William Raleigh

PORTLAND – William J. Raleigh, 65, of Portland, passed away peacefully with his wife and daughter by his side on Tuesday, March 10, 2020 at the Gosnell Memorial Hospice House in Scarborough after a courageous battle with esophageal cancer.He was born May 29, 1954, in Brockton, Mass., son of Lawrence J. and Lorraine M. (Murphy) Raleigh and grew up in Bridgewater, Mass. He attended Norfolk County Agricultural School in Walpole, Mass. to study aboriculture and horticulture. While in Walpole, he met his high school sweetheart, Paula, who would become his loving wife of more than 43 years. Together they moved to Maine in 1979 to be closer to the lakes and mountains, settling first in Windham for three years, then lived in Naples for 37 years, only recently moving to Portland in November. Bill worked as an arborist at Lucas Tree Company for 41 years in many positions, for the past 10 years as safety trainer. He was an International Society of Arboriculture Certified Arborist, and Tree Care Industry Association Certified Tree Care Safety Professional. He had a genuine passion for his work and was always searching out the latest techniques and gear to keep up with the industry. He loved to share his knowledge and experience with his co-workers along with a touch of his quirky sense of humor. He traveled from Prince Edward Island, Canada down the coast to South Carolina to train tree workers for Lucas Tree. Many were amazed that this man in his 60s could still climb trees and show them the latest techniques. He worked full time up until last week, when his cancer finally got the best of him. He loved the outdoors, hiking, camping, canoeing, and alpine skiing and he shared these passions with his only daughter, Melissa, whom he cherished and adored.He was predeceased by his parents; his brother Laurence J. Raleigh, and stepbrother Thomas H. Cook. He is survived by his wife, Paula J. (Tighe); daughter Melissa Raleigh of Portland; brother Stephen V. Raleigh of Laingsburg, Mich., sister Cheryl A. (Stephen) Beltzer of Winchendon, Mass., his sister-in-law Meredith Raleigh of Myrtle Beach, S.C.; his stepmother Marjorie Raleigh of Sebago; and stepfamily Marjorie (Thomas) Saunders of Sebago, Janice (Kenneth) Romeo and James (Patricia) Cook of Massachusetts, sister-in-law Donna Cook of Sebago; as well as many nieces and nephews.The family wishes to thank Dr. Sarah Ketchum and all the nurses and staff at MaineHealth Cancer Care, as well as the nurses and staff at Hospice of Southern Maine and Gosnell Memorial Hospice House for their compassionate care.In accordance with his wishes, there will be no services. He has chosen to donate his remains to the University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine for the purpose of medical education and research. A private memorial for family will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Hospice of Southern Maine, Carrabassett Valley Academy Scholarship Fund or a cancer charity of your choice. He would love if you planted a tree in his memory