Franklin Countys First News

Kenneth Edwin Targett (1953-2020)

Kenneth Edwin Targett

STRATTON - Kenneth Edwin Targett, of Stratton Maine, passed suddenly on Sunday, August 23, 2020, with Helen, his wife of 47 years by his side as always and his friend Jay.

He was born to Rita (Cyr) and Edwin “Ted” Targett, the eldest of their three children, on November 14, 1953. He grew up in Stratton, Maine, where he made his lifelong home. He honed his mechanical skills at a young age, taking apart his mother’s appliances to custom build motorized toys. He was always very clever and his knack for all things mechanical spanned from electric go-karts and unique tall bicycles of childhood to the bigger and faster toys of adulthood.

Ken was able to thoroughly impress his girl, Helen C. Bennet, with his souped up white Chevy Nova along with much persistence. In spite of his friends, who almost did not deliver the groom to his wedding in time, he and Helen were married December 1, 1973. Not a spring passed without him presenting her with a nosegay of delicate pink and white mayflowers clutched in his large work-worn hands.

Together they welcomed two daughters, Heather (Reed) and Erin Targett. From then on, he was all about his three favorite girls. Everything he did was to spend time with his family. He would spend hours catching wayward softball pitches, playing games of H-O-R-S-E or sometimes P-I-G, depending on how much gravel he had spread by hand that day. He made a reel that held a mile of kite string to the delight of his kids. The kite still hangs in his garage.

If you grew up in Stratton, you probably remember the Cadbury Crème egg hunts that Ken would put together for all the neighborhood kids. He would plow skate rinks on the lake and have spontaneous bonfires that people in town would all come and join in the fun with the family. He would run a snow mobile up and down sliding hills, pulling kids back up to the top, and on days that snowed, Heather and Erin were treated to being brought to the top of Eustis Ridge and while Ken plowed, they would fly down on runner sleds that had been sprayed slick with lubricant. Ken could always slide faster than any of us dared to. You may have even survived being pulled in a tube behind his boat. The treehouses and swings that he built for his children became safer models that he built for his grandchildren. He was a dad that always played alongside his children. Ken and Helen cherished raising their girls in the small town of Stratton for the closeness of a loving community and the support of so many friends.

Fabrication was his calling but he could fix anything. He traded in sports cars for conversion vans and snowmobiles with wooden cabooses, and the Jeeps. So many Jeeps. He would sneak these through town under the cover of darkness with only the moonlight glinting off the complete hunks of rusty junk. Each Jeep rebuild was a labor of love, him scouring salvage yards, Uncle Henry’s and later the internet to piece-by-piece restore each Jeep to glory. Each one was then woods, water and mud-hole tested with Helen and the girls screaming in the passenger seats. Each one of his children and grandchildren learned to drive stick in Ken’s Jeeps. He gave his family special memories of taking the doors and the top off for nighttime rides around the lake to look at stars or the Northern lights.

He enjoyed his vintage and antique cars, restoring cars with his brother-in-laws Jon and Chris and even building a racecar that he raced in the vintage racing association, Wicked Good League, to the cheers of his grandchildren, Heather’s sons Taylor, Trenton, and Trey Reed and Erin’s daughter Abigail Marble. His grandchildren were a great source of pride to Ken and gave him great joy to see them growing and being able to share his hobbies with them.

Ken had a wicked sense of humor and will be remembered for his quick wit and twinkling eyes. We would like to share some of the things that he would say, but many have surely been censored.

Ken and Helen loved being on the water, he enjoyed fishing, and he owned many boats throughout his life. Some of the most memorable were the old wooden sailboat that he learned to navigate through the narrow channels of the Dead River and Flagstaff lake to his family boat, The HEATHERIN, which he and Helen loved cruising along the shores of Five Islands, Maine and at home in Flagstaff. His last boat was his screaming yellow speed boat where everyone knew they better “hold on”.

He loved his birds and enjoyed watching them, describing what kind was at the feeder to his girls over the phone, and feeding the Canadian Jays by hand. The red squirrels he held less fondness for but he still found them entertaining in his own way. Ken and Helen enjoyed their early morning quiet time together, sitting outside with their coffee, and just the company of each other. He also enjoyed his vegetable garden and had begun flower gardening at their winter home in Avon Park, Fl. Ken and Helen spent the past four winters with many friends at The Knoll community living next door to best friends Jay and Wendy Wyman. Ken and Jay never lived but a couple miles from each other their entire lives. He played golf, enjoying the friendly competition, taking motorcycle rides with Helen where he could touch her leg and know she was close, and many adventures with their friends.

Throughout his life and his many hobbies his greatest passion was always the love of his wife Helen, his daughters, grandchildren, and family. He always wanted to help and maybe bring a laugh or two to brighten their day. He took such pride in his home, always puttering and trying to provide a comfortable place but always knowing his garage was close by and calling him.

Over the years he held many jobs, most memorably snowmaking and grooming at Sugarloaf, working as a woodsman, and eventually he owned and operated Targett Construction. To watch him feather earth with an excavator was like watching him brush it with his fingertips. It was delicate and beautiful.

Ken is survived by his beloved wife Helen, his daughter Heather and Tod, his daughter Erin and Mark, his grandsons Taylor, Trenton and Trey Reed, his granddaughter Abigail Marble, his nephew Christopher Brown and Jessica, his sister Debbie and Kevin, and sister Sonya, his brothers-in-law Jon and Sue Bennet, Christopher and Chrissy Bennet, his mother Rita Targett, his nieces and nephews-Katie, Tim, Sami, Melissa, and Luke, several aunts, uncles and cousins and his last dog Bella. It would also go without saying he leaves behind many loved friends. He was predeceased by his father, Edwin “Ted” Targett, and will surely be greeted for a bird hunt by his grandfather, Erwin “Pa” Targett.

Ken loved his Harleys and having his soulmate riding with him. They enjoyed many beautiful rides, although there are just never enough. Lay down some rubber on those streets of gold. Until we see you again, I love you more, you are my everything.

Due to current gathering limits, a private graveside service for the family will be held at this time with a celebration of life in Kenny Targett style to be held in his honor at a later date. Those who wish to remember Ken may consider donating time or monetary support to The Arnold Trail Snowmobile Club, PO Box 152, Eustis ME 04936 or another cause near to his heart, The National MS Society, PO Box 91891, Washington DC 20090-1891.

Cremation care has been provided by the Wiles Remembrance Center, Adams-McFarlane Chapel, 137 Farmington Falls Road, Farmington

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4 Responses »

  1. RIP Kenny! Thinking of you and the family, Helen.

  2. sorry to hear ken s passing . he was good guy. rip my friend.

  3. I told a couple of his lobstermen friends at the Georgetown wharf about Kenny's passing. They related the story about the time Kenny took them on a snowmobile trip thru the mountains. Seems the guys from the coast were doing fine, enjoying the scenery until one got off the trail and sunk up to his shoulders in snow. Kenny said, you know those trees that have just the tops showing are 12 feet tall! They will never forget that trip.

  4. So very sorry to see this ! Kenny was a friend and a guy anyone could depend on for just about anything. Always putting a smile on my face and his. I still owe him for pulling me out of the ditch at 2am one very snowy morning. You’ll be missed, heaven definitely gained another hot rod angel !

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