W. Arthur Bodwell Jr., 71

Walter Bodwell

GRAY — W. Arthur Bodwell Jr., 71, of Gray, surrounded by the love of his family and dear companion, passed away after a brief and courageous battle with cancer.

He was born in Manchester, N.H., son of the late Walter A. and Josephine (Lyon) Bodwell.

Art was a 1964 graduate of Central High School in Manchester, N.H., and 1968 graduate of the University of New Hampshire, where he earned a degree in business. While at UNH, he enrolled in the Army ROTC program, where he met his lifelong friend, Willy Millar, with whom he enjoyed plenty of colorful correspondence and banter throughout the years. After his time of active duty, Art was honorably discharged in 1971. In July of 1971, he married the love of his life, the late Gail (Alcorn) Bodwell. They were blessed with 42 years of marriage.

Following his discharge from the Army, he and Gail moved to Waterville, where he began his career at Central Maine Power. In 1979, he and his family moved to Gray, where he accepted a position at Pine Tree Telephone as the business manager. After 22 years, he left Pine Tree and began as a computer technician in the Gray-New Gloucester school system. He greatly enjoyed his 15 years working with his colleagues in the technology department, as well as his many interactions with numerous employees of the SAD 15 district. When Art was asked what he liked most about his job, he replied “making people happy after I fix the problem.”

Art enjoyed many years coaching his daughters in little league softball. Beginning with his oldest daughter as an Eagle and ending nearly 20 years later with his youngest as a Lady Hawk, he spent endless hours pacing the dugouts and calling out coaching advice to countless G-NG softball players. His love of the game continued as he reluctantly embraced the roll as spectator while watching his daughters, who played in high school and beyond.

When not at a softball field, Art could typically be found in his shop whittling away on his newest carving, block animal, or making furniture. He greatly enjoyed woodworking and spent hours at his hobby. Art also loved watching the New England Patriots, who had many a ball cap thrown at them via the TV screen throughout the years. He would even record games to rewatch in the shop while working on his latest project. These two hobbies complemented each other, and possibly a source of respite from the day-to-day joys of raising five daughters.

Art was predeceased by his wife, Gail (Alcorn) Bodwell.

He is survived by his five daughters, Carrie L. Brennan of Belgrade, Rebecca S. Bodwell of Westbrook, Robyn A. Hillard of Southbridge, Mass., Bethany B. Parks of Westbrook, and Paige B. Sanborn of Westbook; seven grandchildren; two sisters, Judith Mulholland of Naples, Fla., and Peggy Adams of Williston, Vt.; his loving companion, Shelia Flanagin of Casco; as well as many other family members and friends.

Visiting hours will be held this Thursday from 5 to 8 p.m. A service will be held on Friday at 3 p.m., both at the Wilson Funeral home, 24 Shaker Road, Gray.

In memory of Art, please send memorial donations to: Gray-New Gloucester Little League Softball Program, P.O. Box 1236 Gray, ME 04039, in recognition of his many years volunteering his time and love for the game.

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