OAKLAND -- Brian T. Danforth, 49, died Thursday, Jan. 3, 2013, at his Oakland home following a long, heart-related illness.
Brian was born in Waterville on May 23, 1963, the son of the late Calvin Danforth and Jackie Ripley, of Rockland. Brian attended Oakland schools and All United Professional Security Academy in Holly Hill, Fla.
Brian worked at Thomas College and Colby College in Waterville as an officer. He was employed by Toby Nason Detective and Security for more than 10 years, both as an officer and a private investigator. He was a security officer in Holly Hill, Fla., and Daytona Beach, Fla.
In the early to mid 1980s, he was a call firefighter with the Waterville Fire Department, serving on Engine No. 3 then on ladder No. 1. In the early 1990s, he was co-owner/operator of Strictly Pets and Strictly Birds in Waterville. He also was owner/operator of Brothers Cab in Waterville.
In the early 1980s, he was past vice president of the Kennebec Valley Jaycees, then in Waterville. He also was past president of Mid Maine REACT, a team monitoring emergency frequency 9 for local police and fire distress calls. Brian was involved with his sons in Scouting with Waterville's Pack 434, serving as den leader and Assistant 434 pack master.
Brian was a former member of the Holly Hill, Fla., American Legion, a past member of the Decker-Simmons Post American Legion in Oakland, where he served one term as vice commander in 2003-2004 and three terms as commander in 2005-2008. Brian also was a current member of the Sons of the American Legion Detachment of Maine, serving one term as child welfare chairman 2007-2008, District 9 commander covering all of Kennebec County 2006-2007, past 2nd vice commander 2007-2008, 1st vice commander 2008-2010, Finance Committee 2008-2010, state commander for two terms 2010-2011 and 2011-2012, and was a member of the Fairfield American Legion, joining in 2009.
Brian enjoyed cooking for family, friends and functions, and he loved fishing, hunting, karaoke and pulling stunts and jokes.
He raced at Unity Raceway in the 1990s and loved attending races with the love of his life, Robin. Brian's biggest disappointment was losing his dad in 2000.
Besides his father, he was predeceased by a brother, Michael. Surviving are his mom; the love of his life, Robin; three sons, Brenden Danforth, of Belgrade, Nathen Danforth, of Tucson, Ariz., and Matthew Danforth, stationed with the Navy in Virginia; a granddaughter, Mackenzie Danforth, of Arizona; six sisters; several aunts, uncles and cousins; his American Legion family in Oakland and Fairfield, the Detachment of Maine and the Department of Maine.
Brian was a committed advocate for Maine's homeless veterans. His characteristics of altruism and compassion were well known by the Homeless Veterans Networking Group, and more importantly by the homeless veterans he worked so hard to support.
His never-ending passion for helping others was an inspiration to all that knew him. In 2012 Maine was honored as he was chosen to receive the national Unsung Hero Award from the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans, Washington, D.C. His energy and determination will never be forgotten.
A funeral service to include Sons of American Legion Detachment Everlasting will be at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 9, at the Decker-Simmons Post American Legion, Church Street, Oakland. A gathering of friends for a celebration of Brian's life will follow the service. Casual attire is requested. Arrangements are by Wheeler Funeral Home and Cremation Services of Oakland, www.wheelerfh.com.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to VA Maine Homeless Veterans Program, 1 VA Center MDP135, Augusta, ME 04330.