September 18, 2013

Feature obituary: Herschel Libby, 91, a former mail carrier with many hobbies

By Melanie Creamer mcreamer@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

BATH – Herschel Libby, a longtime mail carrier in Bath who had a zest for life, died Thursday after an extended illness. He was 91.

Mr. Libby grew up in the Dixfield area and moved to Bath in 1936. He attended Morse High School and graduated in 1939.

In 1942, he married Leona Libby, his loving wife for 71 years. The couple lived on Edwards Street for many years and raised four children.

Their son Dana Libby of Bath spoke about the night they met. His mother got a ride home with some friends after a dance. They offered Mr. Libby a ride home, too.

"That's where their courtship started," his son said, referring to the rumble seat of a 1930s Ford Roadster. "It's been a wonderful life, according to them. Raising us ... my brother and I, caused some problems, but they never gave up on us. They loved us."

In 1942, soon after getting married, he was drafted into the Army. He served four years in the Army Air Corps. He attended radio school in Illinois, and then served as a control tower operator in Texas and New Mexico. In 1945, Mr. Libby was stationed in Europe for nine months and served as a flying sergeant radio operator on a B-17 Flying Fortress. He served with a photo and recon squadron, mapping the Mediterranean Sea, the Isle of Crete and the Greek Islands. He was discharged in 1946 and moved back to Bath.

According to his obituary, Mr. Libby worked for the U.S. Postal Service for 43 years as a mail carrier in Bath. His son said he was well-known and well-liked in the community. He retired in 1985.

"He loved his job. He loved getting up and going to work every day," he said. "He never grumbled about work. He set a good example for us. We didn't realize it until later."

The younger Libby reminisced about his early years Tuesday, spending time with his family at local beaches and playing with his friends in the neighborhood.

"There were a lot of children on this street," he said. "They loved coming over here to visit mainly because of him. He had a great personality. He was very friendly to everyone."

Mr. Libby was described Tuesday as a social and outgoing man who lived life to its fullest. He had numerous hobbies, including golf, bowling, singing and dancing. He played the saxophone and piano and was a member of the Bath Municipal Band for many years. He also sang in a local barbershop quartet in his late '60s or early '70s.

The Libbys went to live at HillHouse Assisted Living in Bath in late August. He suffered with neuropathy. His wife has Alzheimer's disease.

In addition to his wife and son, he is survived by his daughters, Laura Jones of Georgetown and Carole Tetrault of Abbot.

This is the first time the Libbys have been apart in 68 years.

"I never looked at it like that," his son said. "I think it's pretty amazing. They set a wonderful example. ... She loved my dad a lot. She's always loved him."

 

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

mcreamer@pressherald.com

 

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