Basil Staples died peacefully at Tall Pines on Aug. 11, 2019. Basil was born Oct. 7, 1935, in Stockton Springs to Medbury and Mabel (Dunaver) Staples.

He was predeceased by his parents, his wife of 53 years Mary F. (Smith) Staples, and their baby son, Spencer.

After graduating as valedictorian from Stockton Springs High School in 1955, Basil intended to study engineering but decided to marry his high school sweetheart, Mary Smith, in 1957. As an only son and newlywed, Basil could have asked for an exemption from military service, but proudly reported for basic training after being drafted in 1958. Basil’s service in the 1st Infantry in West Germany led to friendships that he maintained for the rest of his life. Basil spent most of his working life at the paper mill in Bucksport. He also spent many happy hours working on Staples Homestead, his family farm, where he managed his blueberry and hayfields. In 1987, he opened a “pick your own” wild blueberry business —one of the very few that existed at the time. Recently, he was especially proud of completing a major restoration of the homestead barn.

Basil was a lifelong resident of Stockton Springs and served the town in many voluntary capacities. In 2016, he was awarded the Spirit of America Foundation Tribute for his dedicated service to the town. With his wife Mary, he helped to establish the Stockton Springs Community Library. His idea to collect returnable bottles and cans for the library’s book fund has raised over $100,000.

Basil is survived by daughter Dawn Staples-Knox, her husband Andrew Knox and their children, Dylan and Lucy Knox, and Lucy’s husband Chris Giggie; daughter Andrea Staples; son Scott Staples, his wife Nancy Rimm Staples and their children Logan and Tori Staples; and several cousins and many cherished friends.

Friends may call from 4 to 6 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 16, at Mitchell Tweedie Funeral Home at 14 Elm St., Bucksport. We will celebrate Basil’s wonderful life at a later date. Anyone wishing to make donations in his honor should send them to Stockton Springs Community Library or Ambulance Service, or the scholarship fund at his American Legion post c/o Horace Seekins, P.O. Box 211, Stockton Springs.