Ronald D. Valentine, 62, passed away of natural causes at his home Dec. 18, 2010.

Born in Andover, Mass., on Aug. 3, 1948, he was the son of Ronald M. and Flora E. Raidy Valentine. Educated in local schools, he was a 1967 graduate of Andover High School.

“Rookie,” as Ronald was known by his many friends and family, later attended Case Western University, majoring in architecture. Many of Rook’s memorable stories were from his Cleveland years where he met many characters who were as colorful as he was. Ron loved the intellectual challenge of fixing things; so, combined with his love of people, he started his own auto repair business in Ballardval, Mass., specializing in foreign cars.

Rook married Sue in 1976 and honeymooned as they traveled cross country in a restored 1948 Red Willy Jeep. They joined the Peace Corps in 1977 where Ron received training in industrial arts education and accepted an assignment as an industrial arts professor. In that capacity he developed a high school program in Santa Barbara, Honduras. While serving as Peace Corps volunteers in Honduras, Ron and Sue started their family by adopting Gitana.

Returning to the United States, Rookie settled back in Andover where he taught industrial arts at Timberland High School, worked as a production engineer and continued with auto repairs. When their second child Serena was born, he decided that Maine offered a more family-centered lifestyle, and the family moved to Camden.

In the Maine spirit Rook continued to do many creative things; he repaired cars, restored houses and opened Firm Footing Foundations. When he heard that Lincolnville was planning a new town hall but not considering a full basement due to budgetary reasons, he offered his foundation equipment and expertise for free. As a result of Ron’s generosity, the town hall is on firm footings.

More recently, Ron was involved in metal fabrication and construction, and spent many memorable hours lending his expertise as a volunteer at the Owls Head Transportation Museum. Traveling between Maine and Massachusetts where his daughters and grandson live, Rookie had just completed a new house for Tana and Camden, and a deck for Serena.

With his dog Cassie, he loved to spend time in Ipswich with his longtime companion, Suzie.

Ron is survived by two daughters, Serena Valentine and her companion John Berube and Tana Valentine; the mother of his children, Sue Valentine, all of Sterling, Mass.; his longtime companion, Susana Bamford of Ipswich, Mass.; a brother, William “Billy” Valentine and his wife, Jane, of Lawrence, Mass.; a sister, Jane Hermosa and her husband, Luis, of Andover, Mass.; as well as his nieces and nephews, including Sean Valentine, Shira, Abbi and Omar.

In celebration of Rook’s creative spirit and one-of-a-kind character, friends and relatives are invited to an informal gathering in Ron’s memory, of food, fellowship, dancing and storytelling, Tuesday, Dec. 28 from 5:30 to 9 p.m. at the Old Town Hall, 20 Main St., Andover, Mass.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Owls Head Transportation Museum, P.O. Box 277, Owls Head, ME 04854.

To sign Ron’s online guest book or to leave online condolences, visit obituaries at bchfh.com.