BRUNSWICK — A. LeRoy Greason Jr., a well-respected educator and leader who served as a professor, dean and president in his 38 years at Bowdoin College, died on Sunday. He was 88.

Mr. Greason joined the staff at Bowdoin in 1952 as an English instructor with a specialty in 18th-century English literature. He was named dean of students in 1962 and became dean of the college four years later. In 1975, he resigned from his post to resume teaching full time.

Mr. Greason was named president of Bowdoin in 1981. In a statement on Bowdoin’s website, college President Barry Mills called him “a dedicated educator and gifted leader.”

“During his 10-year presidency, he expanded and strengthened academic offerings, increased the size and diversity of the faculty, and established strong ties between the college, alumni and the community,” Mills said. “His greatest gift was his ability to find common ground among disparate people and to inspire them to work together. Bowdoin is a stronger, more humane place because of his service.”

Mr. Greason was remembered by his family and his colleagues on Monday as a kind and humble person who contributed generously to local causes.

He served on dozens of boards and committees, including the Brunswick School Board, the Brunswick Chamber of Commerce and Portland Stage Company. He was also active in the First Parish Church.

Katherine Greason of Hallowell, the second of his three children, said her father believed strongly in giving back to the community.

“It’s something that drove his life,” she said. “He was a good person with a good sense of humor who was trying to make a difference. And he did.”

He was married to Pauline “Polly” Greason for 61 years. She died in 2007.

The couple enjoyed traveling, playing golf and going to the theater. Mr. Greason also enjoyed fishing, sailing and spending time at the family’s cottage in Harpswell.

“He and my mom were two halves of a very whole marriage,” Katherine Greason said. “They were a team. They had a good life.”

Mr. Greason also worked part time for Neighbors Inc. in Brunswick. His job was to drive elderly residents to their appointments or to stores. He also provided companionship to some people. At the time, he was 82 years old, taking care of people in their 70s.

His daughter said he appreciated life and valued his friendships.

In the past few years, Mr. Greason struggled with dementia.

“He never lost his smile,” his daughter said. “I’ll miss his smile.”

He is survived by his three children and four grandchildren.

 

Staff Writer Melanie Creamer can be contacted at 791-6361 or at: [email protected]