Lorimer J. Trafton ’43-2
GARDINER, MAINE—On Monday, December 14,2020, our dearly loved father and grandfather Doc Trafton, 96, passed away peacefully at his last home, the Balsam House, in Readfield, Maine. Doc was the first of three sons born to Lorimer Joseph and Josephine (Smith) Trafton on May 14, 1924, and resided in West Gardiner. Upon graduation from Gardiner High School in June 1942, he attended Maine Maritime Academy in Castine, Maine. He graduated as Midshipman on October 30, 1943, and was immediately assigned to the frigate SS Exiria out of New York to help in the war effort in both the Atlantic and Pacific was zones. This included shipping supplies to our troops as well as transporting prisoners of war back to the United States. After numerous assignments, he was promoted to Chief Officer aboard the Stanley R. Fisher out of Charleston S. Carolina. In May 1946, he was honorably discharged and offered an instructor’s position at Maine Maritime, but instead he decided to return home to West Gardiner.
On July 9, 1946, Doc married Phyllis Drake in Gardiner where they spent the next 67 years together until her passing in 2014. With the help of several friends and relatives, he built his first home on the Lewiston Road in West Gardiner. While there, he and Phyllis had two sons Lorimer “Skip” and Gary. After twelve years, they moved to Central Street in Gardiner where they raised their sons and created many happy memories.
Doc worked most of his career for several local and national meatpacking companies. He initially drove a paddle truck and through hard work and many hours worked his way up to Sales Manager for Joseph Kirschner Provisions. After leaving Kirschner, he went to work for Colonial Provisions out of Boston where he was in charge of the state of Maine. He retired in 1988, upon which time he took on a new career, one which he thoroughly enjoyed and which became his true calling. He loved turning distressed homes into homes that would be enjoyed by new families. He also owned and maintained several apartment buildings.
A very special part of his life was the annual family vacation to Pemaquid. Many a happy summer day was spent boating along the coast, viewing beautiful sunsets during “happy hour,” nightly family gatherings for dinner, lobster dinners, donuts from Reilly’s store, golfing at Wawenoch Golf Club, and of course playing many cribbage games, which he seldom lost! Getting together with his brother- and sister-in-law, Carl and Kaye Toothaker was also a special part of his Pemaquid memories.
In his leisure time, Doc was an avid Red Sox and New England Patriots fan. He also played semi-pro football for the local Legion Cadets. He was a member of the Gardiner Bowling League at Lucky Strike Lanes. Golfing with friends, hunting with his sons and “Uncle Vic,” skiing, and camping with family and friends were also high on his list of favorites. Most of all, he loved boating. Whether it was “down river,” along the coast, or on one of the local lakes, it really didn’t matter.
Later in life, he and Phyllis, along with family and friends the Nasons, went to all the fall soccer games coached by their son Gary, never missing a game. For several years he had the extra pleasure of watching his two granddaughters, Dana and Ali, compete. During this time Doc also became a member of the “men’s breakfast group” who met at McDonalds in Gardiner every morning. There they would discuss politics, Gardiner Football and many other “worldly” topics.
Doc was predeceased by his parents, his wife Phyllis, and his brother Frederick Trafton. Surviving are his children, Lorimer “Skip” J. Trafton, III, and his wife Sherry; Gary D. Trafton and his wife Faye; grandchildren Joseph Trafton and partner Kaia Kallweit, Emilee Trafton Conrad and husband Greg and great-grandson Palmer; Dana Trafton Bosse and husband Brad and great granddaughter Bentley; and Ali Trafton Cobb and husband Mike. He is also survived by his brother William “Jack” Trafton and wife Kathy of Boothbay, Maine.
The family would like to thank all the hardworking, caring owners and staff of the Balsam House in Readfield where Doc lived comfortably the past three years. It was truly a “home away from home.”
At this time, there will be no services. A celebration of life will be held in the summer with family and friends when hopefully the threat of COVID is under control.
A spring graveside service will be held at Oak Grove Cemetery in Gardiner.