started a new life with Linda Staples and her sons, Andrew and Jeffery Houser. Married for three decades, they eventually found their way to Florida, escaping the rigors of the woodpile and the dreaded shoveling of Maine winter snow.

In Florida, as in Maine, he stayed true to his many decade’s long passion for bridge, and began working toward professional shuffleboard status, which he was within earshot of acquiring.

He had five grandchildren and many, many friends. He had a strong will; and rarely in 74 years, took a day off. In the morning over his usual bacon and egg breakfast, he would often ask, “What projects are you working on today?”  With regard to his parenting methods he, like John Wayne, had felt the need to “ride herd” on his pack of four sons and a tomboy. An aphoristic man, (“we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it,”) it might be said about Bill, that in the end, the mountain crossed to move him.

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