Jeffrey Oliver Bickford

FAIRFIELD – Jeffrey Oliver Bickford, 74, passed away at home on Thursday July 28, 2022, with family by his side. He bravely endured pulmonary fibrosis for three years.

Jeffrey was born in Waterville, on April 10, 1948, the son of Frederick Hartson Bickford and Maxine Louis (Mushero) Bickford both of Fairfield. He was raised in Fairfield, attended Immaculate Heart of Mary Elementary School and Lawrence High School as a member of the class of 1966.

He was an original founder of PHB with his brother Jim Bickford, and Larry Warren, and was later joined by his brother Jon. In his capacity as a builder and carpenter Jeffrey built hundreds of homes in the greater Fairfield area. He later trained as a millwright and worked his way up to superintendent. In that capacity he worked for Cianbro, Pizzagalli Construction, Abbington Constructors and Rust Construction to name a few. During those years, he traveled across the Northeast and Michigan to service and rebuild essential equipment in the paper mill and other industries. He was well respected and in high demand in his field.

In his youth Jeffrey enjoyed basketball and was a varsity player for Lawrence High School. His athleticism and enthusiasm for the outdoors and engines provided endless hours of enjoyment, including competing in small tractor pulling, stock car racing at Unity Motor Speedway, motorcycle enduro racing (a sport where aged 29 was considered “over-the-hill”). He was considered a “ringer” in golf tournaments dressed in his denim overalls and work boots. His sense of humor and story telling were widely known and admired as two of his best qualities.

Jeff built many houses in his long life, but the home he enjoyed the most was the “down-back” home surrounded by trees, ponds, and wild-life. As a boy he even camped out there and dreamed of a life on this special spot. He particularly enjoyed sitting on the porch watching the ducks and geese in the pond, turtles meandering, the deer raising their young and the garden bearing the gifts from his land. The pond he had built brought hours of enjoyment; even as his health was declining he watched his great grandchildren Benjamin, MacKinzy, Ry-Ry, Serenity and Sage swim and play. The whole family gathered and picnicked together on the land that meant so much to him.

He was predeceased by his parents, Fred and Maxine, his special sister-in-law Gail Bickford, his brother-in-law David Weigel, his brother-in-law Dana J. Slye and his dear friend Larry Thibodeau.

The most impactful and tragic was his infant son who lays resting in St. Francis Cemetery in Waterville.

He is survived by his wife of 43 years, Deborah Slye-Bickford, his children Holly Marie Demo, Crystal Lee Ann Pressey and her husband Bo, Paula Anne Criss and her partner Nathaniel Cobb, and a daughter from whom he is estranged. He is further survived by his grandchildren: Nicholas “Nick” J. Casey and his wife Deni, Ryan P. Casey and his wife Becky, Kristen Smiley and her husband Brian, Lindsay Batchelder and her husband Evan, Codey Casey, Dylan Huff, Devin Huff, his youngest Katelynn Pressey, and her sister Kelly. He is further survived by his siblings: Dr. Joseph “Jerry” Bickford, Phyllis Dubois and her husband Stanley, James Bickford and his wife Giselle, Jonathan Bickford, and Theresa Weigel. In addition, he is survived by his sisters in-law Deanne Slye, Darby Slye and Nancy Hudnall and brother in-law Dean J. Slye. He is also survived by his great-grandchildren: Benjamin Smiley, MacKinzy Booker, Ryan Casey, Marlon and Lorelei Batchelder, and Cadence and Graysen Murray, and many special nieces and nephews (Bickford and Dale). He is also survived by a very special cousin and friend Allen Foster and very special niece Laura Slye and her partner David Erickson, and his dear friends Peter Bouchard and Daniel Harding. He is also survived by his first wife and mother of his children Marilyn Bickford. Last but certainly not least, he is survived by his loyal pets Oliver the Golden Retriever, and cats Lily Kitty and Boo-Boo, and kitten Mr. Gray.

Per his wishes, there will be no formal services. An out-door celebration of life will be held on the grounds of his “down-back” home on Aug. 20, 2022, starting at 1 p.m. Further details will be posted by Crystal Pressey via social media. His burial will take place at the newly constructed family plot on the property.

The family would like to thank the Maine General Hospice Nurses and Social Worker who attended to his needs in the last several months of his life, and would like them to know that he looked forward to their visits.

Arrangements are in the care of Lawry Brothers Funeral Home, 107 Main St., Fairfield where memories may be shared, and an online register book signed by visiting

For those who wish to honor his memory, please make donations to the Waterville Area Humane Society (, for all the special pets he held dear in his lifetime.

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