William “Bill” Lyford
William “Bill” Lyford, 75
Former Eagle River resident William (Bill) Goodrich Lyford, 75, of Cumberland, Maine, died on April 30, 2012 at the Gosnell Memorial Hospital House in Scarborough, Maine, with his wife, Jean, by his side.
Bill was born in Presque Isle, Maine to Charles W. and Anna L. (Clifford) Lyford on June 5, 1936. He spent his youth in Presque Isle where he graduated from high school, going on to earn his Bachelor of Science in Education degree from Farmington State Teacher’s College in 1958. After serving time in the US Army, where he was a member of Battle Group 501, First Infantry Regiment of the 82nd Airborne Division, he returned to college. He received his Master of Education degree from Boston University in 1962.
Bill’s first teaching position was in the Consolidated Elementary School in the Town of Baldwin, Maine where he was the first male principal. He elected to move to Alaska where he spent approximately 30 years in elementary education. The sixth grade students were his favorite group, but enjoyed teaching all ages. He made such a positive impact on so many of his students, they often returned years later to thank him for changing their lives. He also was a beloved hockey and track coach during his tenure in Alaska. During his career of teaching he did return twice to Maine. One of the return trips was after the Alaska earthquake. During those times, he taught classes in South Portland and Cumberland.
During the summer months of vacation, Bill worked in Valdez on the Alyeska Pipeline and at Egegik (a fishing village whose name stands for mud flats…) by helping to run the “can shop”, among other positions. One of his proudest accomplishments was to climb Mount McKinley in June of 1974 and to stand at the top of this beautiful and majestic mountain at an altitude of 20,320 ft. While in Alaska Bill obtained his pilot license and enjoyed his flying experiences. He actually picked up playing the game of ice hockey quite unexpectedly and fell in love with the sport. He also did his share of hunting.
Bill retired from a long and successful teaching career in Alaska on his birthday, June 5, 1987. That summer he took his trip of a lifetime flying to and touring parts of Australia. Upon returning to Alaska he packed up and returned to Maine. After his return he did work for the State of Maine for about 7 years at the Maine Youth Center. He also did some substitute teaching in Cumberland and Yarmouth. After his return to Maine he continued to play hockey, especially playing with the “Portland Old Boots” for a number of years. He had a dream of playing with some of the pros which was realized when he had an opportunity to play in Montreal with Gordie Howe, Bobby Hull, Stan Makita and other well-known ice hockey legends. Bill is also a lifetime member of the National Rifle Association.
Bill was a loving husband, wonderful father, grandfather and great grandfather. He was preceded in death by his parents and his only brother, James A. Lyford. He is survived by his wife, Jean; his daughters Laurel E. Judy and husband Kent, their children Taylor and Trevor; Elizabeth A. Saunders and husband Scott, their children Aidan and Piper; his step-children Glen E. Darling and wife Vicki, their children Angela and Brice; Sonya J. (Darling) Lafortune and husband Richard and daughter Monica Weeks, as well as three step-great grandchildren. He is also survived by his sister-in-law, Mary Lyford, his nephews Timothy and Hal Lyford and their families of Presque Isle and his boyhood and longtime close friend, Alan Boone of Bangor.
Friends and family are invited to visit from 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 on Friday, June 1st from 11 a.m. to noon at Lindquist Funeral Home, One Mayberry Lane, Yarmouth where a funeral service will follow at 12 noon, Rev. Mark Rustin will officiate. Immediately following the service there will be a private burial service at Moss Side Cemetery in Cumberland. A reception will follow at the Toddy Brook Café at 965 Sligo Road, North Yarmouth. Please visit www.lindquistfuneralhome.com to view a video collage of Bill’s life and to share your condolences, memories and tributes with his family.
In lieu of flowers donations can be made in his name to:
Casco Bay Hockey Association
Attention: Scholarship Fund
PO Box 7482
Portland ME 04112
Cumberland Fire & Rescue Department
366 Tuttle Road
Cumberland Center ME 04021