LeRoy Richard Bickford, 84: Remembered for his laugh, sense of humor

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PORTLAND — LeRoy Richard “Dick” Bickford, 84, died Dec. 20 with his family by his side.

He was born in Portland on Oct. 13, 1927, the son of Percy Haley Bickford and Bernice L. Cotton. He grew up in Portland and attended Portland schools, leaving Portland High School during World War II and proudly serving in the U.S. Navy Seabees for five years.

When he returned to Portland, he went back to Portland High School and graduated in 1949. It was there that he met the love of his life, Patricia, and they were married on July 1, 1950. He also continued to serve with the Seabees for 47 years, retiring as a chief petty officer.

For 13 years, Bickford worked for the Portland Water District and later owned and operated Baston’s Garage in Falmouth until his retirement. Not wanting to sit around after he retired, he went to work for Wholesale Tire Company.

Throughout his life, Bickford enjoyed fishing and hunting as well as spending time with his family and friends at their camp on Crystal Lake. His family and friends will remember and sorely miss his sense of humor and laughter.

Bickford was predeceased by his parents.

He is survived by his wife of 61 years, Patricia; children Eric P. Bickford and his wife Theresa  of Windham, Joan B. Barkley and her husband David of Jonestown, Pa., Kirk R. Bickford of Duram, and Beth B. Gustafson and her husband Richard of Westbrook; brothers Eugene Bickford of Arkansas, Robert K. Bickford of Raymond, and Peter H. Bickford and his wife Carol of South Portland; sister Elizabeth J. Small and her husband Cornelius of Westbrook; seven grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.

The family wishes to thank VNA and Gosnell Memorial Hospice House for their incredible kindness and warmth.

Visiting hours will be held on Dec. 24 at Independent Death Care, 660 Brighton Ave., Portland. A private burial at Brooklawn Cemetery in Portland will take place at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to either North Deering Congregational Church, 1364 Washington Ave., Portland, ME 04103 or Gosnell Memorial Hospice House, 11 Hunnewell Road, Scarborough, ME 04074.