Keith B. Bartlett, Sr., a lifelong resident of Bethel passed away during the evening of Dec. 21, 2010 after an extended fight against lung cancer. Keith loved the outdoors and found some of his happiest moments in life fishing, hunting and watching his children and grandchildren play sports and enjoy their lives.
He was fortunate enough, and very proud, to be married to his true love and his best friend Suzanne in Oct. 16, 1960. Together they shared many, many hours on their boat on the lakes of and off the coast of Maine. He was quick witted and always had a funny story to tell, a twinkle in his eye and a way about him that helped others to see, appreciate and live on the lighter side life.
He was born in East Bethel in 1937 and attended Gould Academy before enlisting in the United States Navy to serve his country in the Korean War. During his eight years in the Navy, he saw service on the USS Midway, the USS Luzon, the USS AJAX, and the USS Black. By the age of 17, he had sailed around the world while being stationed in ports in Honolulu, Hawaii, Newport, R.I., and San Diego, Calif., and Chelsea, Mass.
He earned many medals, among them: the Naval Good Conduct Medal, the China Service Medal, the Secretary of the Navy Commendation of Achievement Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Korean Service Medal, and the United Nations Medal. Additionally, his Ribbons of Commendation included; Korean Presidential Unit Citation, the Navy Presidential Unit Citation, the Vietnam Presidential Unit Citation, the Overseas Service Ribbon, the Navy Battle Efficiency Ribbon and the Navy Unit Commendation Ribbon.
Soon after his honourable discharge from the Navy, Keith and his partner Suzanne started a painting contracting company in Bethel. After many years in business and having established a reputation for exceptional work, Keith retired to focus on building a hunting cabin on family land in East Bethel. He poured nearly all of his time and energy into creating a special place on the mountain and he loved having his friends and family there with him.
Keith is survived by his wife of 50 years, Suzanne Stowell Bartlett; two sons, Keith Jr, his wife Laurie and their two sons Jeffrey and James of Sherborn, Mass.; Jeff and his wife Karen and their children Zachary, Molly and Tyler of Norfolk, Mass.; as well as many half brothers and sisters. He was predeceased by his father, Raymond Madison Bartlett; his mother, Grace Nowlin Bartlett; his grandfather and grandmother, Guy and Rose Bartlett.
A memorial service will be held at the Bethel Church of the Nazarene on Tuesday, Dec. 28, 2010 at 1 p.m. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his name to the Bethel Ambulance and Rescue Service, 183 Main Street, Bethel, ME 04217 (207) 824-2815; or your local post of the American Legion; http://www.legion.org/. Condolences may be sent electronically to the Greenleaf Funeral Home.