Ralph Harold Nodine 1922-2011

DadaV2copyRalph Harold Nodine of Jonesboro died on Thursday, September 8th, at South Portland Nursing Home at the age of 89.

Ralph was born in Aurora, Illinois on June 10, 1922 to Margaret and Boy Scout Executive Ralph Nodine, Sr. On his third birthday, his only sibling, Virginia, was born and he became her lifelong mentor. In 1928, their father was named Scout Executive of New
England and the family moved to West Newton, MA where he attended Browne and Nichols School, was then in the class of 1946 at Harvard University and later received degrees from both Boston and Clark Universities.

Ralph married Dorothy Bryant on August 1, 1947 and raised four children with her. They spent 18 of their early married years in Phillipston, MA; several years in New Jersey, where he worked as Dean of Students at Atlantic Community College; then in Georges Mills, NH; and later in Maine, where Dorothy had her roots, living more than 25 years in the Machias area.

He started his career as a business executive but the focus of his life’s work soon became
education and counseling, including work as a high school guidance counselor, college teacher, and college administrator. He was committed to education for underprivileged and underrepresented students and was a convincing early advocate for the community college system. More recently, he worked as President of Northern Penobscot Technical School in Lincoln and at Families United in Machias. After his retirement, he volunteered as Board Member, and for a time Board President, of Community Health and Counseling, based in Bangor.

Ralph had a passion for reading and learning (and ice cream!). His avid reading was such that any new book of interest would take him away from any other activity until it was devoured. He also took great delight in an eclectic set of hobbies through the years, including boxing, being a Boy Scout leader, sports car racing and rallies, and all things outdoors including fishing. In his late 40s, Ralph became an enthusiastic bird hunter. His love of bird dogs led him to be a wellrespected breeder of Champion Wire-Haired Pointing Griffons, a hunting-dog trainer, and a Registered Maine Guide. Well into his early eighties, he was training and hunting with his beloved Griffons.

Much of Ralph’s time was dedicated to environmental concerns. He was instrumental in creating the John F. Gile Memorial State Forest, which preserved 6,725 acres in Springfield, NH; supported an environmental camp for kids outside Machias; was a board member of Downeast Salmon Federation; and worked actively with Downeast Rivers Land Trust, which acquires and maintains open space trust lands along the Machias, Pleasant, and other Maine rivers.

Ralph was a devoted husband and a wonderful father. He cared for Dorothy with grace,
tenderness and love during her early stages of Alzheimer’s disease and later by visiting her
nursing home twice daily until her death in 2009. His devotion was a demonstration of his
overwhelming capacity for love and his nature to do what was right. He will be missed by his remaining family, including his sister, Virginia Moulton and her husband, Richard, from Vero Beach, FL; his children Ralph H. B. Nodine and his wife, Cathy, from Portland; Bryant and his wife, Janet, from Tucson, AZ; Charles and his wife, Sarah, from Vilcabamba, Ecuador; and Priscilla and her husband, Mark R. Palumbo, from Denver, CO; his eight grandchildren, Mary, Emily, Andrew, Natasha, David, Paul, Margaret, and Sophia; and two nephews.

His family thanks the exceptional staff at South Portland Nursing Home who cared for Ralph with love and dignity through his last days.

Donations in Ralph’s honor can be made to the Downeast Salmon Federation, P.O. Box 201, Columbia Falls, ME 04623 or online at www.mainesalmonrivers.org.


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