Newbern “Bud” Miner, who collected tolls for the Maine Turnpike Authority for 37 years and had a passion for music, died April 6 from complications of Parkinson’s disease. He was 86.

He was married to Rose Miner for 60 years. The couple lived in Topsham and raised four children.

Mr. Miner was remembered Wednesday as a devoted husband and family man. On Wednesday, his wife laughed and cried while sharing memories of their life together. She reminisced about the night they met.

It was the summer of 1955. Miner had a gig playing the accordion for a country western band called Ted Varney and The Melody Mountain Boys.

Rose Berry, then 19, happened to be selling tickets at the door. The next day, they had their first date. By nightfall, he asked her to marry him.

“He said, ‘Lets get married.’ I said, ‘I don’t think so. Not right now,’ ” she recalled, laughing.

“It was so sudden. It was a shock. I wasn’t ready for marriage.”

Mr. Miner didn’t let up. He asked her often over the next nine months until she said “yes.”

“I kept him waiting,” she said with a laugh. “It’s been the best 60 years of my life.”

Music played a central role throughout their lives.

Mr. Miner, the second oldest of 16 children, sat down at a piano at age 14 and taught himself to play. He couldn’t read a note of music, but learned to play various other instruments, including the organ, harmonica, accordion and guitar.

“I loved when he played,” his wife said. “When he got to playing, it was almost like he was in his own world. I like country western music and he would play it for me.”

Mr. Miner joined the Maine Turnpike Authority in 1971 and worked as a toll collector at Exit 6A off Interstate 95 in Scarborough. He retired in 1992, but went back to work part time until 2010.

His wife said he liked the work and seeing the same people every day.

But Mr. Miner seemed to be happiest at home with his family.

“He was an amazing father,” said his daughter, Patricia Thebeau of Lisbon Falls.

“He was definitely a family man,” his wife said. “He always had a hug and a kiss for me and I had one for him.”

In recent years, Mr. Miner had congestive heart failure and was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease a few years ago.

“It’s a devastating illness,” his wife said. “I’m feeling lost. It’s not enough years together. I wanted more.”

Mr. Miner’s full obituary will appear in the Maine Sunday Telegram.

Melanie Creamer can be contacted at 791-6361 or at:

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