Hundreds of people are expected to gather Thursday to celebrate the life of Joseph Fairfield, a beloved maintenance supervisor for the Biddeford School Department, who died Sunday of heart disease. He was 62.

Mr. Fairfield worked at Biddeford schools for 23 years and was a fixture at local athletic events. He prepared the fields prior to games and filled in as announcer at football and baseball games. He also ran the scoreboard and announced at basketball games. He drove students to away games and led cheers from the stands. He also drove students on field trips.

Superintendent Jeremy Ray said Tuesday that Fairfield was the epitome of Tiger Pride.

Joe Fairfield Photo courtesy of family

“His selflessness, his giving … he just had a heart of gold,” Ray said. “I find it ironic that someone with a heart like Joe’s’ would succumb to heart problems. The man was all heart.”

Mr. Fairfield knew Biddeford schools inside and out. He took meticulous care of the buildings and athletic fields, and was known for talking with students in the hallways and offering words of encouragement after games.

“He absolutely gave his all to get the job done,” Ray said. “It’s a sad day for us here. There will not be another Joe Fairfield. For the guys he worked with … he was their rock.”

Mr. Fairfield lived in Kennebunk. He was married to Joette Fairfield for five years.

His wife said Tuesday that he was easy to recognize – a big, burly guy with long hair and piercing eyes.

“No matter where we went, someone recognized him. It was his hair. It was his signature,” his wife said. “Everyone knew him.”

He sponsored his own softball team for over 40 years called Team Fairfield and Joe’s Diner.

Mr. Fairfield was a longtime member of Church on the Cape in Cape Porpoise and served as church custodian for many years. He was an active member of Arundel Lodge # 76 AF & AM, the Kora Shrine in Lewiston, and the Kora Moped parade unit. He was a member and past president of Maine Patriot Riders.

His wife said he was a generous man. Once he took off his jacket and gave it to someone in need. He also raised money for veterans in need.

“He would help anyone that needed help,” his wife said. “He would find the time.”

Mr. Fairfield began having issues with his heart a few years ago. Last year, doctors put in a defibrillator. But his wife said he had a difficult time slowing down.

“A couple of times he cried on my shoulder, ‘What am I going to do?’ He struggled really hard,” she said. “He was as strong as an ox and all of a sudden he couldn’t do things. It really bothered him.”

Visiting hours for Mr. Fairfield will be held from 3 to 7 p.m. Thursday at Bibber Memorial Chapel, 67 Summer St. in Kennebunk. A memorial service will be held 10 a.m. Friday at Church on the Cape, Langsford Road in Cape Porpoise.

Melanie Creamer can be contacted at 791-6361 or at:

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Twitter: MelanieCreamer