Adrian “Coach” Gagnon

MADAWASKA, Maine – Adrian “Coach” Gagnon of Madawaska, Maine, passed away at 90 years old from a long courageous battle with cancer on September 8, 2018 at a Madawaska health care facility, with his devoted wife at his side. Adrian is survived by his loving wife Leola (Dumont) Gagnon of 62 years; brothers Joe and Don; children Anita, Bill, and John; eight grandchildren Sarah, Ryan, Rebecca, Chris, Erin, Katelyn, Mattie, and Julia; four great-grandchildren Trace, Iris, Russell, Madeleine.
He was born in Cyr Plantation, Maine on the family homestead. The family moved to Van Buren when Adrian was four years old and he attended local schools and spent hours working with his father in the woods. He left in the 8th grade to a preparatory seminary school in Bedford, Massachusetts, but returned his senior year to graduate from Van Buren Boys High. Adrian enlisted in U.S. Army during the Korean Conflict and served for 2 years. He returned to the states and attended Boston University on the GI Bill and graduated with a B.S. in Education in 1952.
Upon graduation, Adrian returned to Van Buren to become Athletic Director and taught and coached at Van Buren Boys High. While there, he met the love of his life, Leola, who was the school secretary at Girls High. Neither having a vehicle, they frequently walked together to school which led to their courtship. Being the smart man that he was, he convinced her to get married during potato harvest on September 19, 1955. Thus began a remarkable 62 years of love and envious devotion.
In order to supplement his challenging teacher’s compensation, Adrian took on a summer job working at U.S. Customs. This began his 30-year career that ultimately lead to his final position as Area Port Director in Northern Maine. In 1962, Adrian moved his family to Madawaska where they bought the infamous little red house. Quickly they immersed themselves into the community and Adrian served the town in numerous ways. Among his contributions, initiation of Little League baseball, President of the local PTA, President of Rotary club, President of Church Council, and President of Recreation and Budget Committee. Upon retirement, Adrian continued to volunteer serving Aroostook County Council on Aging and as a member of the Board of Directors of NMMC in Fort Kent. He was particularly proud and enjoyed in assisting the filing of tax returns for the elderly.
With all his remarkable accomplishments, he did them with passion and humility. His lasting legacy is his love for his family but in particular with his extraordinary relationship with his loving wife Leola. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated 10am on Wednesday, September 12, 2018 at the St. Thomas Aquinas Church. Family and friend may offer their condolences to the family at Lajoie Funeral Home, Madawaska from 4-8pm on Tuesday. There will be no visiting hours on Wednesday.
The family requests that in lieu of flowers, that donations be made to St. Thomas Aquinas Church in Madawaska or a charity of your choice. For online condolences, please visit

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