Kenneth Paul Toner

FREEPORT – On Feb. 12, 2021, Ken passed away peacefully at his home in Freeport with his wife Muriel holding his hand. He chose to die with dignity, a true reflection of the way he lived his life. He died with tremendous gratitude for a life well lived.

Ken was born on May 2, 1950, in Quincy, Mass., the son of William Toner Jr. and Alberta (Zagrodny) Toner Motta. He was the eldest of five children, three brothers and one sister. Ken grew up in Weymouth, Mass., graduated from Weymouth High School in 1968 then immediately enlisted in the Air Force. His final tour of duty was at Charleston Air Force Base in Maine.

Upon leaving the service Ken attended Northeastern University in Boston where he was an enthusiastic member of their rowing team. It was his initial immersion in the Maine woods during his time in the service that determined Ken’s choice of home for the remainder of his life. He built his first home on the Silver’s Mills Road in Dexter where he proudly home-delivered his only son, Zeke. He later settled with his wife, Muriel and stepdaughter, Hillary, in Freeport.

For more than 40 years Ken was a building and remodeling contractor. He used his artistry and craftsmanship to help others realize their visions. He took tremendous pride in giving back more than he took; recycling materials from worksite to worksite, using only what he needed, wasting nothing. While building structures he fostered friendships that lasted a lifetime. The houses, roofs, ramps, and stone walls he built can be seen all over the greater Freeport area.

Ken was a pillar of his community, his dedication ran deep. He was an active participant in community service throughout his life, beginning with the achievement of Eagle Scout status as a boy, and later graduating to president of the Freeport Rotary Club. Ken was an active member of travel missions, devoting time and skills to building churches and schools in very impoverished villages as far reaching as Mexico.

A true man of the earth, Ken led a full and robust life, his hobbies were diverse and many. He was as comfortable weeding his garden as with driving a golf ball. He was a hunter and fisherman, he renewed his license annually to clam from the local sea beds. Ken devoted a number of years to Mainely Men, enjoying his time storytelling around campfires at the family camp and on Stave Island. A dedicated photographer, he built a darkroom in his basement, developed and framed his own unique take on the world. Ken was a natural athlete who ran marathons, downhill skied, hiked the Grand Canyon and motorcycled across the country more times than his wife cares to remember.

An impulsive adventurer, Ken had an insatiable passion for travel. His favorite journeys were those that brought him closest to other cultures. He traveled the world, not simply for fun or relaxation but, as with all he approached in life, with a quest for learning and growing. Although a true explorer at heart, Ken loved nothing more than returning to the comforts of “home” to be with his family. He always had a pile of books on his night table. A crossword puzzle and a cup of coffee were the typical start to any day.

Ken was a devoted family man who helped redefine “family”. In addition to the core unit, he and Muriel welcomed a foster child and an exchange student, together creating an original modern family. This configuration expanded to include a hearty Venezuelan branch of the family tree and six grandchildren. Ken looked forward to each family Thanksgivings at the Freeport homestead and took great pride in preparing the crown roast centerpiece. Thanksgivings will not be the same without him.

Ken is survived by his devoted wife of 33 years, Muriel Littlefield; his son, Ezekiel of Topsham and grandson, Corbin; his beloved stepdaughter, Hillary Carter and grandson, Reese, and granddaughter, Whitney, of Ellsworth; his foster son, Tim Wilbur and wife, Alicia from Topsham; and his host daughter, Tracy Farnham and husband Steve, and their children, Emma, Belen, and Frank, from Winslow. Ken is also survived by his brothers, Don, from Greenville, S.C., Jim and his wife, Linda St. Croix, from Marshfield, Mass., Steve and his wife, Sandy Beradi, from Rockland, Mass., his sister, Janet O’Brien, from South Weymouth, Mass., and his brother-in-law, Kerbon Littlefield and wife Gail, of Dexter; as well as many loving nieces and nephews.

The family wishes to thank Dr. Stephen Martin, Ken’s primary care physician, who had the unfortunate task of relaying the devastating diagnosis of stage four pancreatic cancer to Ken, then remained available throughout some of his darkest hours. Tremendous gratitude is extended to Dr. Marc Wrona for his straightforward approach and compassionate support to Ken and Muriel, and to Nancy Pezzula, from Hospice, who became part of the family circle and provided much needed comfort at the end of Ken’s life; to Candance Kingsley, a deep appreciation for her steadfast guidance and comfort. Thank you most of all to the friends, family, and community members who showed up to lend their love and support throughout these last six months. There are no words……

Ken expressed a desire for his friends and family to gather for one last time in final celebration of a life well lived. In light of the current pandemic, Muriel and the family wish to postpone the internment and a gathering following until early summer.

Ken had a deep appreciation for history and land preservation and initiated notable improvements to the Hedgehog Mountain Preserve. In his memory, a memorial fund has been established at Bath Savings Bank in Freeport.

For anyone wishing to honor his vision, donations may be made payable to the Toner Hedgehog Mountain Memorial Fund

and sent directly to

Bath Savings Bank,

P.O. Box 160,

Freeport, Maine.

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