LEWISTON – Kenneth James Brann, 87, of Wilton, left this world on June 29, 2021 at Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston.
He arrived on Christmas Day, 1933, at the foot of Cape Cod Hill in New Sharon. A year after graduating from New Sharon High School, Kenneth joined the Air Force in 1953, and served with the 37th Fighter Interceptor Squadron, ADC, as a mechanic and crew chief. The skills he learned in the Air Force served him well for the rest of his life, first at Horn Motors and later at International Paper, Co. in Jay, where he worked as a millwright for 28 years until retiring in 1995. Ken also worked on sections of the interstate in the early 1960s, operating a shovel on jobs from Pittsfield to Houlton for Frank Rossi Construction.
Retirement did not mean Ken stopped working. He bought a backhoe and hired out to do all manner of jobs around the area and was also in demand as a handyman. He was a partner in Clearwater Properties, LLC with his son Kendall, and he constantly had at least one improvement project going on his 1830’s cape at the foot of Clearwater Lake.
Ken also spent a lot of time helping people and his community, whether it was making sure Shorey Chapel was plowed out, operating the gate at the outlet to Clearwater Lake, checking on residents’ homes when they were away for the winter, or washing endless dirty dishes left from the many batches of baked goods Frances made for various family and community events.
Speaking of Frances… they met at a gathering at Ken’s neighbor’s house in 1970 and were married for 50 years, making their home in Wilton, Industry, and then back to Wilton.
Ken had a mechanical mind and loved designing and building things to solve everyday problems. Everything from making inaccessible light switches easier to operate without rewiring to scratch-building bird feeders to thwart squirrels.
Ken liked classic country music (especially Charley Pride), driving, visiting with family and friends, loons, playing cards, taking trips with Frances, basketball, watching the spectacular sunsets from their home on Clearwater Lake and camp on Pease Pond, but what he really loved were kids, especially his kids. Sons, grandchildren, nephews, nieces; all were so important to him. After retirement he and Fran tried very hard to attend all their grandkids’ school events and special functions.
Perhaps, most important of all, Kenneth Brann was a great role model to his sons, nieces, nephews, grandchildren, and anyone who knew him for the quiet way he carried himself and strove to make the world a better place.
Kenneth is survived by his wife of 50 years, Frances Brann; his sons: Keith Brann and his wife Tami, of Auburn; Kendall Brann and his wife Joan, of Jay; his grandchildren: Maureen and Thomas Brann of Auburn, Kaleigh Hutchinson and her husband Miles, of Oxford; Kelsey Brann and her fiancé Alexandar Morrell, of Jay; and step-grandchildren Bretteney Sanders, of Portland and Casey Burhoe, of Auburn; his sister Joanne Page, of Wilton, and step-brother Ben Harnden and his wife Peggy, of Wilton; his sister-in-law Wilma LaBrie and her husband Larry, of Auburn; and brother-in-law Gilbert Durrell and his wife Connie, of Industry; his nephew Scott Wyman and his wife Gayla, of Elgin, South Carolina; nieces Sandra Wyman and her husband Timothy Krebs, of Wilton; Beth LaBrie and her husband Bill Buzza, of Auburn; Rebecca LaBrie and her partner Todd Lester, of Auburn; Lynnelle Schumacher and her husband John, of Tokyo, Japan; Jennifer Harnden and her partner Jason Krakowiak, of Kingwood, Texas; nephew Michael Harnden, of Tulsa, Oklahoma; and many great nieces and nephews.
Kenneth was predeceased by his parents, Chester and Carrie, stepfather Harland Harnden, father- and mother-in-law Clayton and Charlotte Durrell, and nephew Grant Durrell.
Memorial visitation will be held from 6-8 p.m. on Tuesday July 13, 2021 at Wiles Remembrance Center 137 Farmington Falls Rd. Farmington. A memorial service will be held at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, July 14, 2021 at the New Sharon Congregational Church, 21 Cape Cod Hill Rd., New Sharon, ME 04955, with Rev. John Gensel officiating. Donations may be made in Ken’s memory to the New Sharon Alumni Scholarship Fund, c/o Judy Taylor Ellis, 327 Swan Road, New Sharon, ME 04955. A kind word may be left in his Book of Memories at www.wilesrc.com.