Edmund Farley Webb, 79, of West Forks left this earth on Wednesday, March 21, 2018 to search for more wood to cut.
His journey started on May 1st, 1938. Born in the West Forks, the oldest of 3 brothers, he was to become an extraordinary man.
Dad attended the C.E Ball School in West Forks and later the Old Bingham High School. A tragic school bus accident spread out his classmates which resulted in him moving to Brunswick. While his body was in Brunswick, his mind never left the Enchanted Wilderness.
He would come back to West Forks at every chance to hunt, fish and help his dad, Appleton operate his logging operations. He soon convinced his parents that West Forks was “home” and they returned. He graduated high school in 1956. He was known to his classmates and teachers as “Spider”.
Dad was as big a Red Sox fan as they come and would listen to every game possible on the radio. He could sit for hours in his dad’s Cadillac listening to every play on the AM radio. He and the family would take trips to Fenway to watch the games.
After High School, he worked for his father in the woods, first being a “Cookie” – helping the cook prepare the meals in the lumber camps. But after several months, he needed to be outside working in the forests that he loved so much. He painted the pulp to prepare it for the spring log drives, and he spent many hours in the old Army truck hauling pulp to the sluices along the river. He had even been the helper in the dynamite operations where he rowed the boat to the jam and steadied it as the dynamite was placed in the key spot.
A frequent story he would tell was that one day while clearing a jam on Enchanted Stream, his pick pole became stuck in a knot because the dynamite man- Leo Sanipas was very conscientious of the cost of the fuse and was known to use very short ones. The blast went off before he could put them safely away. After the pieces landed, dad on one stream bank and Leo on the other, both okay, except for the boat, a conversation ensued back and forth across the stream as to how they would break the news to his dad that another boat was needed.
Dad , thinking that it was greener on the other side ,soon after went to work for the Koppers Company, traveling in New England and New York buying railroad ties for a year or so. But again, he needed to return to his Enchanted Woods to be complete. After meeting a beautiful and fiery black haired girl from Jackman, he knew West Forks was home forever. On Sept 21, 1962, he married the love of his life, Marie LaRochelle and returned to the woods, lumbering and guiding hunters and fisherman. He and Mom soon bought the General Store from his parents and together they operated “Webb’s General Store”, until 1985. Over the years, Dad has taken many a person down Maine’s rivers in canoes, showed them the best hunting and fishing spots and taken 1000’s of whitewater paddlers to the start of the Dead River. Dad and Mom established a small campground on the Dead River. He became a legend in the paddling world, often being noted in Guidebooks as the expert on the Dead River. He was the town’s fire chief for many years and would make his famous bean hole beans to share at the fireman’s field day. He was very proud of his community.
On March 22, 2005 he became the happiest Grandfather with the birth of Addison. They formed a bond that could never be broken. “Grampy” and Addie would spend hours “fishing” in Apple Pond. Just a large mud puddle in the yard, it was the best fishing that any angler ever had. She learned how to bake at his house, making cakes and muffins to satisfy their sweet tooth. Picking wild berries, playing house and driving the shuttle buses for the rafting company he co-owned consumed their days.
Dad has joined my Mom Marie, his Mom Norma, his Dad Appleton, his stepdad Dr. Robert Frost and special friend Ann.
Friends are asked to join the family for visitation and remembrance on Monday, March 26, 2018 from 4:00-7:00 PM at Giberson Funeral Home, 18 River Street, Bingham. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Tuesday, March 27, 2018 at 10:00 AM in St. Peter's Catholic Church, Owens Street, Bingham. Burial will be in Durgin Cemetery in West Forks in the Spring.