GORHAM – The Facebook profile picture for Kaleb Clowes shows him dressed in a white shirt, a gray vest and a loosely fitted tie, with a beard and an innocent smile.

“That’s him a little goofy at times,” said his mother, Jenni Clowes of Gorham. “I find it comforting. He looks happy. That’s how we want to remember him.”

Behind the smile and his soft blue eyes was a young man who suffered from depression.

Kaleb Clowes, a senior at Gorham High School, died Tuesday when he took his own life. He was 18.

He was a loving son of Peter and Jenni Clowes of Gorham. He is also survived by his brother, Jacob Clowes, 15; and his sister, Kaitlyn Clowes, 11.

His mother talked openly Thursday about her son’s life and the months and nights leading up to his death.

She described him as a typical teenager who enjoyed listening to music and playing video games. She said he loved reading and gravitated to science fiction and fantasy novels. She said he was also a talented artist who had considered going to art school.

“That’s the one thing he talked about he enjoyed art so much,” his mother said. “I think he was really good. It was a creative outlet for him.”

He grew up in Gorham as a happy and outgoing kid who enjoyed hanging out with his friends and cousins playing video games or going to the mall.

“He enjoyed those times with his cousins,” his mother said. “He was happy for the most part. Growing up, he was quite happy.”

In the past year or so, he had begun to pull away from his family and isolate himself in his bedroom. His mother noticed that he didn’t want to be at family gatherings or watch television with his siblings as often as he had in the past. She said he had no desire to practice driving to get his license or to find a job.

A few weeks ago, his doctor prescribed him an antidepressant. His mother said the medication seemed to be working.

“He suffered from depression,” she said. “It was very hard to see him go through this. You want to fix it, but you can’t put a Band-Aid on it and make it all better. I wanted to fix it, that’s what any mother would (try) to do, to make it better.”

Kaleb Clowes didn’t play sports or participate in extracurricular activities at school, but he had a few close friends and was expected to graduate in June.

He struggled in school, and didn’t want to be there, his mother said.

This week, they talked about him dropping out of school and taking the GED test to receive his diploma.

“This year was particularly tough on him,” she said. “As far as we could tell, he got along with people fine. He just didn’t want to be there.”

His Facebook page had more than a dozen messages Thursday afternoon from his friends at school expressing their grief and sadness.

One of his friends wrote: “Rest in peace Kaleb, the class of 2011 will miss you more than you can ever imagine.”

Another friend wrote: “I too miss you already, English is never going to be the same without you. You will be dearly missed by every one. Rest in peace Best Friend!”

Staff Writer Melanie Creamer can be contacted at 791-6361 or at:

[email protected]