Neil's Story

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GLENBURN - Neil W. McGowen died April 1, 2016 after a brief illness at a local healthcare facility. He was born November 21, 1924 in Portland, the son of Elsie and Carl McGowen. His family moved to Cornish when he was a youngster, and he graduated from Cornish High School.

In 1944, he married a Kezar Falls girl, Barbara Lee Mason, who remained "my love" for 70 years until her passing. Neil served in the Coast Guard during World War II in both the European and Pacific theaters, assigned to the "Billy Mitchell". Taking advantage of the GI Bill, he graduated from the University of Maine with a degree in forestry, and began his lifelong involvement with the Sigma Chi fraternity while there.

After graduation, he was instrumental in the development of the State Forest nursery in Greenbush before beginning his career with Diamond Match/Diamond International in Fryeburg, ME. He was woodlands manager in New York (based in Ogdensburg) and in Maine (based in Old Town). He was a lifelong hunter and fisherman, as well as a licensed land surveyor.

After retirement, he was active in the Forest and Logging Museum in Bradley, serving on its Board of Directors as well as on various work parties and committees. More recently, he enjoyed his apartment and a new set of friends at Dirigo Pines in Orono.

He was predeceased last year by his beloved wife Barbara; his parents; his brothers Alan and Brian; and his sister Elaine. He is survived by his son Stanton (Kim); his grandson Arick (Amy); his granddaughter Dr. Afton (Marshall ) Thompson; his great granddaughter Evelyn Rose Thompson; his brother Bruce; and several nieces and nephews. He will be fondly remembered by Carol Winslow, the mother of his grandchildren; his Sigma Chi brothers; and his Thursday morning breakfast buddies.

A memorial service will be held 11a.m., Friday, April 8, 2016 at Brookings-Smith, 133 Center St. Bangor, with Rev. Dan Wilson of Old Town United Methodist Church, officiating. The family invites relatives and friends to share conversation and refreshments at the Family Reception Center of Brookings-Smith, 163 Center St., following the service. Those wishing to remember "a peach of a guy" in a special way may consider a donation to the Neil W. and Barbara L. McGowen Scholarship Fund, c/o University of Maine Foundation, 2 Alumni Place, Orono, ME 04473. Condolences to the family may be expressed at www.BrookingsSmith.com
Published on  April 4, 2016
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