Obituary: Robert Abbott Estes Sr.

Robert Abbott Estes Sr.

KIMBERLING CITY, Mo. – Robert Abbott Estes, Sr. passed away peacefully on Dec. 14, 2022, at Shepherd of the Hills Living Center in Branson, Mo. Born in Lewiston, Maine, to Ruth Abbott Estes (Bishop) and Philip Vernon Estes, Robert was the fourth of five children. His siblings were Mary Estes Krohn, Ruth Estes Weeks, Margaret Estes, and Paul Estes.

He grew up in Auburn, Maine, and enjoyed spending summers in South Harpswell.

He graduated in 1953 from Edward Little High School, then earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in mathematics from Bowdoin College, class of 1957. On August 23, 1958, Robert married Carlene Harvey, and their many adventures together began.

Robert spent his career teaching mathematics and was always learning. His post-graduate studies included several programs earned through scholarships from the National Science Foundation, a Master’s degree from The University of Kansas in 1961, and his Ph.D in mathematics education from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor in 1970. Robert began teaching in 1958 at Madawaska High School in Maine, then moved to Westerville, Ohio to teach at Otterbein College from 1961 to 1964, while continuing his studies there and at Ohio State University.

In 1964, after their first two children, Carolyn and Robert Jr. were born, he and Carlene moved to Ann Arbor, Mich. where he began work on his doctoral dissertation and they had their third child, Richard. The family then moved to Gorham, Maine in the summer of 1966 so that he could begin his work as an Associate Professor at the University of Southern Maine (formerly Gorham State College and the University of Maine at Portland-Gorham). He was promoted to Professor of Mathematics in 1971 after completing his Ph.D. He continued teaching in Gorham, including introducing their first computer classes, and over the years he also taught courses at other local colleges including St. Joseph’s College, Westbrook College, and Husson College. After his retirement in 2002, he was awarded Professor Emeritus status from USM in 2006.

After many happy years raising their family in Gorham and traveling around the country in their motorhome, Robert and Carlene built a home together in Standish, Maine in 1988. They loved sharing the home with family and friends, and they lived in Standish for 18 years. until Carlene passed away in August 2006.

In 2007 Bob met Lois Winchell and they married on June 21, 2008. They lived in her home outside of St. Louis in Chesterfield, Mo. until 2014 when they moved to Kimberling City, Mo. near many lakes and Silver Dollar City, a favorite place that they often visited. During their years together, Bob and Lois were active in their church, enjoyed many international cruises, and took trips to visit friends and family. Bob was a member of the Elks Club, Tri-Lakes Community Singers, church choir and men’s group.

Robert lived life to the fullest and had many interests outside of work. He was an enthusiastic traveler and loved taking trips in his RV with family and friends. Music was a passion, especially singing, which he did as a soloist and with many groups, ranging from the Bowdoin College Glee Club in 1953 to the Tri-Lakes Singers in Kimberling City in 2020. He was an avid tennis player, participating in tournaments. for many years, and sharing his love of the game by teaching his children to play from an early age.

Robert is survived by his wife Lois; daughter Carolyn Bumatay and husband Randolph of Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif., sons Robert Estes, Jr. and wife Shari of Sidney, Maine, and Richard Estes and wife Margueritta of Erie, Pa.; sister-in-law Gisela Estes; nieces Donna Buyze (Steve), Heide Estes (Catherine), and Caryn Bach (Brian) and nephews Harold Weeks III and Christopher Estes; 13 grandchildren, Tony (Karina) and Katie Bumatay of California; Nicholas, Joel, Kenan, Linnea, Catherine, Diana, and Martin Estes from Sidney; and Erin, Nathan, Amy and David Estes from Erie, Pa; half-siblings, Allison Wallace Estes (GL), Penny Estes, Phyllis Rogers (Duane) and Philip Estes (Vickie); stepsons Mark Winchell (Jill) and Bryan Winchell (Renee); and step-grandsons Keith (Megan) and Kyle (Jessica).

Robert had a very kind and giving nature and was loved and admired.

Memorial services will be held at 1 pm on Feb. 2, 2023 at the United Methodist Church in Kimberling City and next summer, August 5, in South Harpswell. To share condolences, visit

In lieu of flowers,

donations in his memory

may be made to:

Kimberling City United Methodist Church

PO Box 10

Kimberling City, MO 65686 or:

Bowdoin College

E. Farrington Abbott Scholarship Fund

255 Maine St.

Brunswick, ME 04011

Robert Abbott Estes Sr.

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