Joseph Zoel Vachon, Sr. 68, of Sanford, died on Wednesday, September 9, 2009 at the H.D. Goodall Hospital in Sanford surrounded by his loving family after a lengthy illness.Joe was born in Middletown, Connecticut on August 22, 1941 to Zoel and Jennie (Carlson) Vachon and attended Sanford schools. He worked at the Brooks Woolen Mills and retired from the Sanford school system after 16 years. He was a lifetime member of the Elks. Joe was a very generous and caring man. He and his loving wife opened up their hearts and their home to provide loving foster care to over 70 Maine children, adopting seven.Joe enjoyed playing cribbage and competing in cribbage tournaments. He had been an avid outdoorsman and liked to go hunting, fishing and camping at Apple Valley Campground in Acton. He also volunteered for the Caring Unlimited Children's Holiday Program. Joe was lovingly known as "Putt-Putt" by his grandchildren. He enjoyed attending family gatherings and spending time with his children and grandchildren who he would always keep entertained with his sense of humor. Joe will be remembered as a wonderful husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather and will be dearly missed by his family and friends.Joe was predeceased by his parents; a sister, Donalda Huard; three brothers, Andre Vachon, Charlie Carlson and Roger Vachon and by a daughter, Pamela Lucier.Surviving are his wife of 29 years, Elaine Libby Vachon; five sons, Joseph Vachon Jr., David Alexander Jr., Billy Vachon, Alan Vachon and Stephen Vachon, all of Sanford; six daughters, Vicki Bragg of Acton, Crystal Parker of Sanford, Melissa Vachon of Somersworth, NH, Sarah Vachon of Sanford, Brittany Vachon of Sanford and Lisa Vachon of Sanford; a sister, Margaret Hatch of East Lebanon; 12 grandchildren, five great-grandchildren and many nieces and nephews.Visiting hours will be held of Friday, September 11th from 2:00 to 4:00 & 6:00 to 8:00 PM at the Carll-Heald & Black Funeral Home, 580 Main Street in Springvale. A funeral service will be held at the funeral home at 11:00 AM on Saturday, September 12th.In lieu of flowers the family suggests that memorial contributions be sent to Caring Unlimited, Children's Holiday Program, P.O. Box 590, Sanford, ME 04073.To leave a message of condolence for the family, please click on the condolences tab to the left.