Roger P. Averill

BENTON – Roger P. Averill, 89, left this vale of tears on April 2, 2023 at home with his family by his side. He was born on Sept. 28, 1933 at the old Waterville Osteopathic Hospital to Charles I., and Edna M. Soule Averill of Benton.

He attended grade schools in Benton and graduated from Lawrence High School in 1952. While in high school he was a member of the Future Farmers of America. He received the Star State Farmer Degree in 1951. While attending high school he was a dairy farmer, having a herd of 15 Jersey cows. He continued farming until 1960 when he went to work at Diamond Match in Oakland. He worked there for over 30 years and worked his way up to a foreman. When the mill closed, he was sent to Minnesota and North Carolina as a consultant for the mills there. After that he became employed as a Boiler Operator at Thayer Hospital and retired from Thayer in 1995.

While at Diamond Match he met and married Rachel Curtis on March 5, 1961 and they celebrated their 57th wedding anniversary in 2018.

In 1984 he built Averill’s Mobile Home Park in Benton which is still in operation. He also owned Rocky Heritage Nursery and Gift Shop in Benton for many years.

He was Chairman of the Benton Municipal Planning Board for many years and then Vice Chairman. He gave up those positions as he didn’t feel he had the time it required to dedicate to them and stepped down to a regular member of the board. He was also on the Executive Board of the Kennebec Valley Council of Governments and Revolving Loan Fund Committee, retiring from those positions in 2014. He was a member of the Benton Town Budget Committee. Also, the Cemetery Committee and Library Committee for a short time.

For many years he met monthly during the spring, summer and fall with his high school classmates of ’52 for supper at many restaurants in surrounding areas.

In spite of having two strokes in 2005 he was still able to work in the woods with his tractor, chain saw and bulldozer and haul logs to several log yards with his son, Lewis Schoenig.

He loved flowers and was always planting something new. He enjoyed the livestock that his son Lou kept in the pastures when he was no longer able to run the farm himself. He also loved going to the coast at Bar Harbor in the fifth wheel camper, with his wife. Having a site right on the ocean, he enjoyed walking the beach and showing his grandchildren and great-grandchildren the sea life from under the seaweed. It always put a smile on his face to see the big oak shade tree and the flowers he had planted at that site. Feeding the seagulls bread and giving the chipmunks sunflower seed and peanuts in the shells by the bowl full was a pleasure for him to watch. The chipmunks would come up and eat out of his hand.

He had a fondness for Fryeburg Fair and was a lifetime member. Most of his time was spent in the horse and oxen pulling arena with Cyanne and Lou although he liked walking the fairgrounds and seeing what the vendors had for sale. He was very fond of steak bombs, dough boys, pizzas, fries and apple strudel with ice cream. He never missed a year, until 2012 while on his way to Fryeburg, his truck caught fire. While at Fryeburg he made a yearly trip to New Hampshire where he liked to shop at the Christmas Loft, Barton and Reid Gift Shop and the Chocolate Factory. Sweets was his passion and he would often eat his desserts before his main meal.

He was predeceased by his parents; his wife; and a brother, John, of Winslow.

Survivors include a daughter, Susan Schoenig and husband Lewis Schoenig, daughter, Bonnie Averill of Waterville and a stepdaughter, Deborah Green; grandchildren, Cyanne Schoenig and Jordan Thornhill.

Roger would like to thank Cyanne Schoenig for living with him for the last five years and helping him at home. A special thank you to Susan and Lewis Schoenig for assisting with the mobile home park, home care and anything he needed, and Bonnie Averill for assisting with homecare. Because of his families care he was able to stay in his home of 89 years until he passed. A thank you to Maine General hospice and Dr. Webb for their care of Roger in his time of need.

Following cremation there will be no funeral services or celebration of life at his request. Roger stated his true family saw him every day and weekly and called him on the phone and with his facebook. Roger said everyone that loved him visited and spent time with him at the home where he lived and passed away. He and his wife’s ashes will be placed in one urn and they will be buried together at their family cemetery in Benton on the home place where they lived.

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