In fifth grade Joseph Damien should have been learning about fractions and decimal points but instead, he traded in pencils and erasers to work a fulltime job to help support his family. Raised in Old Town and happy to spend most of his life there, his first big move was in 1951 when he joined the Air Force.
He started out as a mechanic stationed at Dow Air Force Base just down the road in Bangor. His lack of schooling didn’t hold him back as he worked in engineering and on airplanes. At one point during his service, he worked as squadron painter. As he explained it, a squadron painter is responsible for keeping all the markings on the airplanes up to date and he recalled that “It was a full time job.”
Blind Date Turns into a Lifetime of Love
It’s not often that folks are set up on a blind date and not only have a great time, but end up meeting their soulmate and sharing over 60 years of marriage. That is exactly what happened for Joe, though. A co-worker asked Joe if he would escort her cousin, Beverly Seymour, to the Eastern Maine General Hospital School of Nursing formal dance. Beverly was a nursing student and preparing to graduate. Joe agreed, and as the saying goes, the rest is history. A wonderful history that includes their life together and eight children - five daughters and three sons.
After the military, Joe enjoyed a 50-year career with AB Dick Company as a factory representative, repairing copy machines and office equipment. The job required him to travel throughout the state and days didn’t always go as planned.
“A lot of times I was supposed to be at home for dinner in Old Town at five and I would find myself in Presque Isle!”
A Talent for Building
With what free time he had while raising a large family, Joe loved to spend time woodworking. He especially liked making birdhouses for his feathered friends. Additionally, he was skilled at building and constructing homes – for people – and built three in his lifetime.
About Maine Veterans’ Homes
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