William E. Traver II, 93

William E. Traver II

William E. Traver II

TOPSHAM — William “Bill” E. Traver II, 93, died peacefully on Friday morning, June 14, at his home in Topsham.

He lived many happy, vigorous and productive years at the center of a large and loving family of six children and 17 grandchildren.

Bill was born in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., on April 4, 1920, the son of Clarence H. “Doc” Traver and Margaret Madden Traver. He grew up in Wellesley Hills, Mass., graduated from Amherst College, Class of 1942, and served in the U.S. Coast Guard during the war years. In 1946, Bill began teaching at Governor’s Academy in South Byfield, Mass., and in 1950 married Belle Hart, his beloved wife and partner of 63 years.

In 1952, Bill joined Citizens Bank in Providence, R.I., where he had a long and successful career, rising to senior vice president of Investments before retiring at age 65 in 1985. During these years, Bill and Belle lived in Barrington, R.I., where they raised their family.

An avid competitor throughout his life, Bill passed on his love of tennis, golf, skiing and all outdoor pursuits to his children and grandchildren. He skied on the Amherst College ski team in the 1930s and his first date with his wife-to-be was spent spring skiing on Mt. Washington. In the mid-sixties, Bill and Belle bought land in Sweden, and built a small second home there. Escaping to Maine for weekends of skiing at Pleasant Mountain (now Shawnee Peak) was his passion. During the summers, Bill and the family planted several thousand Christmas trees, repaired stonewalls and improved the fields and forest. Over the years, they made many friends in Sweden.

They retired to Sweden in 1986 and became active members of the growing congregation of St. Peter’s Episcopal Church. Bill served on the committee that found and acquired the land where the new St. Peter’s Church now stands.  Bill joined the Sweden Planning Board, and was a member and board member for many years of the Small Woodlot Owners Association of Maine, where he contributed his time, considerable energy and brainpower to land stewardship and conservation in southwestern Maine.

Well into his 90s, you could find Bill cutting new trails through the woods in Sweden, cross-country skiing on winter afternoons and even hitting the slopes at Shawnee Peak. In the summer, he was almost never without a rake or a pair of pruning shears in hand.

In his later years, Bill moved with Belle to North Bridgton, where he was a founding shareholder of the Bridgton Highlands golf club. For the last eight years, they have enjoyed living at the Highlands retirement community in Topsham, being part of the Grace Church congregation in Bath, and continuing their active, engaged lives surrounded by many friends.

Surviving are his wife, Belle Hart Traver of Topsham; their six children, Ann Swardlick of Portland, Terry Traver of Westerly, R.I., Timothy Traver of Taftsville, Vt., Sarah Ellis of Campbell, Calif., Peter Traver of Hollis, N.H. and Belle McDougall of Waterbury, Vt.; 17 grandchildren; and his brother, David M. Traver of Knoxville, Tenn.

A memorial service was held on Tuesday, June 18 at 10:30 a.m. at Grace Episcopal Church, 1100 Washington Street, Bath. Interment was in the Church’s Memorial Garden immediately following the service.

Memorial donations may be made to Children’s Literacy Foundation (CLiF), 1536 Loomis Hill Rd., Waterbury Center, VT  05677.

Arrangements are by Stetson’s Funeral Home, 12 Federal Street, Brunswick, where memorial condolences may be expressed at stetsonsfuneralhome.com

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