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OBITUARY: Elizabeth Haraden

May 6, 2022
By Staff Report

Elizabeth Jane (Bubar) Haraden, 85, recently of Acton, Mass., died in Concord on March 25, 2022.  

She was born on June 15, 1936 in Fort Fairfield, Maine, as the only child of Helen Towle and Wendell Ransford Bubar. After her parents and large tight-knit Fort Fairfield family, Betty’s (her Maine name) first love was for her horse Charcoal. She and Charcoal served as Grand Marshall at several fairs and parades around the county.  Her school years were spent entirely in Fort Fairfield, graduating from Fort Fairfield High School in 1954, although when she wasn’t doing schoolwork or tending to Charcoal, she might have been seen pumping gas at Peterson’s Garage on Main Street.

Betty attended Colby College and then Katharine Gibbs School in Boston, Mass.  After earning her degree, she returned to Aroostook to work at a Presque Isle Bank and continued to show her beloved Charcoal. 

She was the 1956 Maine Potato Blossom Queen and went on to finish runner-up in the Miss Maine Pageant.

Betty met Peter Winslow Johnston of Caribou in 1957, and they married a year later at the Aroostook Valley Country Club. Their son Wallace Winslow Johnston was born the following year. The Johnston family lived in Caribou for the first 10 years of their marriage, where Betty made many lifelong friends.  

In 1969 they moved to the Bubar Brother’s family farm in Fort Fairfield after Betty’s father passed. While she missed being close to her friends in Caribou, she was happy to be back on the farm, which she and Peter held until 1984. She would often be seen around town with their faithful Newfoundland dog, Zeke. During the early 1980s, Liz was the Director of the Maine Potato Blossom Festival, as well as News Director for the local cable station in Caribou. 

Betty and Peter moved to Fort Myers in 1984. Despite the pain of leaving the county, she took comfort in knowing that the farms would stay in the family.  She looked forward to her visits with Fred, Tom, Marilyn and Clifford whenever she was back in Aroostook.

In Florida, Betty changed her nickname to Liz, as the many friends she made during her years there know her. Her husband Peter died in an accident in 1988, and the friends they had made together helped her through the grieving. Liz met widower Joe “Buzz” Haraden in 1993, and together, they went on to have a wonderful, fun-filled 20-year marriage prior to Buzz’s passing in 2013. Their years were split between Boca Grande and Lake George, N.Y. filled with friends, beloved golden Olivia, Monty the cat and the joys of their combined five children, spouses and grandchildren.

A year after Buzz’s passing, Liz and her faithful Havanese Chico moved north to be near her son Wally, his wife Jane and their children: Claire, Max and Abby in Massachusetts. Settling in the Robbins Brook Community of Acton, she once again made great friends who made the last years of her life enjoyable. After a serious illness in 2020, she and Chico moved into the Robbins Brook assisted living home, where they weathered Covid together with the help of the wonderful staff, Robbins Brook friends and her family. 

Elizabeth passed away peacefully on the afternoon of March 25 with her son Wally and daughter-in-law Jane at her side. She was predeceased by her parents, Helen and Wendell Bubar; her first husband, Peter W. Johnston, and her second husband, Joseph “Buzz” Haraden. She is survived by her son, Wallace Johnston, and his wife, Jane Hotchkiss, of Carlisle, Mass.; and by Buzz’s children, Lindy (John) Owen, Jeff (Kara) Haraden, Melissa (Bob) Desormeau and Steve (Dee) Haraden, all of whom live in the area surrounding Lake George, N.Y. She had the joy of several grandchildren, including Maxwell Johnston, Claire and Abby Gordy and the Haraden grandchildren, Kati (Matt) Neuber, Kristi (Alex) Cosmer, Lindsey, Karly, Jesse, Dylan and Brady Haraden, Lauren Desormeau, Sam and Tyler Haraden and great-grandchildren, Madison and Lakely Neuber. 

A remembrance of Liz and scattering of her ashes will take place on Mount Desert Island, Maine and at Lake George, N.Y. this summer. 

In lieu of flowers, donations in her memory may be made to Maine State Society for the Protection of Animals at

To share a memory or to offer a condolence in Liz’s online guestbook, please visit