Kenneth York Woodsum

YARMOUTH – Kenneth York Woodsum, 88, passed away on Jan. 26, 2022. Ken was born in South Portland on Sept. 9, 1933, the son of Harold E. and Ethel M. (York) Woodsum.

Ken’s life was strongly rooted in his love of the outdoors and wilderness. Maine’s forests and waterways became his domain and passion. His work in forestry and real estate allowed him to extend that passion to others and help steer large scale harvesting and development. On a smaller scale, he instilled that same love of the outdoors in his children through family camping trips, walks in the woods, moose calls, and trips to “see the bears”.

Ken attended South Portland High School where he established himself as a hard-working student athlete. He went on to the University of Maine where he received his degree in Forestry. He was one of the scoring leaders and an All-Conference selection on the football team. Over the years, countless hours were spent reminiscing about games and teammates.

The fall after graduation he married Martha Whitmore and a month later began his service in the Army. He was stationed in Hawaii, and it was there they started their family. After finishing his post, they returned to Maine and eventually settled in Cape Elizabeth to raise their four children. He spent the last half of his life residing in Yarmouth.

Ken began his career in forestry at SD Warren in Westbrook. After many years there, he moved on to the Huber Lumber Corporation where he became an integral part of the management of Beaver Cove’s marina and its newly designed community on Moosehead Lake. Although this made for fun family summers on the lake and easy access to skiing in the winter, Ken decided to start his own surveying company, Broad Arrow, so that he could be closer to home. He eventually finished his career in commercial real estate working for Land Vest Real Estate. Ken’s knowledge of Maine’s timberland made him an invaluable resource. He could talk land and trees all day long.

Retirement did not sit well with Ken. He soon returned to work in the distribution center of his son’s business, The Foreside Company. He would open the doors at 4 a.m., doughnuts in hand, and be the last to leave at the end of the day. He was well-loved by “the crew”. Eventually, he embraced retirement and enjoyed lunches and beers at Pat’s Pizza with the guys, get-togethers with his classmates from South Portland, and dinners at the Muddy Rudder with his wife. He also loved doing jigsaw puzzles, state maps being his favorite theme.

Ken truly loved Maine. There isn’t a road he hasn’t traveled. In his mind, you didn’t take the highway when there was a back road that could get you there. He took a few trips with his second wife, Kimberly (Darling) that were a bit more adventurous including an African Safari. But with his third wife, Lorraine (Sanford), road trips became the norm again. They enjoyed picking a destination, stopping for lunch along the way and then wending their way back home.

As much as Ken loved driving around Maine, he enjoyed hiking its trails and woods even more – taking in the stands of trees, waterfalls, birds and, while eating the customary PB&J on the mountain top, the expansive views. That was a day well spent. His legacy lives on with the Woodsum Spur Trail on Puzzle Mountain (part of the Grafton Loop Trail and named after him by his good friend and hiking companion, Bob Stewart).

Dad, we will miss your quick wit and the stories that never got old – tales from your college football days, the times we were roped into surveying jobs during frigid temperatures or black fly season, and early morning bakery deliveries with your Uncle Ken among many. We will carry on your love of Maine and all that its back roads have to offer and, most importantly, keep the Gazetteer in the car in spite of Google Maps!

Ken was predeceased by his parents; brother, Ed Woodsum,; his son, Stephen Woodsum; and his wives.

He is survived by his children Mark Woodsum and his wife Claire of Mission Viejo, Calif., Joanne Van der Eb and her husband Peter of Brooksville, and Katherine Smith of Orono, daughter-in-law, Lesley Woodsum of Center Conway, N.H.; grandchildren Anisa, Stephanie, Nathan, Paige, Zoe, Audrey, Kenneth, Marina, Hannah, Schuyler, Adrian and Maggie; and many nieces, nephews; and great-grandchildren.

A family celebration of life will be held at a later date.

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