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Clayton Willard Dodge

Nov 15, 1931 - Jan 22, 2017

Clayton's Story

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Orono - Clayton Willard Dodge died January 22, 2017, at Eastern Maine Medical Center, Bangor, following a brief illness.
He was born November 15, 1931, in Stoneham, Massachusetts, the son of shoe merchants Lyman Ryford Dodge and Ruth Eleanor Reynor (Higgins) Dodge of Malden, Mass. He graduated from the Browne and Nichols School, Cambridge, Mass., in 1949 and from the University of Maine in 1956 and married Donna Joan Rhoda of Hodgdon. They had one daughter Kathy. He received a master's degree in mathematics from U. Maine in 1959 and did further graduate work at Brown University.
After teaching mathematics and science for one term in 1956 at the Brecksville, Ohio, high school, he returned to Orono, where he taught mathematics to more than 7000 students at the University of Maine during the next 41 years, retiring in 1997 with the title of Professor Emeritus of Mathematics. In addition to numerous articles on mathematics and mathematics education, he had six mathematics textbooks published. Two more of his texts were used in his classes at UM. He wrote and taught courses in the uses of calculators beyond what they were designed to do. He wrote and published mathematical software that was used by students and professors during the early years of computers.
Over the years hundreds of prospective high school teachers learned the mysteries of complex numbers through his course in that subject. He led a few thousand students into the appreciation of mathematics via his "Tom, Dick, and Harry" problems in a course for "students who hate mathematics but have to take it anyway." His mathematical interests were in problems, geometry, and teacher education, primarily due to the influence of his teacher, mentor, colleague and friend Howard Eves, whom he assisted from 1961 to 1963 in editing the Elementary Problem Department of the American Mathematical Monthly. In 1968 he joined with a half dozen of his colleagues to form the University of Maine Problems Group which edited that journal department until 1974.
From 1980 to 2002 he edited the Problem Department of the Pi Mu Epsilon Journal. Over the years he served on several editorial boards of various mathematical publications and reviewed manuscripts for numerous publishers and for several journals.
In 1981 he married Dorothy (Robertson) Madison of Reading, Mass. a childhood friend. They became covenant members of All Souls Congregational Church in Bangor, where he served as Collector and on various committees. He enjoyed singing in church choirs and in the University of Maine Oratorio Society. After retirement he took up SCUBA diving, mainly in the warm tropical waters of the Caribbean, at the enticement of his brother David, a retired ship captain and avid diver, who owns a scuba shop in Keene, NH. He helped build some ten homes for Habitat for Humanity of Greater Bangor. Although his primary interest was in electrical wiring, he worked on all phases of the construction and thought of himself as a jack of all trades. He enjoyed working with his hands and solving all sorts of problems.
He served on the board of directors of Habitat, where he served as vice chairman, and on the board of Shaw House in Bangor, where he was treasurer. More recently he was elected to the board of directors of the Maine Troop Greeters and served as its secretary.
He especially enjoyed solving practical problems of all sorts. As a child he repaired radios and was proud that he was able to fix several of them that commercial repairmen had given up on. It bothered him that so much of modem electronics is throwaway and not repairable. He could pick locks or test an electric circuit with little more than a paper clip. He saw the humor in life and did his best to pass along to his students and others his love and enjoyment of mathematics and its lighter side.
In addition to his wife Dorothy, he leaves his daughter Kathy Donna (Dodge) Michelin, her husband Adam, and one grandson Daniel Clayton Michelin, all of Los Angeles, California. He leaves two stepdaughters, Faith A. Madison of Indiana and Patricia A. Aylward and her husband, Brian "Smiley" of Newport. He leaves one brother David A. Dodge of Keene, New Hampshire, two sisters, Sylvia R. Dodge of Orono and Patricia Dodge Stewart of Alexandria, Virginia. He leaves several nieces, nephews, and grandnieces and grandnephews. He was predeceased by his parents, his brother Lyman R. (Skip) Dodge, Jr., and a nephew Lyman R. Dodge III.
A memorial service will be held at All Souls Congregational Church, Bangor that will be scheduled for some time in the spring with a time and date to be announced. Those wishing to remember Clayton in a special way may make gifts in his memory to All Souls Congregational Church, 10 Broadway, Bangor, Maine 04401, Maine Troop Greeters, C/O Cathy Czarnecki, Treasurer, Bangor International Airport, 287 Godfrey Blvd., Box 6, Bangor, Maine 04401, The Shaw House, 136 Union Street Bangor, Maine 04401, The University of Maine, or a charity of your choice. Memories with Clayton may be shared with his family and friends at www.BrookingsSmith.com
Published on  January 26, 2017
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