Bradford Vinal Ames, 93, of Swans Island passed away peacefully on Feb. 1, 2018, at the Veterans Home in Bangor surrounded by family. He was born on July 21, 1924, in Revere, Mass., the son of Cheever Conant Ames and Inez Stinson (Rowe) Ames.
As a young child, his family lived in Somerville, Mass., eventually returning to Swans Island after the Great Depression to be closer to his mother’s family. Brad attended school on the island until sixth grade when the family moved to Rockland, graduating from Rockland High School in 1942. After attending the University of Maine for a year, Brad enlisted in the U.S. Navy in World War II, where he served as a radioman. After the war, he joined the Naval Reserves and was unexpectedly called to serve in the Korean Conflict aboard the USS Jupiter, a supply ship operating in the Sea of Japan.
Brad married his childhood friend Betty Munro in March of 1945, to whom he remained happily married for 68 years until her passing in 2013. An engineer for New England Telephone, Brad and his family moved to Bangor in 1959, where he coached youth sports and was instrumental in improvements at the Taylor Little League field, including construction of new dugouts and a concession stand. They had many happy and active years in Bangor raising their five children before retiring to Swans Island in 1981.
Brad and Betty enjoyed a wonderful life at the head of Burnt Coat Harbor, which became a treasured family gathering spot each summer for an annual Maine Lobster Bake. Brad spent most of the daylight hours outdoors making repairs and renovations to the house, as well as working at various projects around the property, cutting alders, clearing land, moving rocks, building walls and brushing out pathways to the shore. He cut and split cord wood for their winter supply and kept the lawns and fields mowed and trim. He utilized his carpentry skills to help build and renovate numerous homes on the island. Brad also enjoyed many years of serving on the board of the Swans Island Electric Co-op.
Brad loved the island, the people and the water around it where he and Betty spent many happy hours aboard their sailboats, a roomy gaff-rigged Cat Boat and the Bittersweet, his 25-foot Cape Dory. He had a deep passion for genealogy and amassed an immense archive of neatly attended binders, cataloguing the innumerable branches of the family tree from which he could recall minute detail of even the most far-flung family members.
Brad is survived by his five children, Susan (Ames) Speirs and husband, Rob, of Cumberland, B. Daniel Ames and partner Marie Michaud of Bangor, Scott Ames and partner Mary Harper of Rochester Hills, Mich., Pamela Ames of Carmel, and Katherine Ames Domingo and husband, Roger, of Cumberland. He also leaves 10 grandchildren; Rob, David, John, Christie, Mike, Katie, Tim, Caitlyn, Emily and Elizabeth and four great-grandchildren; Daicey, Avery, Taylor and Bradley as well many nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his wife, Ruth Elizabeth ‘Betty’ (Munro) Ames, brother C. Maxwell Ames and sister June Ames Wardsworth.
A service of remembrance will be held at 1 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 7, 2018, at Jordan-Fernald Funeral Home, 113 Franklin St., Ellsworth. Interment will be at Grindle Hill Cemetery, Swans Island, in the spring. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in his name to the Maine Veterans Home, 44 Hogan Road, Bangor, ME 04401 or Hospice of Eastern Maine, EMHS Foundation, P.O. Box 931, Bangor, ME 04402-0931.
Condolences may be expressed at www.jordanfernald.com.