John Ingraham Jr., a longtime owner and operator of Ingraham Equipment in Knox, who also ran a thriving dairy farm and was active in several agriculture organizations, including the Eastern States Expo, died Saturday. He was 86.

He was remembered by family and friends Tuesday as a kind, loving and generous person, who dedicated his life to agriculture and the community.

Mr. Ingraham graduated from Freedom Academy in 1946 and joined his father and brother, Albert Ingraham, in running the family farm. The brothers took over the business around 1978 and continued to expand its operation.

Today, workers milk around 500 registered Holsteins and over 1,000 head of cattle.

His nephew, Ronald Price, of Freedom, choked up Tuesday remembering the years they worked together. Price worked with Ingraham on and off since he was 3 years old.

“I couldn’t get enough of it,” Price said about his experience at the farm. “Everything was fun for a little guy. There was a new adventure every day.”

In 1960, Mr. Ingraham expanded his farming business to include a snowmobile and farm equipment dealership called Ingraham Equipment, which continues today. His son and daughter-in-law, Rodney and Deborah Ingraham, now own the business. His son said he enjoyed helping customers and talking to other farmers.

“When he was healthy, he was always helping someone behind the parts counter or carrying on a conversation about milk prices,” his son said. “He was a people person. He enjoyed talking to people.”

Mr. Ingraham, a longtime resident of Knox, was married to his wife, Beverly, for 68 years. The couple raised five children, who all worked on the farm. His son said he was a hard-working man who loved being with family. For Christmas, Thanksgiving and other holidays, he would clear out the garage and host gatherings inside.

“He valued family,” his son said. “He enjoyed having family around him.”

Mr. Ingraham was deeply involved in the community. He served as president of the Maine Quality Holstein Sale for 25 years and was president of Pine Tree Holsteins. He was also a member of the local and state grange and Masons for over 50 years.

In 1994 he was recognized as “Farmer of the Year.” In 2001, he received the “Maine Dairy Shrine and Leader” Award from the Maine State Grange

He was also a member for Eastern States Expo for 43 years and was recognized as “Outstanding Farmer of the Year” in 2010.

Mr. Ingraham had many generous contributions to the community. Some of those contributions include donating lumber to help build the local historical society and donating land to the Knox Baptist Church.

He also served as a selectman for Knox for six years and was on the board of directors for School Administrative District 3.

“He was well liked by everyone,” his son said. “He was generous. He helped everyone he could help.”