Russell S. Connon, 80, died July 9, 2010, at the Knox Center after an extended illness.

Born in Rockland, April 21, 1930, he was the son of Walter M. and Ethel M. (Blackington) Connon. Russell grew up on the family homestead on West Meadow Road, and lived there most of his life. He attended Rockland schools and was a graduate of Rockland High School, class of 1948. While in high school, he played football and participated on the track team. During his junior year in high school, with a group of friends, Russ volunteered to fight the infamous wild fire in Bar Harbor.

In earlier years, he assisted his mother, Ethel Connon, in the operation of Hillcrest Riding Academy. At the same time he also showed his own horse, Hillcrest Pete.

In the early 1970s, with friends and neighbors Roger Lachance, Alfred Butler, Irving Maloney, Bryce Smallwood and Arthur Bean, Russ started the Bog Brigade Snowmobile Club.

Having operated his own dump-truck for several years, Russ worked throughout his career as a heavy equipment operator and truck driver. He was first employed with George C. Hall & Sons in Rockland until the mid 1970s, when he began working as a heavy equipment operator for Harry C. Crooker & Sons in Topsham. In the late 1980s until the early 1990s he worked for U.R. Ilvonen Earthmoving Inc. in Owls Head. For a few years prior to his retirement he returned to driving for George C. Hall & Sons Inc. After retiring, he worked delivering cars for Fuller Auto Mall.

Russ enjoyed reading, hunting, volleyball, softball, bowling and riding motorcycles. Since 1986 he had been an ardent supporter of Rockland basketball, rarely missing a game. He was also a University of Maine women’s basketball fan. Stock car racing was another passion, and for several years he was pleased to be a crew member of the Philip Seekins Race Team. In association with racing he also enjoyed building NASCAR models.

For 12 years, Russ resided with his companion and friend, Betty Mason, of Owls Head.

He is survived by a son, James R. Connon, and his wife, Marguerite, of Rockland; three daughters, Vickie L. Ladd and her husband, Bruce, of Lincolnville, Patricia J. Tripp and her husband, Joel, of Gardiner and Jill A. Hanley and her husband, Jeff, of Rockland; 11 grandchildren, including Michael and Jake Paulsen, Brandy Oliver and her husband, JR, J.W. Connon, Dana Connon and his wife, Deanna, Tara Connon and her companion, Steve, Benjamin Connon, Colby Grindle, Darcy Grindle, Stacey Grindle and Jaclyn Cogswell; and eight great-grandchildren.

Visiting hours will be 6-8 p.m. Wednesday, July 14, at Burpee, Carpenter & Hutchins Funeral Home, 110 Limerock St., Rockland. No other services will be held at his time.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Humane Society of Knox County, P.O. Box 1294, Rockland, ME 04841, or Knox Center for Long Term Care, Activities Fund, 6 White St., Rockland, ME 04841.

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