CHINA — Funeral services for George Studley, China’s longtime and beloved fire chief, have been scheduled for Sunday afternoon and will be preceded by a procession of firefighters and engines crossing Route 202.

Studley, 73, was killed in a head-on collision the night of Aug. 18 on U.S. Route 3 in Searsmont, also known as Belfast-Augusta Road, according to the Waldo County Sheriff’s Department.

Events in Studley’s memory will begin around noontime on Sunday with a firefighter-led procession starting at the Studley residence at 26 Danforth St., according to Joseph Labbe, a firefighter with China’s Volunteer Fire Department. Several area fire departments and emergency crews will be involved with the parade, plus the Maine State Police color guard, a bagpiper and an antique tractor as a reminder that Studley was a farmer. Labbe also urged those who wished to honor Studley to join in along the parade route.

That area of Route 202 at the head of China Lake will be shut down briefly sometime between noon and 1 p.m. as the procession crosses the road and ends at the village fire station on Causeway Road.

“We expect a large number of fire departments sending people and equipment for the parade,” Labbe said. “Weather permitting, there will be a Lifeflight helicopter flyover.”

At the fire station, there will be a final emergency tone ceremony with the Waterville Regional Communications Center, Labbe said in an interview.


“We would encourage the public, if they watch the procession, to line up on the corner of Danforth Road and Pleasant View Ridge Road by 11:30 a.m.,” Labbe said. “They won’t miss anything.”

There will also be parking available at the China Baptist Church parking lot near the village fire station for the ceremony there.

Once the procession is finished, busing will be available to the China Conference Center at 283 Neck Road, where a celebration of Studley’s life is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m.

Studley spent more than 50 years with the China Village Volunteer Fire Department. He served as fire chief for the department from 1977 to 2013 and was assistant fire chief at the time of his death.

In a statement, China Village Fire Chief Tim Theriault lauded Studley saying he had a heart “bigger than a basketball.”

“He was just an amazing man,” Theriault said. “He was very quiet and led by example.”


Studley, also known as Ty, grew up on a family farm in Palermo. He graduated from Erskine Academy in 1963 and Southern Maine Vocational Technical Institute in 1965 with a degree in carpentry. He received an honorary discharge from the Maine National Guard.

In 1965, he married Bonnie Bumps, his high school sweetheart, and they built their home in China. In addition to volunteering with the department, Studley worked at Architectural Woodcraft in Vassalboro for 27 years. Described in his obituary as “a multi-talented person with carpentry skills” and a “Jack-of-all trades,” Studley became the local handyman for the community. He is survived by his wife of 52 years, their children and grandchildren.

Kate McCormick — 861-9218

Twitter: @KateRMcCormick

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