AUBURN – The flag flying over the Oxford County Fairgrounds racetrack will have a field of gold stars.

The stars are golden to honor Lt. Keith Gouin, 318th Infantry in the 3rd Army, who was killed in action in 1944 in Phalaise, France.

Friday that flag was presented by relatives to Oxford County Fair officials to honor Keith and his two brothers, Rodney and Dwight, both World War II veterans and both racing aficionados.

Keith, born in 1919, was the middle brother. Rodney was older by a year, and he died in 1959 from a heart attack while he was driving a sulky in a race at the fairgrounds.

In 1960, the fair instituted a memorial race in honor of Rodney. It was held every year until the fair stopped racing in 1963.

Art Gouin, brother-in-law to the three Grover brothers, remembered that Dwight, who was born in 1923, had been involved in racing all his life. He said Dwight owned several horses through the years after he returned from the war. Dwight died last May.

The flag was presented to Phil Jackson, the fair’s racing director, by Joyce Grover-Gouin, sister to the three brothers; Lesley Gouin-Dean, niece to the brothers; and Beth Jones, Dwight’s oldest daughter.

The women who presented the flag are also members of the Daughters of Union Veterans of the Civil War.

Dean said every year the organization presents a flag to one organization, so they approached the group about co-presenting the flag and the idea was accepted.

The family also is sponsoring the Rodney T. Grover Memorial Race to be held during the races at the fair from Sept. 10 to 13. The exact day of the race has not been set yet.

Fair spokesman Caldwell Jackson said as part of the opening day ceremonies the flag would be raised on a flagpole built to honor all veterans.


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