Deceased May 11, 2014
H. Frank Trautmann died peacefully at his home in Rockport, Maine, on May 11, his 93rd birthday.
After graduating from Deerfield Academy in 1938, Frank went into the Navy, where he served as captain of an ocean-going tugboat in the Pacific Theater during World War II. Following his career as an executive at his father-in-law's textile mill in Rhode Island and his brother's printing business in New York, he retired to his summer island home on Islesboro, Maine, in 1968.
Frank's passion was to serve others through volunteer work. For nearly three decades, he maintained the second section of the Appalachian Trail, south of Katahdin, in Baxter State Park, Maine. Each year, often working alone, he cleared blow-downs, rebuilt bridges and tried to create the best possible experience for hikers. He cut his own trees, milled them into the components for lean-tos and transported them in a modified boat trailer to be assembled at the park.
Frank donated his Islesboro residence to the Campaign for Katahdin Lake in 2006. This gift completed the funding for a key parcel of land that had eluded Governor Baxter in assembling Baxter State Park decades earlier. The acquisition completed Governor Baxter's original dream and helped keep the park "forever wild" by preventing commercial development around this pristine lake.
In reflecting on his contributions to the park, director Jensen Bissell said, "Frank has given countless hours of labor and love to the trails, facilities and people of the park. His economical, considerate and fastidious approach to work and life have served as a model for all of us."
Buzz Caverly, former park director, added, "Other than Governor Baxter himself, Frank Trautmann has contributed more to the operation and preservation of the park than any other individual. I am deeply honored to have known and worked with him."
Charlie Trautmann '74