Relatives of the Belmont man whose remains were found over the weekend said they were glad to have closure in the case, but it didn’t make news of his death any easier.

Skeletal remains found over the weekend have been positively identified as those of Charles “Chuck” Springer, a Belmont man who had been missing for more than two years.

Tuesday afternoon, Nov. 23, Springer’s sister, Joanne Grigoreas, and his 90-year-old mother, Ellie, said while the family had long prayed for closure in this case it was a shock to know he was gone. The family spoke with VillageSoup from Grigoreas’ home in Lebanon.

“I think that’s partly because we never really came to the resolve that he could be dead,” said Grigoreas. “We just thought he was getting by somewhere … We’ve always held out that hope.”

That hope stemmed from the fact that Springer was a long-haul trucker for 30 years, and resourceful when it came to getting from one place to another.

According to a press release issued by Steve McCausland, spokesman for the Maine Department of Public Safety, the state Medical Examiner’s Office made the positive identification on the evening of Nov. 22, after members of the state’s forensic dental team examined the remains and compared them to dental records.

Springer had not been seen since May 2, 2008, when he walked away from the Halls Corner Road home he shared with his mother. Springer, then 69 years old, suffered from dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Several searches were conducted in the area after Springer was reported missing in 2008.

Deer hunters found Springer’s remains were found about a mile off Back Belmont Road in thick woods around 11 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 20, according to McCausland. The remains were approximately 1.7 miles from where Springer lived, according to McCausland’s press release.

McCausland said Maine State Police do not suspect foul play in Springer’s death. According to the dead man’s family, Springer was upset in the days prior to his disappearance because his doctor had revoked his driver’s license as a result of his medical condition. Meanwhile, Springer’s mother — then 88 years old — had been allowed to renew her driver’s license.

“He couldn’t understand it,” said Grigoreas, describing her brother’s reaction to losing his license in an interview with VillageSoup earlier this year, on the second anniversary of Springer’s disappearance.

“He felt he was OK to drive,” Grigoreas explained. “For the most part, he was, but not always. And that was the problem.”

This week, Grigoreas said she and her mother had been watchful of recent reports of two other bodies located in Maine in recent weeks.

The discovery of Springer’s remains in Belmont marks the third time this month that hunters have found human remains in the woods of Maine, according to police.

The two other bodies were an unidentified man found in woods in Stacyville on Nov. 4, and the body of 60-year-old William Stein, a Vassalboro man missing since June, who was found in woods near his home Nov. 15. According to police, Stein was a convicted child molester who failed to show up at the Kennebec County Jail on June 11 to begin serving a sentence for crimes he had pleaded guilty to.

Each time the news of the discovery of yet another body surfaced, Grigoreas said, the family wondered about whether it might be Springer’s.

“Each time, it would get our thoughts going that maybe it could be,” she said. “Finally, this last time, it turned out to be him.”

Ellie Springer said while she finds comfort in the fact that she now knows what happened to her son, she is saddened to know that he was so close to home all this time.

“We’ve spent the last two and a half years wondering,” she said.

The family is interested in knowing the exact location where Springer’s body was found, said Grigoreas, as relatives wish to lay flowers there as a memorial to their lost loved one.

The family is planning to hold a memorial service in Belfast during the spring or summer of next year. That way, said Grigoreas, relatives from across the country will be able to attend. The family also hopes Springer’s many friends in Waldo County will come, too, especially since his friends and family were such important parts of Springer’s life.

Grigoreas and Ellie Springer described Springer as a good brother and a good son, respectively, and as a man who was generous and willing to help anyone in need.

“He was very generous; anytime one of his friends needed a place to stay, they’d stay with Chuck,” said Ellie Springer, adding some of his friends had keys to Springer’s home and all of his guests were welcome to ride his ATVs when they visited.

Springer was always willing to make donations to agencies that were collecting toys for children at Christmas time, the women said.

Grigoreas said her brother had a “fun spirit” that often came through when he listened to music. Ellie Springer remembered her son’s ability to get her up and moving, especially when he heard a nice waltz. “He would take my hand and get me up to dance to it,” she said fondly.

“He loved to dance,” said Grigoreas, who recalled times when her brother always wanted to go dancing any time she came up to visit him.

Ellie Springer said as her son’s illness progressed, she often drove him to local venues that provided live music, and occasionally, he’d get her to dance with him while they were out on the town.

“I don’t know what other people thought about this guy who was out with his mother, but it made him happy,” she said.

Another one of Springer’s lifelong loves was baseball, and both women recalled the joy they saw in Springer every time a friend came by to take him to play as part of a league in the Bath area.

Springer’s family extended thanks to all of the law enforcement officials, friends and strangers who worked to find Springer.

“Now we know, and it feels good to know,” said Grigoreas. “But then again, it doesn’t.”