Francis Wendell Fenton

July 15, 1915May 11, 2015

It is with deep, and heavy sadness that we announce the death of Francis Wendell Fenton of Mercer, Maine who passed on May 11th, at his home in the same room that he was born in July 15th 1915. He grew up on the family farm along West Sandy River Road raising Flemish Giant Rabbits, graduated from Coburn Classical Institute, and as a young man was a member of the Civilian Conservation Corps in Greenville.

His father, William, urged him to be adventurous, and he joined the Navy in 1937. He began his career as a boot camper in San Diego and served 3 years on the USS San Diego (CL-55) during Word War II as an engine room Machinist Mate. The San Diego was the highest decorated ship of the war and was the first U.S. Navy ship to enter Tokyo Bay in August 1945. Francis completed a rewarding 20 year naval career and retired as a Chief Petty Officer in 1957.

After 15 years working maintenance for the San Diego school district, Francis returned to his roots and his home in Mercer. There he reenergized the 100 year old apple orchard and became Maine’s “Apple Man” known for his 43 apple varieties, many of them unique and considered heritage.

He was predeceased by his wife Dollie Lea; survived by sister Annie Fenton of Madison; daughters Linda Lea Higgins of Belgrade, Carol Fenton Gilbert and son-in-law Capt Jim Gilbert, USN (Ret) of San Diego California; grandsons: Zak, Garret, and Aaron and great grandchildren: Michaelee, Trevor, Owen and Jake.

A service will be held in Mercer, 11:00 AM on July 18th at the Meeting House on the hill with burial following in the churchyard. A celebration of life will be held at the family farm, Sandy River Apples immediately afterwards.

Arrangements are under the care and direction of Smart & Edwards Funeral Home, 183 Madison Ave., Skowhegan, Maine.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Double B Equine Rescue, 997 West Mills Rd, Industry, ME 04938.


  • Funeral Service Saturday, July 18, 2015

Francis Wendell Fenton

have a memory or condolence to add?

Brenda & Linwood Green

May 26, 2015

We have lost a very special man. He was the best and we loved hearing from him and his notes of wisdom. He helped keep Double B going and able to Rescue more horses with his generosity.

Gail Woods Smith

May 22, 2015

Dave and I wish to express our sympathies and to say how much we value his tales of days gone by and his remembrances of time spent with Uncle Leon and Aunt Martha. Our daughter, Sid , thoroughly enjoyed the apple orchard!

Richard Dubois

May 21, 2015

Sad to hear this news, he lived a good life and was always willing to talk to anyone about the histroy of the area. It was good speaking to him at the snowmobile races this winter. Rest in Peace!

Alberta Cole

May 21, 2015

All of Francis family and many friends have lost a treasure-a treasure of knowledge, of wisdom, of humor, and of love. He will be missed by all and never forgotten.


May 21, 2015

Kenneth and I truly sorry for your loss. It is our most ardent hope that you receive comfort and support from God(Psalms 83:18).

Vicki McKinnon

May 20, 2015

I am so saddened by his death. I always looked forward to my cousin's letters over the last 30+ years. I will miss him. My heart goes out to his daughters.

Janet Miller

May 20, 2015

Oh how my friend Francis will be missed!! He was always up for a visit whenever I came to visit the kids; he always had a story to tell; always stopping by to chat; making pitzels at the holidays and sharing them with me. It just won't be the same next visit without him there. I will walk down anyway to let him know he's always though of. Always in my heart dear Francis.

Barbara Winslow

May 20, 2015

I have just printed the obituary and put it safely away with all the other notes and pictures I have of Francis. Working with him as I wrote Fancy and Francis was a joy and a privilege.Mercer has lost a good man and I have lost a good friend.

May 20, 2015

It is with deep sorrow that my husband and I read this. We had come to enjoy our visits to the orchard and talks with Francis. I wanted to dance with him at his birthday party this summer! A good man and a good life. Our sincere condolences to his family.
Chris & Tom from Whitefield, Maine