Bob McPhee was named Dixfield’s Distinguished Citizen on June 27. Submitted photo


DIXFIELD — Bob McPhee was named the Dixfield Distinguished Citizen at the Board of Selectmen’s meeting on June 27.
McPhee, who was nominated by Jon Holmes, was selected from four candidates for recognition for his contributions to the community. Other candidates were Lauren Hebert, Library Director Corina Lee and current Boston Post Cane recipient Irene Weld (101).
This award is combined with the Spirit of America award, presented to a local person(s), project, or group for outstanding community service to honor volunteerism.
Town Manager Alicia Conn said the award will be presented to McPhee at an upcoming meeting of the board, possibly during August.
McPhee, who continues to be an assistant coach in baseball and wrestling at Dirigo High School, had the baseball field in Harlow Park dedicated to him as “Home of the Bob McPhee Diamond,” the latest of many honors during his extraordinary life.
He was a high school student with a promising wrestling career ahead of him, but an accident during a football scrimmage on September 4, 1976, changed all that. He suffered a spinal injury that limited his movement to only his head and right arm. McPhee is wheelchair bound and can only speak through a talking machine.
But with courage and through family and friends, McPhee proved that he would never be limited in what he could accomplish.
The former longtime sportswriter for the Lewiston Sun Journal and the Rumford Falls Times, McPhee chronicled his journey in a book called It Could Be Worse; the Rest of the Story, about his life in detail: from the day he was paralyzed to his life-saving operation, and, ultimately, his rehabilitation after his life was saved.
Despite the odds, McPhee graduated from high school and went on to get his bachelor’s degree from the University of Maine at Orono. All of this was during a time when handicapped accessible buildings were not common.
In 2009, McPhee was given a special recognition ceremony by the Maine State Legislature and Governor.
He is a member of the National Wrestling Hall Of Fame; awarded the Medal of Courage in 2011.
McPhee was inducted into the Univ. of Maine in 2016.
In other business, the select board, which now has its full complement of five, welcomed two new members — Angela Varnum and Janice Merrill.
In a reorganization procedure for the upcoming fiscal year, Richard Pickett was elected chairman, with Norm Mitchell as the vice chairman.


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