Jodd Bowles, then Lost Valley’s director of ski racing, sets gates on the Bull Moose trail at Lost Valley Ski Area in Auburn in 2013. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal file photo

Jodd Bowles was so eager to get his sons, Nigel and Ben, out on the slopes that he placed them in ski boots before they could walk and sent the toddlers down the trail. 

That was just one fond memory the sons have of their 60-year-old father and former Edward Little Alpine ski coach, who died at his home in Auburn on Sunday. He was battling esophageal cancer as well as taking care of his wife Arlene, who has been battling breast cancer for nearly a decade.

Jodd Bowles in 2009. Sun Journal file photo

To his sons, Jodd Bowles was a devoted father and husband, but to the community, he was a tireless advocate of getting children involved in skiing at a young age. He coached the Auburn Middle School ski team before taking over the Edward Little varsity program. He also spent time as the ski racing director at Lost Valley and was an Alpine coach at Hebron Academy for over 10 years.

“It is still surreal, still doesn’t feel like he is gone,” Nigel Bowles said Tuesday. “ … I know he loved me so much, but I don’t know if the memories are still so true or what it is, but, yeah, it doesn’t feel entirely real. I don’t know if it ever will, but maybe I am not supposed to know, yet.” 

According to Nigel, his father said skiing was all about the young athletes, not the coach. 

“That’s what (skiing) was about to him,” Nigel said. “It is not about him. It is about the kids; it is about the skiing. It is not about just any one person. It is about the collective and having a good time, enjoying racing.” 


Nigel said his father had a passion for many activities, but skiing — along with skateboarding and surfing — happened to be at the top of the list. 

“What a lot of people don’t realize is just as much heart and soul he put into the ski community, he put it into every single thing he did. He put it into skate boarding. Without him, that wouldn’t be a thing. We wouldn’t have the Lewiston Skate Park and talking about having a positive outlet for the younger teenagers in the area to go and have a place to be, as opposed to being in the streets.

“Yes, he was a legend in the ski industry and that’s undisputed. … He made people feel like he cared. He actually did care.” 

Nigel said his dad was indeed outspoken and he didn’t mind saying what he thought out loud. 

“John Jenkins was a close friend of ours,” Nigel said, referring to the late former Auburn and Lewiston mayor and state senator. “John Jenkins used to always to say we need to learn to disagree without being disagreeable.

Ben Bowles said his father was always reaching out to people he didn’t know. 


“How many people said they loved skiing because of him? He made it fun,” Ben said.  

Ben enjoyed working with his father at Lost Valley during the summer months, too. 

“We would do equipment repairs and stuff over the summer and get the hill in shape for the season,” he said.  

Ben is quick to point out that his father instilled in him his love of science and physics. 

“… I went to school to study physics and astronomy because of him,” Ben said. “We had a book of ‘How We Went To The Moon,’ and it talked about the three phases, and I remember the image of the crawler that showed that they carried the rocket to the launch pad — and like how big is that. We went and got a tape measure and went out in the backyard to scope out how big was 50 feet or 50 yards. 

“He really fostered that creativity to want to learn, to question the world and to understand it. What I’ve learned from my dad is serve your community, love your family … to commit to people and be with them.” 


Scott Berube, who worked with Jodd at Lost Valley and is the current Edward Little Alpine coach, said Bowles was a dedicated employee at the Auburn ski resort. 

“He was instrumental in starting up our Sunday race series and corporate race league that still provide great winter recreation for our Maine communities,” Berube said. “I knew Jodd Bowles very well. He was a good friend, great father and a loving husband. He will be greatly missed but fondly remembered.” 

Edward Little director Todd Sampson said Jodd had a gift for explaining technical skills of skiing to young athletes. 

Edward Little High School Alpine ski coach Jodd Bowles, left, carries his athletes’ coats down the mountain in March 2021 during the KVAC girls championships at Black Mountain in Rumford. Daryn Slover/Sun Journal file photo

“He was one of the greatest technical ski knowledge people I have ever seen,” Sampson said, “but what separated him from others with his knowledge, he could break it down for a 16- or 17-year-old skier. 

“He understood everything that needed to happen at an elite level, and I think part of it was Jodd was a people person. He was able to connect with kids, whether they were the fastest skiers or whether they were just kind of a recreational skier. I see this all the time about whether it is a track coach, ski coach a swim coach, Jodd’s kids performed their best at conference championship time, state championship time.” 

Bowles coached the Edward Little Alpine teams from 2014 through 2021. During that time, the Red Eddies won two Class A state championships: the boys in 2016 and the girls in 2019.


Bowles was selected KVAC Coach of the Year in 2016 and received the Lewiston/Auburn Sports Hall of Fame President’s Award that same year. 

Sampson calls the ski community in Auburn tight-knit, and said Jodd always played a big role in it. 

“Whether you saw him training at Lost Valley, training at the mountain, or whether you saw him at the Auburn Association Ski Swap, even before the ski swap was going to happen (he was) organizing the skis and organizing the boots, doing all that stuff. He is just a beloved member of the community,” Sampson said. 

Jodd, who was born in Geneseo, New York, also was a respected coach among his peers. 

I always looked forward to seeing Jodd,” Mt. Blue Alpine coach Mark Cyr said. “You could always count on him telling an interesting story from his past. Definitely one of the easiest-going coaches I’ve ever met. The KVAC Alpine ski coaches group has a reputation of being very hospitable and easy to work with, and Jodd had a lot to do with that reputation.”   

Current Auburn Middle School ski coach Darcy Smyth said she will miss Jodd in so many ways, including his smile and knowledge of ski racing. 


“Nigel and I took over the middle school program, so Jodd, for me, was like my mentor,” Smyth said. “He was my coach and he was a good friend. I just grew up with him as a Mountain Dew racer (at Lost Valley) and he was like a mentor for my middle school coaching as I started coaching with him and Nigel.

“He had a huge impact on all of us that we will miss because he gave us a lot of guidance. I could always count on Jodd if I needed anything for ski racing.” 

Dan Campbell, a former Edward Little ski and cross country coach who currently coaches the St. Dom’s track and cross country teams, met Jodd just after he moved to Maine and the two quickly became friends. 

“Jodd, to me, and I look at what they do in the community, and Jodd did give as much to the community as he did to his family,” Campbell said. “He was one of the good guys. I don’t know what to say except he is one of the good guys.”

Those wishing to donate to the family can do so at their GoFundMe page, which is titled Jodd and Arlene (

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