Donald H. Gouin, 85

Donald Gouin

Donald Gouin

AUBURN — Donald H. Gouin, 85, of Norway died Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2016 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. 
On June 21, 1953, he married the former Phyllis Welch of Dixfield. They spent 49 wonderful years together before her death in August of 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 the middle school. If you ended up in Mr. Gouin’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 together 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 50-plus year member of Oxford Lodge, 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 sons, John of Norway and Buck Gouin of Stoneham; a daughter, Laura Gouin of Stoneham; five grandchildren and four great-grandsons; cousins, nieces and nephews.

He was predeceased by his parents; his wife, Phyllis; and his brother, Arthur N. Gouin Jr.

A Celebration of Life will be held at 1 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 24, at Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School, 256 Main Street, South Paris.

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