Rodney E. Thayer, 79, of Kennebunk, passed peacefully on May 23, 2024, at home surrounded by family, after a 6½-year battle with multiple myeloma. He was born July 4, 1944, in Biddeford to Donald and Lois (Swett) Thayer.

Rodney attended Kennebunk schools and graduated in 1962. He started working at the age of 10 at a local farm. He also worked at Kesslen Shoe Shop, Maremont Saco Defense and was also a skilled carpenter for over 30 years.

Rodney loved being outdoors. He enjoyed: hiking, which included multiple trips up Mount Washington, even in the winter and parts of the Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Maine; running, including two marathons and a first-place finish in the over 40 division at the Master Male Peak to Peak Challenge in 1990; bicycling, including multiple 100-mile day trips; hunting, which is an interest he passed onto his sons and grandsons and more recently would just take pictures, not hunt; gardening, which included both vegetable and flower beds; and hockey, he played in men’s leagues for over 20 years, winning a championship in 1990.

Rodney was also very generous with his time. He would donate potatoes to the local food pantry and 100 pounds annually to the West Kennebunk Thanksgiving dinner. He would bring flowers (mostly glads and dahlias) to friends, local senior facilities, Gosnell Hospice House, and the Cancer Center. If people wanted to donate, he would recommend Caring Unlimited, which he supported by raising thousands of dollars by taking part in the January Atlantic Plunge. Over the course of 20 years, he donated 11 gallons of blood to the Red Cross. He was also a lifetime member of the local fish and game club, where he taught wilderness survival as part of its hunter safety course.

Rodney is survived by: his sons, Robert Thayer and his wife, Kimberly and Scott Thayer and his wife, Natalie Alley; sisters, Anna Spiller and her husband, Bill, Bev Lowell and her husband, Ron, and Janet Jackson and her husband, Paul; brother, David Thayer and his wife, Madeleine; life partner, Carol Whitten; seven grandchildren; seven great-grandchildren; and many nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.

Rodney’s family would like to send a special thank you to his daughter-in-law, Natalie Alley, for her loving care during his final days at home.


In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Rodney’s name to Caring Unlimited at or Animal Welfare Society at

A private celebration of Rodney’s life will be held at a later date this summer.

To share a memory or leave a message of condolence please visit Rodney’s Book of Memories Page at

Arrangements are in the care of Bibber Memorial Chapel, 67 Summer St., Kennebunk, ME 04043.

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