Franklin Countys First News

Kenneth William “Bill” Birden (1943-2020)

Kenneth William "Bill" Birden

STRONG - Kenneth William "Bill" Birden, 77, of Strong, passed away peacefully Friday morning at his home.

He was born in Torrington, CT, May 23, 1943, a son of Kenneth Harold Birden and Sylvia (Rood) Horn and attended local schools followed by the Oliver Wolcott Trade School.

On April 10, 1965, he married Vicky Agostino. Bill was a volunteer fireman, constable, and Civil Defense Director for the town of Harwinton, CT and his passions in life were his family, sawmilling as a 3rd generation sawmill owner, excavating, and restoring John Deere tractors. He owned and operated a sawmill for many years and spent many hours working in an excavator.

On Dec. 26, 1996, he and his wife moved to Strong, where he immediately set up his sawmill and started sawing, operating it until his diagnosis with cancer. He enjoyed living in the town of Strong and was a founder of the annual Strong parade that was originally dedicated to Pierpole and named Pierpole Days. He enjoyed the many friendships he gained in the community and recently had the annual town report dedicated in his honor. He also was a member of the Board of Directors of the Shelters by Jesus homeless shelter in Skowhegan, was a founder of the Sandy River Riders ATV Club, and a member of the Narrow Gauge Snowmobile Club. In Bill's own words, "I had a great life!"

He is loved by his wife of 55 years, Vicky of Strong; two children, Kenneth Birden, Jr. and his companion, Peaches Miller of Harwinton, CT and Pamela Birden of Farmington; a special friend who he called a second son, Rob Elliott of Strong; grandchildren Brittany Birden of Millinocket and Chelsey Birden of Torrington, CT; great grandchildren, Emily Cate Goss, Alexis, Chevelle, Gregory, Vincent, and Miracle; brother, Wayne Horn, Raymond Birden, and John Birden and his Wife, Debra all of CT; sisters, Nancy Rakayta and her husband Bob, Loretta Roy and her husband, Bob of Alabama, Joyce Millard and her husband Lee, Darlene Alfano and her husband Lee, all of CT; many nieces and nephews; He was predeceased by his parents and a brother, Gary Horn.

A Celebration of his Life will be held on Saturday, July 11 starting at 11 a.m. at the family home on 292 Norton Hill Road in Strong, where memories will be shared at various times, keeping mandated social distancing in mind as well as allowing all to attend by having an extended period of time to be in keeping with the limitations of no more than 50 at a time. Masks and sanitation will be available for all who attend and Words of Remembrance will be shared with those attending by Pastors Cindy Thomas, Richard Barry, and John Evans. Memories may be shared with his family in his Book of Memories at www.wilesrc.com.

The family asks that in lieu of flowers, please consider memorial donations in his memory to Androscoggin Home Care and Hospice, 15 Strawberry Avenue, Lewiston, ME 04240 in appreciation for their loving care during his illness. Cremation care and memorial services are being cared for and provided by the Wiles Remembrance Center/Adams~McFarlane Chapel, 137 Farmington Falls Road, Farmington.

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5 Responses »

  1. Sorry to hear of the loss of Bill. I remember visiting his mill in Harwinton many times with my dad my thoughts and prayers are with the entire family..

  2. Such a good natured guy, a real pleasure to work with. My sincere condolences Vicky, may God Bless Bill's soul and give you peace.

  3. Bill was a great man and will be missed by the entire community. May he rest in peace

  4. Bill was such a good and kind man. Such a loss to our community. Sincere condolences to Vicky and all of his loved ones.

  5. Bill was a kind, thoughtful, soft spoken gentleman - a community leader of the best sort. I'll miss seeing him every spring at garden planting time.

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