RUMFORD – John Leon Hartranft Jr., died July 9, 2005, at the age of 87. He was born June 22, 1918, the son of Dr. and Mrs. John L. Hartranft, in New Rochelle, N.Y. He was the second of three children, including his older brother, Thomas W. Hartranft (1914-1944) and his younger sister, Kittie K. Roemer of Lake Carey, Pa. After graduation from New Rochelle High School he received, in 1940, a bachelor of science degree in Forestry from Penn State University. Following graduation from college, he worked for the U.S. Forest Service in northern Michigan and then Abitibi Power and Paper Company in northern Ontario. The day following the Japanese raid on Pearl Harbor, he resigned his employment with Abitibi and returned to the United States, enlisting in the U.S. Army Air Corps. On Sept. 5, 1942, he was commissioned a second lieutenant on which day, in a traditional marriage ceremony at Craig Field Army Base in Selma, Ala., he proudly claimed to receive his Wings and his wife, Jeanne Law Billings of Tunkhannock, Pa. He was assigned to the Craig Field Advanced Flying School as an advanced flight instructor where he instructed pilots during the last two months of their training prior to receiving their Wings. He separated as captain from the Air Corps in November 1945. He was a proud member of a Great Generation! In December 1945, he was hired as the first forester employed by Oxford Paper Company in Portland. He transferred to Rumford in 1954, where he built his home on the banks of the Androscoggin River, the place on earth he most wanted to be. He dearly loved the state of Maine. His career positions with Oxford Paper Company, Ethyl Corporation and Boise Cascade spanned from forester, chief forester, manager of Timberlands and Forestry to general manager, Wood Department, a position he held until his retirement in June of 1982. During his career he served on many professional committees including chairman, Maine Tree Farm Committee, chairman New England Section of the American Pulpwood Association, board of directors of the American Pulpwood Society, and board of directors of the Naswalk Pulp and Paper Co. Some of his fondest yet faded memories were of fly fishing for trout with his beloved dad on the Neversink River in the Catskill Region of New York, fishing for bass with family members on Lake Carey, Pa., or hunting rabbits with his beagle, “Nick”, in the hills around Rumford. He was a self-taught botanist who collected, identified, and catalogued in intricate detail over 700 native plants. He had a likewise interest in entomology, having preserved hundreds of different insects in an elaborate insect collection. He was an avid bird watcher, having built a 30-year record of when different bird species returned each year to Rumford. He saw the great outdoors from a different view than most. “Papa” always worried about the welfare of his family, they always came first. He is survived by his wife of 63 years, Jeanne B. Hartranft of Rumford; son, Thomas W. Hartranft and wife, Marie, of Greenville, S.C.; daughter, Jeannie H. Migliardi and husband, Donald, of Cos Cob, Conn.; and daughter, Holly H. Deshane and husband, Thomas, of Brewer; two granddaughters; four grandsons; and two great-grandsons. He is survived by his very close sister, Kittie K. Roemer and his close friend and brother-in-law, Robert H. Roemer of Lake Carey, Pa. A private family service is planned. The family of John L. Hartranft Jr. wants to express their deepest appreciation to the staff of the Rumford Community Home, especially to the everyday caregivers who treated him so kindly. The family also wishes to express thanks to the very caring staff of the Rumford Community Hospital. <>