Turner – Ralph “Ras” V. Caldwell, 79, a lifelong resident of Turner, passed away Tuesday, November 1, 2022, at his farm. He was born April 9, 1943, in Leeds, the son of Lawrence E. Caldwell, Sr. and Hilda M. (Varney) Caldwell. He was a proud graduate of Leavitt Institute in Turner, class of 1961. On August 2, 1963, in Dixfield he married Sandra Records of Livermore. Ras lived his entire life in Turner and his family has been there for generations (his mother was a Varney). He was raised at the farm on North Parish Road where he still called home, and where he and Sandy raised their two daughters, Terri and Deedee. Like his father, he was a hard-working farmer, Ras was practical and conservative. He was early to rise, put in long, demanding days, but gave freely of his time when needed. He was an extremely generous man -- inclined to offer a hand up whenever possible, but not an unrestricted handout. He firmly believed that the key to success was hard work, and he was a shining example of that. He was devoted to his community, he attended meetings, he wrote letters, and he would dig into his pocket when the cause was right. Anybody who knew Ras for more than a minute or two also knew he liked to kick things up a notch. He plowed snow, dug ditches, cut trees, painted, and even spent the night in a flooding basement to keep pumps running and the damage down. And if you wanted to be in the July 4th parade, which is always on July 4th, you could give him a call. All of this - and this barely scratched the surface, all while running a diverse agricultural operation here and in other nearby towns with the help of his daughter Deedee. When the Leavitt Institute restoration was underway, not only did he contribute financially, he also gave countless hours of his own time to help the project along. Since then, he had become the building's unofficial "caretaker", and would check on it nearly every day. Financially, he expected value for tax dollars spent and would do whatever he could to help save money. He helped the town purchase a very gently used Caterpillar loader at an auction in New York State and took care of getting it to Maine. The price was far below anything that was available closer to home. Ras was a volunteer for the Turner Fire Department for many years. He also served as Constable, Fire Warden, was a member of the Budget Committee (24 years), Comprehensive Planning Committee (through two plans), Village Improvement Committee, Municipal Needs Committee, Nezinscot Dam Committee, Planning Board, Zoning Ordinance Development Committee, Economic Development Committee, Road Committee, Bicentennial Committee, Leavitt Institute Restoration Committee, Leavitt Institute Board of Directors (18 years), and as a member of the Board of Selectmen (11 years total). In other community service, he had been involved with the Turner Ridge Riders, spent many hours helping to paint and improve the Boofy Quimby Memorial Center, and was one of the principal organizers of the July 4th parade, now going into its 25th year. He will be remembered as a dedicated member of the community, a hard worker and a loving and devoted husband, father, and grandfather. He is survived by his wife Sandra Caldwell of Turner, daughters, Terri Castonguay and husband Ronald of Leeds, and Deidra “Deedee” Caldwell Korhonen and husband Brian of Turner, grandchildren, Kay Lynn Castonguay and partner Joe Hanafin, Gard Castonguay, Emile Castonguay and partner Jason Hilt, and Annie Joline and husband Tee Soul, great-grandsons, Alex and Evan Hanafin, his brother L.E. Caldwell, Jr. and wife Sandra Y. Caldwell of Turner, and many nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his parents, Hilda Mae and L.E. Caldwell, Sr. Messages of condolence may be sent to: www.finleyfuneralhome.com
Caldwell – Ralph “Ras” V., 79 of Turner, Maine passed away November 1, 2022, at his residence. Arrangements by FINLEY FUNERAL HOME, 15 Church Street, Livermore Falls, Maine. In lieu of flowers contributions may be made to: Town of Turner, July 4th Fireworks Fund, 11 Turner Center Road, Turner, Maine 04282. A Celebration of Ras’s Life will be held from 1-4 PM on Sunday, December 4th at the Leavitt Institute Building, Matthews Way, Turner, Maine.