FAIRFIELD -- Bernard E. Bean, 83, died in Waterville on Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2012, with loving family members at his side and in the gentle presence of his wife of 60 years, Vivian.
Born in Bingham on May 8, 1929, he was a son of Iral and Florice (Merrill) Bean. He attended the Lincoln School in Caratunk and Bingham High School in Bingham before joining the Navy in 1948, where he received his General Educational Development diploma.
He attended the Navy's Airman School in Memphis, Tenn., from July 19, 1948, to Sept. 10, 1948, graduating as an aircraft engine mechanic. He served proudly on the aircraft carrier USS Cabot for two years and 11 months, serving during the Korean War until his discharge on Jan. 14, 1952, as a petty officer 3rd class. He enjoyed reminiscing about his Navy experiences for the rest of his life.
After leaving the Navy, he began working on the Indian Pond Dam project in February 1952, surveying the bounds of the lake that would be created with the completion of the dam. He joined the dam construction crew that year as an electrician's apprentice, and went on to become a journeyman electrician. He remained in the construction industry for all his working life, progressing into various positions as foreman up through electrical superintendent. He worked on construction jobs all through the Northeast and Southeast until his retirement as a manager of construction for the Wade and Searway company in 1994. He respected and earned the respect of workers at numerous job sites across the eastern United States.
Bernard was a devoted husband, who even in the confusion of the stroke that took him from his Fairfield home for the last time, had to make sure to give Vivian a kiss before being driven to the hospital. Family always came first, and whether you knew him as Bunny, Beanie, Bernie, Mr. Bean or Dad, he was a friend you could turn to when you needed help with no questions asked. He valued his large family and the many friends he made during and after his long working career. He enjoyed playing golf, and in his retirement years worked as a ranger at Natanis Golf Course in Vassalboro. He was a lifelong Red Sox fan, and he also enjoyed hunting, fishing and Patriots football.
He was married on Oct. 11, 1952, to Vivian Gail Moore, who survives. Other survivors include three daughters, Cheryl Bean-Moody and her husband, Barry Moody, of Waterville, Lisa Fairbanks and her husband, Terry, of Winslow, and Kim Laney, of Augusta; three sons, Barry and his wife, Sandy, of Cornville, Merrill and his wife, Lesa, of Oakland, and Bernard II and his wife, Lori, of Clinton; 13 grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren; his late brother Eldon's daughter, Debbie (Bean) Fowler, of Portland; numerous cousins, of whom one was like a sister, Joan (Morris) LeBroke, of Norway; six dear brothers- and sisters-in-law; and many nieces and nephews.
He liked to converse several times a week with a close lifelong friend, Ken Andrews, of Bingham.
He was predeceased by his parents; his brothers, Bertrand, who lived only a few short years, and Eldon, who served with him on the Cabot; and a sister, infant girl Bean.
The family would like to send special thanks to his trusted physician of many years, Dr. David Preston and his staff, with whom he consulted frequently, to the staff at Mount St. Joseph, where he stayed before his last admission at MaineGeneral in Waterville, to the staff on the second floor of Thayer Unit who showed Dad such tender care in his final weeks, and an extra special thank-you to two angels on that floor, Carol and Sherri.
Dad. He dreams, he plans, he struggles,
That we might have the best . . .
His sacrifice is quiet,
His life is love expressed.
A graveside memorial service will be observed at Union Cemetery in Moscow at an as yet undetermined date.
Arrangements are under the care and guidance of Giberson Funeral Home and Cremation Services.