William's Story

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NORTH BERWICK - Remembering Bill Bourbon (Jan 11,1938 - Jan 25, 2015)

"Bill has found a place in the memory of others where his best self will live on forever."

With the passing last Sunday Jan. 25th of William Richard "Bill"/"Billy" Bourbon, Southern Maine has lost a man whose professional endeavors, cordiality toward everyone with whom he came in contact, and distinguished citizenship made him - to use language Bill himself might use (even though his modesty would reject its application) - a lifetime community MVP. Educator, town officer, fund-raiser, church leader, philanthropist, coach and - most of all - son, brother, husband, father, grandfather - Bill's life was a paradigm of what it takes to be a good person in this world.

Bill was born January 11, 1938 in Dover-Foxcroft, Maine. His father, William A. Bourbon, was a store manager at the local A & P, his mother, Marguerite Louise (Richards) Bourbon, a housewife. Most of Bill's formative years were spent in Orono. He attended John Bapst High School where he achieved academic success and lettered in football, basketball and track. Following graduation he worked briefly at the Eastern Corporation paper mill in South Brewer, then enlisted in the United States Marine Corps where he served for three years, more than two of which included cell-block guard duty at the Portsmouth Naval Prison. He received his Honorable Discharge in 1960 and always spoke about that tour of duty as something he valued greatly. The span of years from 1960 to 1964 found Bill back in Orono working part-time to finance his matriculation as a candidate for the B. S. in Education at the University of Maine there. Perhaps his favorite non-academic story from this time period centers on an intramural basketball event at the university. After years of domination by "the dorms" in their annual competition with "the frats", Bill's Phi Gamma Delta five finally capture the trophy in a spirited contest.

Bill Bourbon sensed early on that his professional calling was to academia- whether as teacher, coach or school administrator. In fact, he would find himself engaged at one time or another in all three. His first appointment - in 1964 at North Berwick High School - was as teacher, coach (of football, basketball and baseball) and Athletic Director. That year Bill provided the impetus which elevated an informal football

program at the school to competition at the interscholastic level. Between 1967 and 1974 he served as Assistant Principal, Football Coach and Athletic Director at Noble High School in Berwick. It was during his tenure there that Bill earned both his Masters degree in Educational Administration and his Certificate of Advanced Study with a concentration in School Superintendency. In 1974, he became Principal of Mattanawcook Academy in Lincoln, Maine, followed by a similar position back at Noble. The quality of the educational program at Mattanawcook was improved significantly when, under Bill's governance, the school applied for and was admitted to The Northeast Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC). Full accreditation - for the maximum number of ten years - was awarded the school in 1977. Bill's career in school administration would culminate, first, in 1980 with a vice-superintendentship at MSAD 60 in Berwick Maine, then in 1999 with a superintendentship in that same system. He retired in 2001.

A longtime member - and frequent Chair - of North Berwick's Budget Committee and Appeals Board, he was also on the Board of Directors of that town's Rescue Squad. One of the original founders of the North Berwick Athletic Association which promotes intramural sports activities for boys and girls, he was also periodically Treasurer and Secretary of that organization. Each year of his nearly 40-year residency in North Berwick, Bill was elected to serve as Town Meeting Moderator. As Chair of parish Board of Directors, he provided good counsel and guidance for his beloved church Our Lady of Peace in Berwick. And his memberships in the Maine State & National Principal Associations - was active and constructive. Bill also became in 1984 a member of the Masons, Yorkshire Lodge, in North Berwick and, that same year, a member of the Shriners' Kora Temple of Lewiston - and, later, of the York County Shriners' Club. Between 1974 and 1978 he belonged to the Rotary Club of Lincoln.

Bill's life was devoted to his God, family, school system MSAD 60, community of North Berwick, ME. and country. He loved all the above and was proud of his association with all the above. All who knew Bill also knew he had a passion for golf and revered his membership of 24 years at Cochecho Country Club Dover, NH.

The family of William Bourbon who mourn the passing of their gentle patriarch are as follows: his wife and the love of his life, Charlene Ann (Murphy) Bourbon whom he met on a blind date in 1961 and married in 1962; a daughter, Cheryl Ann Bourbon of North Berwick ME.; a son, William A. Bourbon of Boston MA.; a son, Anthony Arthur Bourbon his wife Maryellen (Gagnon) Bourbon and their children Christopher, Abigail and Gavin of North Berwick ME.; a son, Casey Patrick Bourbon his wife, Kim (Whitten) Bourbon and their children Taylor and Connor of North Berwick ME.; a son, Ryan Michael Bourbon his wife, Kristen (Freda) Bourbon and their child Adelyn of Portsmouth NH.; a daughter, Kathleen Ann Bourbon of Old Orchard Beach ME.; a brother, Robert L. Bourbon and his wife Sheila of The Villages, Florida; a sister, Jeanne M. Walles of Worcester MA.; a brother-in-law, Arthur Murphy and his wife Susan of Albuquerque NM.

He was predeceased by his Father, William A. Bourbon; Mother, Marguerite L. Bourbon; Father-in-law, Arthur Murphy; Mother-in-law, Loretta Murphy; Brother-in-law James Walles; Daughter, Kelly A. Bourbon and Brother, Thomas E. Bourbon.

Calling hours will be held on Wed. January 28th from 4-7pm at the Tasker Funeral Home 621 Central Ave. Dover NH. A Memorial Mass will be held on Thur. January 29th at 11am at Our Lady of The Angles Church Agamenticus Road South Berwick, ME. followed by a reception at 1pm at Cochecho Country Club 145 Gulf Rd. Dover, NH.

In lieu of flowers, the family has requested that donations might be made to The Kelly A. Bourbon Memorial Scholarship Fund in care of Casey P. Bourbon, PO Box 105, North Berwick, Maine 03906.

Please go to www.taskerfh.com to sign the on-line guest book.
Published on  January 27, 2015
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