We appreciate your desire to honor someone special with a memorial gift. For your convenience, those whose names are listed below have individual online memorial giving pages set up. Follow the link to make your gift. If you prefer to send your gift by mail, please download this Memorial Gift Form.
To set up memorial giving please visit the Memorial/Honorary Gifts page.
John David Gabarra, 64, died June 16, 2019, in an automobile accident in Buckfield, Maine. Born August 9, 1954, John grew up in Barrington, Rhode Island. He was the youngest son of Edward and Lavinia (Jacques) Gabarra.
A lover of trees from an early age, John studied forestry at the University of Maine and at Duke University, where he earned a master’s degree in Forest Management and Business. He started his career at International Paper in Clayton Lake. For the last 30 years, he worked at Bangor Hydro, now Emera Maine, on various land-management issues. John redefined “jack-of-all-trades” as a licensed forester, licensed real estate broker, commercial drone pilot, private pilot, and notary public.
John loved Maine Black Bear football and hockey. He was a goal judge, season ticketholder, and contributor to Friends of Maine Hockey. He lived his passion for hockey as a youth hockey referee and mentor to other refs. Though his loyalties remained with the Black Bears, he and his wife traveled nationwide to the Frozen Four NCAA Division I Championship every April, no matter who was playing or where the playoffs.
A devoted husband of 35 years, John and Lisa (Cook) Gabarra lived in Orrington and enjoyed summers at camp on Holbrook Pond where he loved to jet-ski, canoe with his dog Molson, and skipper his Boston Whaler purchased at age 11 from paper-route earnings.
In addition to his parents, John was predeceased by a brother, Edward Gabarra; brother-in-law, Sammie Clifton; and father-in-law, Gilbert Cook. He is survived by his wife, Lisa; twin sisters, Margaret Clifton and Marilyn Nastari; mother-in-law, Donna Cook; three brothers-in-law and spouses, Don (Autumn) Cook, David (Kim) Cook, and Dan Cook; many nieces and nephews; and three godchildren.
A celebration of life will be announced at a later date. Gifts in John’s memory may be made to the University of Maine Foundation designating Men’s Ice Hockey and sent to University of Maine Foundation.
Gifts in Memory of
Llewellyn “Lew” Evans Clark, Ph.D.
Llewellyn “Lew” Evans Clark, PhD passed away peacefully at his home in Ocean View, Falmouth, Maine on June 5th. Lew was born on July 30, 1932 in Brunswick, Maine to Reverend Clarence and Beatrice Wright Clark. Lew graduated from Westbrook High in 1950 and enrolled in the University of Maine. While at the U of Maine Lew earned several academic honors including the Tau Beta Pi award and the Washington Watch Award, played varsity football and joined the Sigma Chi fraternity, where he made lifelong friends. Lew was a loyal member of the Class of 1954, and completed his BS in Mechanical Engineering and Pulp and Paper Certificate in 1955. He stayed at U Maine as an associate Engineering Professor until 1968 and was an assistant Varsity Football coach through 1959. He earned his Ph.D. in Civil Engineering from the University of Colorado in 1966.
In 1953, Lew married Dorothy Ann Stone and they had a child, Charles Stone “Rocky”. Dorothy passed away shortly after the birth of Rocky in 1954. In 1956 Lew married Martha Jo Trefethen. Together they raised Rocky and had Susan Elizabeth, Deborah Jo, and John David. In 1993, Lew’s daughter Deborah Jo Dennison predeceased him.
In 1968 Lew and family moved to Pittsfield, Massachusetts to work for the Beloit Corporation where he spent the next 12 years as Director of Research and Development. Lew became passionate about waste to energy and was responsible for design, construction and operation of the Pittsfield Resource Recovery Facility for which he was recognized through several awards. He was inducted as a Distinguished Member of the Francis Crowe Society in 2007 and received the ASME Pioneer Award in 2018, for outstanding contributions in his field.
In 1988 Lew married Shirley Mahony. Together they lived in Massachusetts, summered at Lew’s beloved camp on the coast of Maine and traveled the world. Shirley predeceased him in 2015.
Lew was an avid conservationist and builder. At his father’s side, and during the years of the Depression, he began his life long passion for building and using resources wisely. He ultimately built 3 homes, 3 camps, 3 tennis courts and countless toys and tables for his children and grandchildren.
Lew earned his pilots license in the early ’80s and logged hundreds of hours for business and pleasure. He was an avid skier, sailor, tennis and pickleball player. He sang with the Berkshire Hillsmen and was part of numerous church choirs.
In 2016 Lew returned Maine to live at Ocean View, Falmouth with partner Priscilla Simm. There he joined the Chorus and participated in various activities.
Lew is survived by his children Rocky (Anne), Susan Henderson and John (Missy), son in law Rick (Shannon) Dennison, 12 Grandchildren and 7 Great Grandchildren, Shirley’s children Jill (Nicola Bell) and Craig (Marge) Mahony, his brother Richard (Julie) Clark, sister in law Margery Clark, several nieces and nephews and his partner Priscilla Simm. His brother Charles also predeceased him. There will be a private memorial service at the family camp on Sebago Lake at a later date.
The gifts made in memory of Lew will be used to establish the Dr. Llewellyn E. Clark ’54 Memorial Scholarship at the University of Maine Foundation to be awarded to engineering majors with preference for scholar athletes.
Gifts in Memory of
Melvin T. McClure, Ph.D.
Dr. Melvin T. McClure, Professor Emeritus of Accounting, University of Maine, 89, died May 8, 2019, at a Bangor healthcare center where he had been a resident for the past several months. He was born April 2, 1930, in Dover-Foxcroft, son of Smith and Marjorie (Bliss) McClure.
Mel attended Dover-Foxcroft schools until his beloved mother moved to Bangor. He graduated from Bangor High School where upon he joined the United State Navy and was stationed with the USS Storm that saw combat duty during the Korean War. Following his discharge he used a Steven’s Scholarship and his veteran’s benefits to continue his education, first attending the University of Maine, receiving his Bachelor of Science Degree in Accounting in 1957. Determined to further his education he went on to attend the University of Illinois at Urbana, receiving his Master of Science Degree in Accounting in 1960, followed by his Ph.D in 1968.
Mel started teaching at the University of New Hampshire but the call from his beloved university was too strong, returning to the University of Maine where he was Professor of Accounting for the next 28 years. During his tenure at the University he received in 1967 the Nicholas Saigo Award, in 1991 the Steve Gould Award, followed by the prestigious Black Bear Award, all of which cited his devotion and loyalty to the university, the students, its ideals and highest traditions. Dr. McClure was involved in many activities outside of academics his entire lifetime, starting during his student years and continuing well into his retirement.
As a student, Mel was a member of Tau Kappa Epsilon Fraternity, Phi Beta Kappa and Phi Kappa Phi Honor Societies. While being a Professor he participated in the following: honorary member UMAA Board of directors, treasurer of honor society Phi Beta Kappa, vice president of Phi Kappa Phi honor society, faculty advisor for UM Account Club, member Board of Trustees for UM Chapter of Tau Kappa Epsilon Fraternity in 1993. Mel served on the University Credit Union Board of Directors for 22 Years.
One of his most significant civic contributions was his work in bringing the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program (VITA), bringing the Chapter to UM in 1981. He was most proud of his tax assistance to the International students. He volunteered his time with his assistance well after he had retired to Florida with Jean, his wife of 31 years.
Gifts in Memory of
John Cameron Bridge ’57, ’63G
John Cameron Bridge, 86, passed away peacefully April 30, 2019. He was born September 25, 1932 to parents Chester and Helen Bridge. He was raised in Hazardville, CT with his four siblings until they all moved to Maine when he was a teenager. John then went on to graduate from the University of Maine with a BS and then MS in Civil Engineering, and also enjoyed teaching classes there along the way. During that time, he took a hiatus in 1955 and served two years in the Army as a Radioman. In 1964, he joined the family business, The Bridge Construction Corporation, working himself up the ranks eventually becoming President and CEO. His math aptitude served him well and he enjoyed the projects as well as the people he worked with. He managed the heavy and highway construction firm of over 100 employees, selling the renamed Bridgecorp in 2004 after a strong 40 year career and 129 years as a Bridge family business.
During John’s 50+ year residency in Augusta, he served in many leadership capacities for his industry, and most importantly to him, his community. From civic posts such as school board, city council and mayor of Augusta to the many Kennebec Valley non-profit boards such as the YMCA, United Way, Historical Society, Kents Hill School, Boy Scouts and more, he exuded constant enthusiasm and a “can-do” attitude. John was an active member of the Green St United Methodist church in Augusta where he was involved with their board and fundraising activities. In addition, his involvement in the construction industry was strong, serving as the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) Northern New England Chapter president in 1980 as well as treasurer for 7 years.
Gifts in Memory of
Mohamed Ali Makhlouf
Mohamed Ali Makhlouf died April 17, 2019 at his home in Bangor after a brief illness. Born December 26, 1926, he was 92 years old. Like all Americans that came before us, Mohamed was an immigrant and proud to be a citizen of our great nation. He, his family and his neighbors fled their homes from the attack on Haifa, Palestine in 1948. He was the oldest of the family of ten and they settled in Cairo, Egypt.
Mohamed later worked in Libya as a translator and teacher. He originally came to the U.S. only to learn a new trade – TV repair, but always inquisitive, kept studying and eventually received his Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering in 1975. He was a non-traditional student, being much older than any of the rest of the class. Mohamed worked his way through college, including as the Sears TV repairman, based out of Bangor.
After graduating from the University of Maine, he taught in Algeria, translated technical journals, and had a 20-year career at Wang Laboratories in Massachusetts designing computer systems. Before beginning his technical studies, he had varied jobs including working for the United Nations as an interpreter. Mohamed was a polyglot, speaking as many as 8 languages.
Gifts in Memory of
Suzanne (Sue) Estler
Activist, scholar, mentor, and friend, Suzanne Estler died April 10, 2019, of pancreatic cancer. She was 74 years old. Sue was known for her zest for life, her love of family and friends, and her commitment to social justice, especially gay rights. Sue loved life, lived it fully, and died in peace.
Sue was born September 16, 1944, to Calder and Beatrice (Vandervoort) Estler. She attended Douglass College of Rutgers University, where she made friendships that lasted her lifetime, cemented her enthusiasm for women’s sports, and earned a B.A. in History/Political Science. Sue earned a M.A. in Human Relations from Ohio University and a PhD. in Educational Administration and Policy from Stanford University.
Sue held teaching and administrative positions at the University of Washington, Claremont Graduate School, Stanford University, the University of New York at Binghamton, Dickinson College, and Ohio University. After joining the University of Maine faculty in 1984, Sue gave tirelessly to the community in many capacities, including as Associate Professor of Higher Education (1994-2009) and Director of Equal Opportunity (1986-1997). As teacher and role model, Sue changed the course of many, many students’ lives for the better.
A huge fan of women’s basketball, Sue served for many years as official timekeeper for the University of Maine’s Division 1 women’s basketball team the Black Bears.
Sue was predeceased by her loving wife and life-partner, Paula Day Johnson. After 25 years together, Sue and Paula married on the first day gay marriage was legal in Maine, having fought passionately for marriage equality in the state.
Gifts in Memory of
Mary-Helen Oak Thorne ’52
Gifts to Page Farm & Home Museum in memory of Mary-Helen Oak Thorne ’52
Mary Helen (Oak) Thorne, age 88, died on March 23, 2019, at home in St. Albans surrounded by family. She was born in Hammond, Indiana, May 18, 1930, the daughter of Philip Tracy Oak and Louise Mattern Oak. She graduated from George Rogers Clark High School in Whiting, Indiana, in 1948 and from the University of Maine, Orono, in 1952, where she was a member of the Tri Delta sorority.
In September 1952, she began a one year internship from the University of Chicago at Billings Hospital. On February 1st 1953, she married Lt. Allan Thorne (USAF). After she finished her internship in September 1953 as a registered dietitian, she flew to Elmendorf AFB in Anchorage, Alaska, to join her husband. She worked at Providence Hospital in Anchorage as its dietitian.
The couple moved to Maine in 1954 to look after her father-in-law and the family farm. They raised 3 children. She went back to college to earn a teaching certificate in elementary education after the youngest was old enough to go to school. She taught 4th and 6th grade at St. Albans Elementary School (SAD #48) for twenty three years before retiring in 1990.
Gifts in Memory of
Gary E. LaGasse
Gary E. LaGasse Memorial Scholarship
To honor his memory, this scholarship was established in 2019 as a tribute to Gary LaGasse by his loving husband Tim, family, friends, and colleagues. Gary was a brilliant computer scientist and esteemed colleague, with more than 45 years of exemplary service to the University of Maine System.
Gary attended the University of Southern Maine where he graduated with degrees in Marine Biology and Computer Science. At the time of his passing, Gary was the Director of Software Development, for University Services: Information Technology, supervising 3 managers and 20 developers. Gary embodied a kind and selfless disposition both in his tireless work and personal life.
Gifts in Memory of
Joyce Vorakiarthy Emery
Joyce Vorakiarthy Emery and Larry L. Emery Scholarship
Larry L. Emery ’70, ’72G lost the love of his life on Wednesday morning January 2, 2019. Their long journey spanning 53 years together has come to its end. Larry met Joyce at a New Year’s Eve party in Los Angeles on December 31, 1965. They married at the University of Maine Episcopal Mission on January 27, 1968. Joyce served the University of Maine as a secretary for Dr. Kenneth Wing, Director of the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics during Larry’s undergraduate and graduate programs in the School of Forest Resources ’70, ‘72G. Joyce also was licensed to type Doctoral Dissertations by the Dean of the Graduate School. She went on to serve students in her Distinguished Service career at the Northern Virginia Community College January 1975 – June 1998. Joyce was truly a gift from God. The Emery’s were blessed with a daughter, Chandra, and son, Jeffrey, and five granddaughters: Reagan, Emery, Joy, Rebecca, and Jocelyn, who mourn her passing and celebrate her life and time together. Over the past two years, Joyce battled a series of illnesses that were too much in the end, and she went peacefully in her sleep. A celebration of life and memorial service is planned at Baan Rim Nam, the family cottage, on the banks of the Wilson River near Tillamook, Oregon this summer. Her ashes will be interred in Bangkok, Thailand, in a memorial wall (alongside two sisters who predeceased her) at Christ Church where she was raised. The family encourages friends to hug and hold on to their loved ones as we all are only on loan here in this life. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be given to the University of Maine Foundation, Two Alumni Place, Orono, ME 04469 for a scholarship fund in Joyce’s memory.
Gifts in Memory of
Carol L. Wood
CAROL L. WOOD NURSING SCHOLARSHIP
The Carol L. Wood Nursing Scholarship fund was established at the University of Maine Foundation in 2019 for the benefit of the University of Maine, Orono, Maine with a gift from the family and friends of Carol L. Wood. Dr. Wood was a highly regarded faculty member in the School of Nursing at the University of Maine from 1987 until her retirement in 2010. There, she served as the Graduate Program Coordinator for the Rural Family Nurse Practitioner Program. She was founder and editor of the
Dr. Wood began her nursing career in 1977 at the Yale School of Nursing where she made significant contributions toward postdate pregnancy management and was appointed
The principal shall be endowed and the distributions, as established by the University of Maine Foundation Board of Directors, shall be used to provide financial assistance to University of Maine students majoring in nursing who demonstrate both academic merit and financial need. Preference shall be given to students who are assisting in teaching others through the nursing program.