HALLOWELL - Carroll R. McGary, 89, died peacefully January 10, 2015 after a courageous battle with cancer at his home in Hallowell, Maine surrounded by his family. He was born February 17, 1925 in Auburn, Maine, the son of George Boardman McGary and Freda Louise (Dow) McGary. The family moved to Farmington that same year where he grew up, graduating from Farmington High School in 1943. He joined the Navy V-12 program in November of 1943 and was assigned to Tufts College and later Harvard University. He received his commission as an Ensign in 1945 at Midshipman's School, Notre Dame University. While in amphibious training for the invasion of Japan WWII ended and he was assigned to naval tankers in the Pacific where he served for a year from Tokyo to Bahrain Island in the Persian Gulf and various spots between.
Released to inactive duty in August of 1946 he attended Farmington State Teachers College (now University of Maine, Farmington) for one year before transferring to the University of Maine where he received his degree in 1949. He later earned a master degree from the University and in 1966 a doctorate from Harvard.
He began his career in education, which spanned nearly 40 years, as teacher-principal in Boothbay Harbor Grade School. He next was principal of Calais Grade School. From there at age 28 he became the youngest superintendent of schools in Maine, serving first in Princeton and then in Belfast and Westbrook. It was a time of school enrollment growth and he oversaw the construction of six buildings or additions as a superintendent. During his tenure at Westbrook the system was considered a leader in Maine education. It was at this time he commuted to Harvard weekly for two years to earn his doctorate while still serving as Westbrook superintendent.
In 1971 he was appointed Maine Commissioner of Education, a position he held for four years. During that time he was instrumental in passage of a school funding act which was hailed as a model for the nation. In 1975 he became special assistant to the Dean of Adult and Community Education at the University of Maine, Augusta during which time he organized and administered Mid-Coast Community College Services which grew to encompass all of UMA's off-campus programs. Taking time off to make an unsuccessful run for the legislature he briefly worked as a senior consultant for Mid-Coast Educational Development Center. In 1980 he was appointed Associate Professor of Management at Thomas College, later Professor and finally Dean of Faculty from which position he retired in 1988. While a superintendent he taught summer evening course for the University of Maine and summer sessions at Gorham State Teachers College and Wisconsin State University at Superior.
He was past president of the Maine School Superintendents Association, Portland Child and Family Services, Music in Maine and the Augusta General Hospital. He served two terms on the Winthrop Town Council and was chairman for one year. He was a member of a number of professional organizations and active in the Calais, Belfast and Westbrook Methodist Churches.
In addition to his many professional accomplishments he and his wife, Ruth, traveled extensively in their RV throughout the continental United States and Canada, often including their two grandsons when they were young. He was a devoted Red Sox and Patriots fan and an avid golfer. He also did extensive genealogical research and wrote two books on the McGary/Dow family history.
He is survived by his beloved wife of 64 years, Ruth Webber McGary, a daughter, Donna L. McGary of Durham, a son J. Thomas McGary and his wife Mary of Brewer; two grandsons, Emeth McGary and his wife Cori of Durham and Caleb H. McGary and his wife Stevie of Dedham, one great grandson Tyler M. Smith of Monmouth and two great grand-daughters Kayleigh Elizabeth and Kiera Alanna McGary of Durham and several nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his parents, his brothers Carlton D. McGary and Herbert G. McGary and his sister Eloise M. Mulvihill.
The family would like to thank Maine General Hospice nurses and aides for their outstanding care and compassion.
A memorial service will be held in February to celebrate his life and his much anticipated 90th birthday. Interment will be at the Maine Veterans Cemetery in the spring.
Memorial contributions can be sent to the
Dr. Carroll and Ruth Webber McGary Scholarship Fund at UMF
Ferro Alumni Center
242 Main Street
Farmington, ME 04938