The town of Farmingdale, the state of Maine and this country lost an outstanding citizen and friend with the recent passing of Charlie Kyes.

Those of us who had the honor and privilege to know Charlie have fond and lasting memories of a man who showed great respect and compassion for his fellow man.

He was involved in his community, his church and many organizations where he contributed his time and talent with great energy.

During the last several years, Charlie attended hundreds of funeral services and committals, especially for his fellow veterans. Dressed in his blue blazer, gray trousers and blue baseball cap labeled “Retired Air Force,” he attended these services whether he knew the veteran or not. Sometimes, only the funeral director and Charlie were there to pay their final respects. His devotion was second to none.

He traveled far and wide throughout central Maine to city, town and veterans cemeteries or funeral homes, and he was there in rain, snow or the hottest days of summer to say farewell to one who had served his or her country.

We members of the Kennebec County Veterans Honor Guard so respected Charlie for his devotion that he was presented with an honorary membership to our group. We are proud to count him among our members, even though he no longer will be in attendance physically.

Area funeral directors also will miss him. He will always be remembered as a warm, compassionate and caring gentleman with a ready smile and a story or two. Charlie was a “veteran’s veteran.”

As was said at his funeral service: “He was an inspiration to a lot of people.” Charlie Kyes is gone, but he is not forgotten.

Jim Keenan


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