Columbus, OH — Frank Withee, 89, of Greene, Maine, died Sept. 14, 2021, at his home with his loving family at his side.
Mr. Withee was born in Hartland on June 2, 1932. He grew up in Dexter and spent much of his time as young man working around Standardbreds.
He wed Barbara Obermeyer on Jan. 27, 1951, and they were married for 70 years and raised five children. He worked at Bates College for 23 years and often picked up part-time jobs to support his family. After leaving the college, he then pursued his career in harness racing, which spanned five decades.
Mr. Withee had moved his family to Greene and had a small barn at his place. He raised a filly named Bellnow who went on to become a wonderful racehorse. Bellnow raced at Saratoga in June 1973 and won, pacing in 2:00.3, which was a national season’s record for 4-year-old pacing mares at the time. He also had track records with Chester Baron in 1:58.4 at Lewiston Raceway in 1986, On The Bay in 1:56 at Bangor Raceway in 2001, and Rhine Wine in 1:56 at Farmington in 1999. These three records are still standing today.
He also managed Lavish Acres in Greene, a large training and breeding facility. He was employed there for 16 years. After the farm was sold, he stabled the horses on his property on the Blaisdell Road in Greene.
He continued to train and race horses until recently. He last raced at Scarborough Downs on Oct. 20, 2018, where he won the race with Ms Lynette.
Mr. Withee enjoyed his grandchildren and great-grandchildren and was always interested in their activities and sports. He would always ask how they were doing and occasionally would attend a baseball, softball, basketball or hockey game to cheer them on.
He is survived by his sisters, Joyce King and Glenice Hodgon; children, Kathy (Mark) Campbell, Steve, Kim, Robyn (David) Crochere, and Jason (Maureen); grandchildren, Christopher, Rebecca, Jessica, Danielle, Kaitlin, Ashley, Nicholas, and Samantha; great-grandchildren, Reed, Dexter, Isabella, Coraline, and Bentley; and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his wife, Barbara, in February 2021; and brothers, Clint, Gordon and Alton.
There will be a celebration of his life on Sunday (Oct. 17) at 12 p.m. at the family home.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Androscoggin Home Health Care and Hospice, 15 Strawberry Ave., Lewiston, ME 04240.