Frederick S. Bancroft, 88, of Fairport, New York, formerly of Kennebunk, passed away on Friday, Feb. 24, 2023, in Batavia, New York, giving his son’s hand a goodbye squeeze as he peacefully departed. Heartfelt appreciation for the loving compassionate care provided by the staff at the New York State Veterans Home in Batavia.

A Fairport resident since 2013, he was born April 9, 1934, at home in Sudbury, Massachusetts, the son of Lloyd Englewood Bancroft and Catherine Edith Straitiff (Bancroft).

Mr. Bancroft was raised in the Greater Boston area before his family moved to Hemet, California, when he was 14. He graduated from Hemet High School in 1952.

Mr. Bancroft met his first wife, Cilita Dee Jones of Knoxville, Tennessee, at training with the US Air Force. They married July 17, 1959, in Bexar County, Texas. He served two combat tours of duty in Vietnam as a radio operator with the Regular Army from 1963-1965. The military moved him about the world with residences in Okinawa (Japan), Arizona, Texas, Tennessee, and North Carolina, before returning to New England.

He earned his MS in education at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. Mr. Bancroft transitioned to the Active Guard Reserve (AGR) with the Air Force and finished his military career as the state senior recruiter for the New Hampshire Air National Guard, achieving awards for excellent service. He retired from active duty in 1984. Cilita and Fred raised three children, Liz (Betsy), Rick, and Matthew, until her passing in 1987.

On July 22, 1988, he married Irene J. Beauchemin Eaton in Sanford, and moved to Kennebunk, spending 25 years together. He entered a second career teaching industrial arts, woodworking, and drafting at Massabesic High School in Waterboro, retiring in 1999. Along the way he designed a novel ‘mousetrap car’ as a part of his curriculum that became popular with students, colleagues, and family as they raced them down hallways at home and at school.


He moved to Fairport, New York, in 2013. He became close friends with Fernande Miller, often vacationing in Florida with her. He enjoyed membership with the Fairport Toastmasters’ Club, the local Veterans of Foreign Wars, and worshipped at the Risen Christ Lutheran Church.

Mr. Bancroft enjoyed model rocketry, amateur radio (WA1VDV), and weaving intricate chairs out of macramé braid. He was also an expert woodworker making beautiful beds, tables, chairs, boxes, puzzles, cradles, games and other gifts for family and friends that will be treasured for generations to come. He deeply enjoyed time with all of his family whenever he could, often barbecuing copious amounts of delicious food for countless family gatherings.

Surviving are his daughter: Elizabeth (Steven) Foley of Sanford; two sons: Frederick (Christina) Bancroft III of Fairport, New York, and Matthew Bancroft of Sanford; two stepsons: Ernest (Ann Marie) Eaton of Kennebunk; Robert (Lyn) Eaton of Saco; two stepdaughters: Linda Roberts of Wolfeboro, New Hampshire; Laurie (Stuart) Williams of Kennebunk; four grandchildren: Alex (Alisha) Foley of Sanford; Seraphina Bancroft of Hilton, New York; and Elijah and Owen Bancroft of Fairport, New York; and two great-grandchildren: Nora and Cyrus Foley of Sanford; and six step-great- grandchildren: Craig and Scott Eaton of Kennebunk; Nate Roberts of Scarborough; Samantha (Sean) Bowers of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; Mollie Eaton of Saco; and Alex Morin of Kennebunk.

Besides his first wife, he was preceded in death by his siblings, Lloyd E. Bancroft, Jr. (1952), Charles A. Bancroft (1969), Robert J. Bancroft (2005), and Patricia (Raymond) Roberts (2021).

Friends will be received on Friday, March 10, from 4 to 7 p.m. at Black Funeral Home, 580 Main St., Springvale. A funeral service will begin at 10 a.m. on Saturday, March 11, at Holy Cross Lutheran Church in Kennebunk, with Pastor Rich Horner presiding. The burial will follow in the spring at Oakdale Cemetery, Sanford, next to his late wife, Cilita, with military honors.

A Memorial Service will also be held on Saturday, April 15, at 10 a.m. at the Risen Christ Lutheran Church in Fairport, New York, with Pastor Steve Braun presiding, to which any memorials may be offered in Mr. Bancroft’s memory.

Arrangements are under the direction of Black Funeral Homes and Cremation service, Sanford-Springvale.

filed under: