John Madigan, a veteran town manager and former state representative, died June 2 at age 71 after a battle with cancer, according to his family.

John Madigan Submitted Photo

Madigan, who lived in Rumford since 1985, spent the majority of his career leading town government.

He first served as town manager in the town of Monson in 1978, and over the next 40 years, served in several communities, including Rumford, Mexico, Dixfield, Rangeley and Eastport.

At one point, Madigan worked simultaneously as town manager of Rumford and Mexico after both towns voted to share him on a one-year contract.

Richie Philbrick, current chairman of the Mexico Board of Selectmen, said that he worked with Madigan throughout his nine years with Mexico and described him as someone “who made a difference in his community.”

“It was heartbreaking to hear he had passed,” Philbrick said. “It was an honor to work with him and an honor to be his boss.”

Philbrick added that he and Madigan bonded over their mutual love for the Eagle Scouts. Madigan was an Eagle Scout and served as Philbrick’s merit badge counselor.

According to Philbrick, Madigan’s love for town government shined through, even when it came to the Eagle Scouts.

“With certain badges, he wouldn’t let me have them unless I could tell him who my state representative was or who our governor was,” Philbrick said. “He told me that a lot of the values required for leadership, such as kindness and courtesy, are taught in the scouts. I learned a lot from him.”

Philbrick said that when he “got back into the Catholic Church and was baptized, John and Mary (Madigan) agreed to be my godparents. They’re like family to me.”

He also said Madigan had a deep love for the “entire River Valley area.”

“Not just Rumford, where he lived, or Mexico, where he worked, but everyone and every town in the River Valley,” Philbrick said. “Everything he did was to help the people in our area. You could tell he really cared about them.”

Madigan was also elected to the Maine State House of Representatives where he served in the 128th Maine State Legislature representing District 115 towns of Roxbury, Rumford, Sumner, Woodstock and Milton Plantation.

In addition to his years working in town government, Madigan also worked as a Facilities Site Engineer, Construction Inspector and a General Contractor throughout Maine from 1993 to 2005, according to his family.

He served in the United States Army as a salvage diver from 1968 and was honorably discharged after the Vietnam War.


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