Merle Frederick Philbrook

April 10, 1924
- May 08, 2012

MILO - Merle Frederick Philbrook, 88, lost his brief battle with cancer May 8, 2012, surrounded by his loved ones at his home. Merle was born April 10, 1924, in Mattawamkeag, son of Irving and Bessie (Tash) Philbrook. Merle will be dearly missed by his loving wife of 45 years, Jan (Goodridge). He leaves behind his children: son, Charlie and Elaine Philbrook of Vancleave, Miss.; daughter, Brenda Wagner of Warren; son, David and Brenda Philbrook of Augusta; daughters, Merlene Sanborn of Bangor, Eileen Philbrook and Dean Ward of Plymouth, Valerie and Jon Elwell of Westbrook; and son, Randy and Jocelyn Philbrook of Portsmouth, N.H. Merle was predeceased by his daughter, Julie Ann Johnson; son-in-law, Mark Sanborn, brothers, Clayton, Glen "Nick" and Raymond "Squint;" and sisters, Arlene Hughes "Deenie," Hildred Nichols "Diddy" and Barbara Johnston. Betty Pooler is his last remaining sibling. Merle is survived by 17 grandchildren from all throughout the U.S., Greg and Troy, Laura, Alaina, Chuck, Betsye and Julie, Dell and Tracy, Jennifer and Ryan, Matt and Mike, Nick and Jillian, and Ryan and Jesse; and 23 great-grandchildren, Calen, Lauren, Corey and Logen, Garet and Blaine, Allie and Sarah, Taylor, Derrick and Jonah, Nikki and Brendan, Misha, Casey and Anna, Hunter and Kendall, Story and Shy, and Emily, Alana and Hannah; numerous family and friends, special nieces and nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews. There are dozens of people out there who feel privileged to have known "Uncle Merle," or "Pop" to some relatives by chance or by choice. Merle was a 63-year member of American Legion Post No. 41. He served in the Army in World War II, assigned to the 836th Engineer Aviation Battalion-Replacement. Merle dearly loved spending time with all his family, especially the snowmobile trips and horseshoe games with all his boys. He was especially proud to win the annual 2011 Schoodic Horseshoe tournament at age 87 - just weeks after open-heart surgery. He was well known for his wonderful sense of humor, and was always eager to share stories - even if they were embarrassing to himself or others. He instilled in his family a lifelong love of Ebeemee Pond. We will always remember many Merleisms: "'magine that," "no problem," "sufferin' ole mossyface," and "fizzog," and "You Are My Sunshine" on his harmonica. Merle adored his Boston Red Sox. A memorial service will be held 11 a.m. Saturday, May 19, at American Legion Post No. 41, 41 West Main St., Milo. In lieu of flowers, the family is asking that donations be made to Community Health and Counseling Services - Hospice Division, Development Office, 42 Cedar St., P.O. Box 425, Bangor, ME 04401 or securely on their website at

Published in BDN Maine on May 12, 2012

Previous: Curtis J. York
Memoriam Home