Remembering Bob Libby

Robert Libby

Robert Libby

Robert C. Libby, 92, passed away on Oct. 17, 2017, at The Gorham House.

He was born in Buxton on July 4, 1925, the son of the late Alfred P. and Helen (Tyler) Libby, and was one of eight children.

Bob attended Hollis High School and later obtained his GED through a program with the University of Southern Maine in Gorham. He also studied real estate law and real estate brokerage at the University of Southern Maine, and received his real estate broker’s license in July 1969.

Bob proudly served his country during World War II. He served in the United States Coast Guard from 1942-1946 and was honorably discharged as a petty officer third class (radioman). After enlisting, when he was 18 years old, Bob took part in the invasion of Normandy, serving aboard the USS Joseph T. Dickman. His job was to keep a landing craft barge running as they continuously ferried troops from the ship to the beaches.

Bob worked at Ametek, Inc. in South Portland for eight years as an industrial engineer. He also worked for the Cole-Layer-Trumble Company as a review appraiser, supervised research for original tax mapping in Exeter, N.H., and was the production and business development manager for the State of Maine.

He was an assessor for the City of Westbrook from 1978-1981 and for the Town of Gorham from 1981-1991. He also served as the interim town manager twice for Gorham. In 1990, he started his own appraisal firm, with his nephew Mark Goodwin, called Libby/Goodwin Appraisals. The two spent many enjoyable hours together through 1999. He was the appraiser for Gorham Savings Bank for several years and was a course instructor for the State of Maine property tax division at Bowdoin College and the University of Maine in Orono for many years.

He was a selectman/assessor/Overseer of the Poor for the Town of Buxton for 29 years (1968-1983 and 2000-2014). He was very proud to retire at the age of 89.
He was appointed to the State Board of Assessment Review from 1991-1999 by Governors Longley, McKernan, and King; was president in 1990 of the State of Maine Chapter of the International Association of Assessing Officers, and belonged to the Maine Association of Assessing Officers; was a member of the advisory board of Sanford Savings and Loan Association from 1977-1978, the Buxton-Hollis Historical Society, and VFW Post #3459; and was a merit badge counselor for Troop #349 – Boy Scouts of America.

Bob has been a lifelong racing fan. Bob and his brother Phil watched a few races and decided this would be a great hobby for them and their brother George as a mechanic. They raced each other and of course many others for many years. Their mother was their biggest fan! He raced at Beech Ridge Speedway (his hometrack), Oxford Plains Speedway, Unity Speedway, Hudson Speedway and Lee Speedway in New Hampshire, and a couple of times in New Brunswick, Canada.

Bob mostly raced in the Super Modified Class or Total Open Competition Class. A highlight in Bob’s racing career was winning as the New England Dirt Track Champion in 1966 in open competition racing.

Bob was president of the Maine State Stock Car Racing Association for 14 years. For several years after that he was director of competition at Beech Ridge Motor Speedway. He and Phil appeared on the cover of Stock Car Racing magazine. Bob was inducted into the Maine Motorsports Hall of Fame in 2005. In January 2006, Bob and his brother Phil were inducted into the New England Auto Racers Hall of Fame (NEAR). They were the first brothers to be inducted.

Bob and Nancy loved to travel and spent many pleasurable vacations going to NASCAR races all over the South. They spent several vacations attending baseball spring training games in Florida. They also flew to Las Vegas to enjoy the casinos quite a few times, including one fun time with Bob’s sister Avis and her husband Junior. The four of them sometimes took a trip to Atlantic City or Connecticut for some fun.

Bob was a very kind, generous and thoughtful person and throughout the years has helped many people, sometimes unbeknownst to them.

Bob was a loving husband, father, and grampa. He was very proud of his children’s accomplishments.

He was predeceased by his brothers, George and Philip Libby; and sisters, Mona DeWitt and Nada McPherson.

Robert is survived by his beloved wife of nearly 46 years, Nancy (Stilphen) Libby; children, Diana B. Steelman, James D. Libby and his wife Jennifer, and John R. Libby and his girlfriend Christine Natalino; sisters, Edra Dertinger and Avis Goodwin; a brother, Richard Libby; grandchildren, Grace Libby, Brett Libby, Rhonda Craven and her husband Jon, Andrea Griffith and her husband Shaun, and Brian Steelman; great-grandchildren, Madelyn Meek, Benjamin Meek, Kevin Griffith, Brandon Griffith and Brian Steelman Jr.; and many nieces and nephews.

The family wishes to express their thanks to the staff at Gorham House, Rehab Unit, for their kind and excellent care of Bob during his stay.

Bob will be lying in state for visitation on Sunday, Oct. 22, from 1-2 p.m. at the Buxton Town Hall meeting room, 185 Portland Rd., Buxton. A funeral service will be held at the Town Hall at 2 p.m. Burial will follow with military honors at Highland Cemetery in Buxton (Groveville) on Church Hill Road. Arrangements have been entrusted to the Chad E. Poitras Cremation & Funeral Service, Buxton.

Condolence messages can be submitted at the funeral home’s website: mainefuneral.com.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to

Maine Vintage Race Car Association
c/o Gail Libby
50 Beech Ridge Road
York, ME 03909,

or

Keep the Heat On
Buxton Town Hall
185 Portland Road
Buxton, ME 04093