Merle Bither

PALMYRA – Merle Bither, 77, died Dec. 21, 2019 at the Maine Veterans Home in Scarborough. He was born Feb. 2, 1942 in Houlton, a son of Merle and Maxine (Bates) Bither, Sr.

After moving with his family to Winterport, Merle graduated from Unifree High School, Class of 1960. He served in the U. S. Air Force as an aircraft mechanic during the Vietnam War. Merle was a crew chief and SS E5 working on k97’s in flight refuelers from the NH airbase to Labrador. Merle was often working on airplanes while in flight, crawling out into the wing. The war took him to airbases in Brazil, Rio de Janeiro, and England.

While working for the Seaboard/Coastline merging railroads, he was a footboard man and then a switchman. He also worked as a conductor for a year or two. After moving back home he worked as a truck driver for Cianbro and Guilford Industries and will be most remembered working at the Newport Exxon Station.

Merle will be remembered as everyone’s friend, always willing to help out. After retirement, Merle was known to visit many stores and restaurants in the area making friends everywhere he went. He always had a hug for everyone, whether they wanted one or not! Merle had a great love for music, always listening to Merle Haggard, Johnny Cash, or Charlie Pride. It never mattered if you sang well or not, he loved to hear anyone sing.

Merle truly lived every day as if it were his last. He loved unconditionally, without judgment or hesitation telling friends and family how much he loved them any opportunity he had. Regardless of social class, race or religion, Merle only ever saw a new friend. He would greet everyone with a smile and a hug, often with a joke to make you laugh. Everywhere Merle went, he touched the lives of others. He gave his limitless love and happiness to them.

Though Merle was only at the Maine Veterans Home in Scarborough for a year and a half, he made a lasting impression and lovingly described as the resident cheerleader. Many staff and residents say he was their first friend there. Merle enjoyed helping pass out the morning paper and cracking jokes with the staff. The family would like to thank the staff at the Maine Veterans Home for all their love, care and concern for his wellbeing.

Merle is survived by and adored his wife Mavis (Sargent) Bither, (or Maizey as he lovingly called her), of Palmyra; two daughters, Jeri and husband Bill Roberts of Jackson, and Pam Bither of Westbrook; a brother, Chet Bither, and sister Janet Bither, both of Troy; four grandchildren, Jennifer Larrabee, Katie Roberts, Emma and Addison Tapley; two great-grandchildren, Jordan and Ryan Larrabee; and many nieces and nephews.

A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 4, at the Jubilee Family Worship Center, Elm Street, Newport, with Pastor Elizabeth Sullivan officiating. Those who wish may leave written condolences at www.CrosbyNeal.com

Memorial donations may be made to the:

Activities Fund

Maine Veterans Home

290 US-1

Scarborough, ME 04074