James F. Gillen Sr.

HAMPDEN – James F. Gillen, Sr. “Pops”, of Hampden, passed away peacefully at his home over the Labor Day weekend, at the age of 75. He was born in Biddeford on Feb. 11, 1947. He grew up in Mars Hill, Maine and loved spending time on the Gillen family farmland.

Jim graduated from Aroostook Central Institute (ACI) in Mars Hill. He was an all-time cross country track athlete and won several Maine races in high school and later while attending college. He had a passion for running long distances. He was also a professional cross country skier and avid downhill skier winning several notable awards.

He went to the Southern Maine Vocational Technical Institute in South Portland graduating with a degree in Culinary arts. He was an amazing cook. Jim worked as general manager for the York Steak house franchises, manager of KFC in Westbrook and also employed for Smith Farm in the catering business. He was a professional, self-taught carpenter in which he built his former 3-level home in Sullivan, Maine with the help of his children. Jim also built a camp at Schoodic Lake in Columbia, Maine which he enjoyed for many years.

Jim trained hard to become an amazing correctional officer for the state of Maine. He had so much passion for this occupation and exemplified high standards as a correctional officer. He worked at the Maine State Prison for many years and kept us all feeling safe during his tenure there.

Jim had a life filled with purpose, hard-work, and much story-telling. He had an adventurous life that included many fishing trips, including catching trout in Canada whom he loved taking his grandchildren, and halibut and salmon fishing in Alaska, and going to Baxter State Park fishing often on Nesowadnehunk Stream which he loved the most. He had a passion for fishing and told many great tales, some of them the most outrageous fishing tales-(true or not!)

He had so many great stories about family gatherings, his life experiences, relationships, work experiences and the love of his family- that he surrounded himself with. Jim was a loving father, grandfather, great-grandfather, brother, uncle, dedicated to the happiness and well being of his family around him. He was selfless and gave his time, energy, laughter and money to his family during times of need. His life involved having a strong character, presence, purpose, wisdom and perspective. He truly enjoyed being at the center of attention- sharing a plethora of life-long stories, making people laugh and building relationships to all that knew him and those that he did not know. He was a good man and will be missed by all that knew him.

He is survived by his two children, James (Jim) F Gillen, Jr of Freeport and Michelle L. Correia of Gray with whom he enjoyed smelt fishing with at all hours, blueberry raking in Cherryfield, clam digging, deep sea fishing and many other outdoor activities. He is also survived by his grandchildren, Zachary Gillen of Freeport, Graci Gillen of Gray, Joe Correia of Gray, Brandon Correia of Harrison, Shayne Correia of Harrison and Cassidy Correia of Gray; two stepchildren Dustin and Brittney Manock; and several great grandchildren.

He is also survived by his brother Russell Gillen, Sr. and sister-in-law Katie Gillen of Hampden; niece Janice Gillen of Hampden; grandniece Natalia Hope Charles of Hampden; niece Laurie Gillen Rollins; grandnieces Emma, Adalynn, Ava and Brooke Rollins; nephew Russell Gillen Jr. of Westbrook. He is also survived by his aunt Holly Muller of Uncasville, Conn. and her children, David Muller, Billy Muller, Bruce Muller and Brian Muller all of Uncasville, Conn.

He was predeceased by his loving wife, Carolanne Marie Gillen of Effingham, N.H.

A private Family “Celebration of Life” with video and picture montages will be announced at a later date in October.

Condolences to the family may be expressed at BrookingsSmith.com.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to: American Cancer Society (1-800-227-2345) or:

the American Heart Association (heart.org)

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