Franklin C. McIver ’65
On the morning of Christmas Eve, Dec. 24, 2016, Franklin Cole McIver, while being embraced by his wife and children, his daughter’s spoken prayer was heard, for the clearing of the path and opening of the gates for him to peacefully go Home and enter into eternal heavenly rest. Frank was born on Jan. 11, 1943, by the shores of Moosehead Lake, Greenville, the son of William and Ethel (Cole) McIver.
He was a 1961 graduate of Greenville High School, and Maine Maritime Academy, class of 1965. As a Merchant Marine, Frank traveled on the seas to many countries with his favorite port city being Durban, South Africa. While in the Merchant Marines, he met and married his wife, Linda, also of Greenville.
Leaving the sea for land, Frank began his steam and power engineering career at Georgia Pacific in Woodland, Maine. During those years, he was able to reconnect with his extended family living in Washington County, as well as develop, what would become, life-long friendships. He had a great fondness for that part of the state; the Dennys and Machias Rivers, with a very special fondness he shared with his daughter, Katherine, for Cobscook Bay and the Bold Coast.
In 1976, Frank and his family moved to Shawmut after he had secured a position as a shift/supervisor with, at the time, Scott Paper Company. His 25 years there garnered him loyal friends and co-workers as he took on his responsibilities of writing operational and safety manuals, conducting training sessions, and becoming manager of the Recovery Department under S.D. Warren, then later becoming a consultant for SAPPI after his retirement in 2001.
Frank was well read, with an extensive library that kept him finely honed with a broad spectrum of knowledge. He greatly enjoyed the company of dear friends, Maurice and Judith, with whom he could equally exchange in conversations on a wide variety of subjects of particular interest. He also liked a lively discussion on politics with anyone willing to listen. Whether at breakfast with fellow retirees, or at the kitchen table with friend, Stephen, Frank unabashedly spoke his political sentiments.
He liked being physically active, and in earlier years, skied, played golf and racquetball, and rode his mountain bike for miles on back roads.
He enjoyed studying old maps, fine tuning his compass skills, calculating coordinates on his GPS, and sharpening his collection of Marble knives. As a grandson of a meat cutter, he had no use for a dull one. Frank took great care of his family heirloom firearms, and kept written records of their provenance. He always carried a pocket knife, Leatherman and flashlight, and kept a close eye on the weather. With is proneness for always being prepared, whenever in the woods, he always carried two compasses (and also had one back in his truck).
His passion for fly-fishing began early in his youth, which then led to building his own rods and tying his own flies. As a member of the Veazie Salmon Club, back in the day, he fished the Penobscot for Atlantic salmon, the Miramichi in N.B., Canada, and the Margaree in Nova Scotia. His favorite places to cast his line for trout were Eagle Stream and Mountain Pond, with his friend, Rick.
There were many highlights in Frank’s life, and the ones he would often mention were; reaching the summit of Mount Katahdin with his nephew, Forrest; walking the hallowed ground at Gettysburg where Joshua Chamberlain let the 20th Maine Regiment at Little Round Top; visiting the Viking settlement L’Anse aux Meadows, Newfoundland; and being invited to go sailing on the Arctic Schooner Bowdoin, then given the honor of taking the helm.
Frank’s love of Maine’s woods, her mountains, lakes, ponds, rivers, streams, and especially North brook, graced him with many opportunities for simply BEING in the great outdoors.
The camp at Upper Wilson Pond was his place for solitude and reflection; a place where he could watch the sun rise up from behind Elephant Mountain with his dog, Molly, at his side; sit under the stars with his wife to look at the moon over Blue Ridge, and listen to the coyotes off in the distance, and the calls of the loons. Camp was also a place where he could spend more time with his sister, Lanie, reminiscing about their younger days growing up together, and with her husband, Deane, with whom he had a close bond. Whenever the grandchildren were there, breaking any silence with laughter, he always took time and patience for instructing them in the ways of camp life; untangling fish lines from tree branches, taking them exploring, looking for moose, and boating down to see the eagle’s nest. He also often reminded them that where they left footprints on the beach, Native Americans once did the same. He instilled in his grandchildren a reverence for nature and the importance of preserving it. As a board member and past president of The Friends of Wilson Pond/and Association, Frank was committed to helping maintain and preserve the pristine presence of that entire area. Over the years, he had planted some 2,000 trees in the vicinity of Upper Wilson, and often checked on their growth while on his walks, marveling at the huge stand that had filled-in an unused gravel pit, which he referred to as, The Tree Farm.
“He that planteth a tree is the
servant of God;
He provideth a kindness for many generations,
And faces that he hath not
seen, shall bless him.”
Frank was a man of strong conviction, yet fair minded. He stood tall with integrity and inner strength. A man of wisdom and good advice, and a great problem solver. He could always see a solution. But, his best advice was, if at all possible, try to prevent a potential problem in the first place.
He took great pride in his Gaelic heritage, with some of his ancestors hailing from the Isle of Lewis, Scotland, and also was proud to be a 32nd degree Mason, and a Shriner. He was most proud of his three children; Melissa, Katherine, and Bill and his five grandchildren (known as the girls); Meghan, Emma, Noelle, Autumn, and Lelia. He was proud of his children’s work ethics and accomplishments, and also of the kind and caring people that they were. He delighted in the antics of the girls, took great interest in all their endeavors, achievements, and future plans; and always looked out for their well-being. Frank took to heart his role as a husband, father, and grandfather, putting his family first with unwavering dedication to always protect and provide, and to that measure, he excelled above all. As a brother, he knew clearly how deeply the connection ran with his sister, and how important that was to both of them. As the oldest within the ranks of his extended family, he was greatly respected, and the appreciation he felt for all the visits, calls, messages, cards and personal letters he received, stayed etched in his mind.
Frank had tremendous trust in his son with designating him the keeper of all that matters to this McIver Clan. He also looked forward to attending church with daughter Katherine, Paul and their family, and for the power of their daily prayers. He greatly anticipated the nourishing meals brought to him each week by his daughter, Melissa. He loved getting frequent texts from Meghan, even though he had trouble texting her back. He got a kick out of dropping dollars for Emma to catch (she always did), and teasing Noelle about her nose ring. He cherished the posters of “Remember When”, and Lelia “prayin’ on Grampy”, and kept reminding Autumn to always take TWO mints.
To sum it up, in the words of his son, “Dad was a good man.”
Frank is survived by his devoted wife, who always knew how much she was loved; his adored children, and cherished grandgirls; loved sister and brother-in-law, who were a constant source of inspiration and encouragement; admired nephew, Forrest, and dear niece, Jane and their families; several very caring cousins, his sweet “Aunt Sheila”, and highly regarded father-in-law, Adrian Morin. He was predeceased by his parents and infant son, Scott.
In the spring, Frank will be taken back to his beloved shores of Moosehead Lake to the church in the village, the Union Evangelical, for his memorial service (to be determined at a later date) with interment to follow at the Greenville Cemetery.
Arrangements under the direction and care of Dan & Scott’s Cremation & Funeral Service, 445 Waterville Road, Skowhegan, Maine 04976.