FARMINGTON – Friends, family, and law enforcement officers attended a semi-private graveside service for retired Franklin County Sheriff Dennis Pike, who passed away on November 1.
Wednesday, November 15, local law enforcement conducted a funeral procession to Fairview Cemetery on High Street, where the memorial service was held. Dennis’s family attended, along with friends and community members. The Franklin County Sheriff’s Office and Farmington Police Department arranged a color guard and parade detail, which included officers from both agencies and the county sheriffs from Kennebec, Lincoln, and Waldo Counties, and retired Penobscot County Sheriff Clark.
Stan Wheeler, the chaplain for Farmington Fire and retired Communications Director at the Franklin County Regional Communication Center, led the memorial service.
“Dennis lived a life with a servant’s heart filled with compassion, kindness, and mercy for the community that he loved,” Wheeler said. “He always had a warm smile and his caring heart touched countless lives throughout Farmington and Franklin County.”
Dennis served in law enforcement for 46 years, ending his career with twelve years as the Franklin County Sheriff, from 2001 to 2012. Dennis was recognized for many accomplishments, including starting the K-9 program, starting the bike safety and inspection program at area schools, teaching D.A.R.E. at area schools, and working extensively with the Canadian Border Services Agency on increased border control after 9/11. In 2011, he was recognized by the Quebec Provincial Police for his efforts in covering the US/ Canada border crossing and overseeing operations in the area.
When not on active duty, Dennis also volunteered his time in the community. He was part of NOAA, reporting on local weather for more than 50 years. He served as a selectman for Farmington from 1998 to 2013 and was active on various town committees as well.
Carol Ouellette, Dennis’s daughter, spoke during the service. She remembers her father as ‘a Mainer, through and through.’
Dennis was born in Farmington. His wife, Sheila, who passed away in August of this year, was also from Farmington; together they made their home and raised their family here. For much of his life, Dennis lived and worked in Farmington and Franklin County.
“Franklin County was his world,” Carol said. “He cared so deeply for the community here … it seemed like he knew absolutely everyone.”
“He truly enjoyed people and serving the public,” Carol said. “He was grateful that he got to spend his whole life doing what he loved.”
Carol said that even though Dennis was somewhat of a homebody, he was known wherever they went in the state. He knew who lived in the community and remembered their stories, and would spend hours talking with people about anything. He was invested in the communities he served. “Because he cared,” Carol said. “He really cared.”
Towards the end of the service, Franklin County Sheriff Scott Nichols presented a folded American flag to Dennis’s son, Major Mike Pike with the Somerset County Sheriff’s Office.
Jim Ouellette, Carol’s husband, said that Dennis wanted a quiet graveside ceremony, but with all the outpouring of love that the family received, recognizing his impact in the community, they could not say no to the memorial service.
“Today is the best of both worlds,” Jim said.
Carol remembers her father saying, in the past few years, “You know, I’ve lived a good long life, longer than I really thought I would, and I got to do what I really enjoyed doing: being an officer. And if I had to do it over again, I wouldn’t change a thing.”