Thomas William Flacke, beloved husband and father and longtime resident of Morrill, died in Bangor Nov. 1, 2020, of complications from the COVID-19 virus.

Tom was born Feb. 13, 1943, and is survived by his wife of 55 years, Sally Demeter (née Parker); daughter Sandy Flacke and her partner, Steve Fitzpatrick; and son Aaron Flacke; as well as granddaughters Sierra, Savana and Sabrina, in whom he took immense pride. He is also survived by a wide group of friends and relatives, including many nieces and nephews on both sides of the family. He was predeceased by his father, Joseph Flacke, mother Clara Flacke (née Hohl) and older brothers Joseph Flacke and Robert Flacke.

Born in Albany, N.Y., as a child Tom walked uphill both ways to school through deep snow. He eventually attended the Christian Brothers Academy, a Catholic military school, to which he was sent for what he vaguely recounted as "discipline problems." Tom continued to rebel, hot-rodding cars, street racing and riding motorcycles, getting bad grades, hanging out with the theater nerds and drinking too much beer at Ithaca College. In the summer of 1962, while working as a janitor and historical reenactor at Fort William Henry in Lake George, N.Y., he met Sarah Beach Parker, who would eventually become his wife.

Upon graduation from college, Tom joined the Army, learning how to drive a tank and disarm ordnance. After the Army, his skill with explosives led to a sales job at DuPont, where he was paid to blow things up.

Tom left DuPont after a few years, and the family moved from Wilmington, Del., to a small farmhouse in Morrill. Tom managed the production floor at B.M. Clark in Union for just under a year before the firm unexpectedly went out of business. He pivoted from that experience to launch Yankee Master, a manufacturer of trawler winches and other industrial machinery, in Rockland.

The 1980s were a turbulent time, but Tom was a dogged worker. To support his family, he worked as a commercial fisherman and long-haul trucker, cut wood and baled hay. Later he would work for his old Army friend Lew Weinberg, helping manage a group of businesses in Sioux City, Iowa. He managed the Fedco co-op food warehouse in Winslow and built a house in Appleton before landing his final job, running a warehouse for the Bangor & Aroostook Railroad in Hermon, in 1989. This job combined three of Tom’s great loves: trains, trucks and bad coffee. Although the warehouse was an hour away from home over bad roads, Tom cheerfully, insistently, drove to work through many snowstorms. If you are familiar with Route 7 between Brooks and Dixmont, you know it is indeed uphill in both directions.

Along the way, Tom read books, took Sunday afternoon naps, made egg rolls and pancakes for his children, fixed cars, did an immense amount of work around the farm, and served as a volunteer firefighter and school board member. Tom earned his master's at the University of Maine in 1995. He helped raise six good dogs: Socrates, Missy, Dyan, Panda, Emma and Sassy.

Tom retired from the railroad in 2007, and a few years later was elected Morrill's First Selectman, a post he held until his death. He will be remembered for his deft leadership, always listening, asking a gentle question, lending advice.

No service is planned at this time. Tom was always concerned that children were going hungry, so please make a donation to your local food bank in his name.