2017-02-03 / Obituaries

Harold Haley Burbank I

Harold Haley Burbank I, 85, went home to the open arms of his maker God on Friday, Jan. 20, 2017. He was at home with his loving family around him day and night. Harold fought hard for 19-plus months after his stroke on June 4, 2015. He had a strong spirit and was a loving, kind and giving man to all he knew. He was a caring devoted husband and father deeply loved and will be profoundly missed by them.

Harold was born in Bangor on March 13, 1931 to Fred Harold and Phyllis (Haley) Burbank. He attended Bangor schools graduating from Bangor High School in 1949.

He was active in clubs, music (he had his own dance band featuring his “big band” trumpet playing), sports – football, basketball and baseball; once drawing Philadelphia Phillies scouts for striking out 18 of 21 batters in a seven inning game, (briefly attending private schools on baseball scholarships beforehand).

He had two years of college at the University of Maine, majoring in mechanical engineering before enlisting in the Army, serving in the Korean War as a front line heavy artillery radio operator, for which he received many medals among them being the rare Presidential Unit Citation for extraordinary courage, the nation’s highest award for valor in combat.

After he returned home to Bangor, he resumed his college education at the University of Maine, studying biology, English and education. There he wrote the short story on which the TV series and film, “The Fugitive,” was probably based. Just before entering his senior year in college he married June Day, a University of Maine student and Bangor neighbor (the girl next door).

After graduating from Maine with a bachelor’s degree in education, he took his first teaching and coaching job at Wells High School. His next teaching position was as a principal in Acton Elementary School. When he left, the parents and students gave him a trophy for being the best principal and teacher they had ever had.

He next taught at Sanford Junior High School where he was to become the principal. While in the Sanford school system he served as secretary of the American Federation of Teachers union. He enjoyed a 24- year Maine education teaching career. He worked for 18 years after this at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in welding with most of those years in administration. He wrote for the Periscope while there and earned awards at the Naval Shipyard.

He moved his family with June, sons Harold and David and daughter Lori to Intervale Road in Kennebunk in 1959. Their home there was bordered by the Mousam River and provided him with 57 years of enjoyment with fishing, boating, skating, repairing outboard motors, old and new cars, lawn mowers, etc. He was known as Mr. Fix It by his family and neighbors whom he helped. He also would often snowblow and sand neighbor’s driveways and walks. He attended years of Kennebunk schools and summer league sporting events in support of his children, volunteering, coaching, transporting and serving as a ski lift mechanic and sports trainer as needed.

He greatly enjoyed playing ping pong on his homemade table with his children which became a family favorite. He also enjoyed teaching and playing chess, checkers, Chinese checkers and cards with his grandchildren.

One of his favorite things was to make sure to take pictures to record family events of being together. He had the tradition of playing his trumpet to anyone or everyone who had a birthday. He never missed a family member’s birthday no matter how he felt. This was his way of showing love and how much one meant to him. He even played the trumpet for those at River Ridge.

He was a devoted trustee of his mother’s family summer estate on Penobscot Bay, Bayside Maine. He was proud to have helped his son David Burbank establish Dave’s Garage, North Berwick, where he spent many happy hours regaling

David’s customers in the advantages of “old school” technology.

He helped with his son’s Boy Scout troops and taught civil defense. He was a member of the Maine Teachers Association and The National Teachers Association. He was active in St. David’s Episcopal Church in which his children are confirmed. Harold was a member of the Masons Yorkshire Lodge No. 0179 in North Berwick, Maine, (which he joined to be with his son David). He was a 32nd degree Mason in the Portland, York County Shrine Club, a member of the Scottish Rite and a life member of the Kora Shriner’s Band from Lewiston. He held the position of the band unit’s scribe. His bandleader Jerry Brooks said, “Harold was one of the band’s most devoted members. I cherished him as a friend.”

Harold was also a member of American Legion Post 0159 of Kennebunkport.

In November this past year 2016, hospice honored him on Veterans Day and he was also awarded a Wreath Across America from the Kennebunk Elementary School staff and school children.

Harold’s daughter, Lori, noted when Dad died at 4:12 a.m. that Proverbs verse 4:12 says; “When thou goest, thy steps shall not be straightened; and when thou runnest, thou shall not stumble.”

This is so fitting for him as he had been bed ridden for five months. I believe he is now walking and running freely – marching while playing his trumpet in heaven.

Harold was preceded in death by his parents Fred and Phyllis Burbank, his sisters Phyllis, Christine and Jean and his brother Robert.

Harold is survived by his loving wife of 60 years, retired four generations Kennebunk elementary school teacher June Day Burbank; his three children, Attorney Harold H. Burbank, II, Canton, Connecticut, David Burbank, Wakefield, New Hampshire, and Lori (Burbank) Darnell, Raleigh, North Carolina; six grand children, Kristie (Burbank) Cason, Wells, Maine, Adam Burbank, North Berwick, Maine, Harold H. H. Burbank, Vernon, Connecticut, Anna Burbank, Conway, New Hampshire, Ariel Darnell, Raleigh, North Carolina and Joshua Darnell, Raleigh, North Carolina; and one great grandchild; Keegan Cason, Wells.

All of the Burbank family wishes to thank Susan and Joe Malley for their care and help with Harold and June from October 2015 to July 2016. A special thank you to River Ridge Center in Kennebunk and Hospice of Southern Maine for their compassion, loving care, and support. Also thank you to Johnson Funeral Home of North Berwick for all arrangements.

There will be a private family service in May at Southern Maine Veteran’s Cemetery in Springvale. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Harold H. Burbank I Scholarship Fund.

Checks should be made out to RSU 21 Activity Accounts with Harold’s name noted on the memo. Send to RSU 21 Business Offices, 177 Alewive Road, Kennebunk, Maine 04043. One may also donate to Shriner’s Children’s Hospital, 516 Carew St., Springfield, MA. 01104. Checks should be made out to Shriner’s Children’s Hospital, Springfield, MA, 01104 with Harold’s name noted on the memo.

Return to top