1930 – 2016

AUBURN — Donald H. Gouin, 85, of Norway died Wednesday, Jan. 13, at the Hospice House in Auburn, surrounded by the love of his family and friends.

Born on Nov. 8, 1930, Don was the second son of Livy M. and Arthur N. Gouin Sr.

He graduated from Norway High School in 1948, and the University of Maine in 1953, where he later earned a master’s degree.

Donald married the former Phyllis Welch of Dixfield on June 21, 1953. They spent 49 wonderful years together before her death in August 2002.

Don’s commitment to quality education for the children of Oxford Hills spanned 63 years. He began his career at Paris High School as a teacher and coach of several sports, most notably, football. As athletic director, he developed the district’s first K-12 physical education curriculum, implementing the elementary program himself, traveling from school to school.

Football under the lights came to Oxford Hills spearheaded by Don, who with a rake and wheelbarrow, helped build the original lighted field on Fair Street. He spent the last years of his career as an assistant principal at the high school and finally at the middle school. If you ended up in Don’s office, you left knowing he valued you as a person.

Upon his retirement in 1986, he was elected to the SAD 17 School Board and later, the Tech School Board. He was actively involved on many committees and served several years as chairman.

He passionately believed in the concept of a comprehensive high school. As a key member of a small team of visionaries, he worked tirelessly to create a school which combined traditional and vocational programs in a seamless model, allowing students to pursue academic tracks that were individualized and based on their strengths and personal goals.

Don was a lifelong sportsman. He enjoyed many happy times hunting and fishing, first with his father, and many dear friends. Over nearly 50 years, he raised four Brittany spaniels. Bird-hunting with his friend, Stuart Cummings, gave him many cherished memories.

Don was a member of the Second Congregational Church of Norway, where he sat in his mother’s pew each week. He made sure folks had rides to church and faithfully visited those no longer able to attend. He was a member of Oxford Lodge for more than 50 years, which he enjoyed attending with his brother, Arthur. Don loved his family fiercely and unconditionally. He supported every one of them, through the good times and bad. His dry wit, humor and ability to cut to the chase were well known.

Don is survived by his son, John, of Norway; his son and daughter-in-law, Buck and Denise Gouin, of Stoneham; and daughter and son-in-law, Laura Gouin and Eric Belcher, of Stoneham. He was blessed by grandchildren, Cait Shibles, Amy Brodis and husband, Ben, Buck Gouin, Gregg Gouin and wife, Melissa, and Dakoda Belcher. He was delighted by great-grandsons, Kieran Luff, Shayne Luff, Jack Brodis and Crosby Brodis. He leaves niece, Lesley Gouin Dean and husband, Gary, and many other dear cousins; and nieces and nephews. He leaves sisters-in-law, Frances Thurston, Marylyn Ellis, and Juanita Briggs and husband, Merrill. Don is survived by special friends, Nisa Noble and family, Sue Baltruss and Russ Sponsler; and his sidekick, Donna Chickering.

He was predeceased by his parents; his wife, Phyllis; and his brother and sister-in-law, Arthur N. Gouin Jr. and Joyce Gouin.

Online condolences may be shared with his family at www.oxfordhillsfuneralservices.com.

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