FREEPORT – Lorin Eugene “Skip” Oakes had to be doing something, keeping busy, all the time.

“If it wasn’t something related to the outdoors, like hunting or fishing, he’d be working in his garden or helping on construction activities,” said his son Russell Oakes. “Or he’d be out boating. He enjoyed boating in Casco Bay.”

Mr. Oakes died Saturday. He was 75.

He was originally from the Bangor area, and met his wife, Beverly, at the Thomas School of Dance. She was 12 and he was 16.

“They were dance partners; that started their relationship,” his son said.

Throughout the 1950s and 1960s, Mr. Oakes danced with his wife at venues throughout the state. His son said his parents were “very good ballroom dancers.”

When he wasn’t on the dance floor, Mr. Oakes’ pursued hobbies that revolved around the outdoors.

He had a small ski chalet at the base of what’s now Big Moose Mountain, and when his children were young, they skied at Hermon Mountain near Bangor, his son said.

Even before ski lifts were built on Sugarloaf, Mr. Oakes and his friend would brave the narrowly cut trails, after hiking up the mountain.

During the summer, Mr. Oakes cruised Casco Bay on his 23-foot boat, Nauti-Oak. His son said he enjoyed exploring the islands in the bay.

In the late 1960s, Mr. Oakes and his wife moved to the Freeport area. He worked as a claims adjuster, and started up Harraseeket Builders and Maritime Insurance Corp. When he retired in 1997, he was vice president of claims for York Mutual Insurance Co.

For 10 years, Mr. Oakes and his wife traveled the country in their RV.

“They would get out of the cold of Maine and travel three or four months at a time,” his son said. St. George Island, in the panhandle of Florida, was one of their favorite spots.

Russell Oakes said his father was his best friend and they shared many memories. In 2005, Mr. Oakes started helping his son with a house on Moosehead Lake.

“It kind of solidified his life, because all the things he learned, we put into this lake house,” his son said, including the post-and-beam construction his father used frequently while he owned Harraseeket Builders.

Russell Oakes bought the Abnaki Sporting Camps, subdivided the property and started the lake house project in an area that his father loved.

At times when they weren’t working on the house, he said, they spent time together on the lake and played golf.

“It was just a great experience,” he said.


Staff Writer Emma Bouthillette can be contacted at 791-6325 or at: [email protected]


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