Dean, Gardner receive posthumous honor

15 years ago

    Perley Dean and Lawrence “Locky” Gardner will be officially inducted, posthumously, into the Maine Sports Legends Hall of Honors Shrine for 2008 during a banquet at the Alfond Youth Center in Waterville Oct. 12, beginning at noon.

    This honor is presented to men and women for their extraordinary commitment and work behind the scene, both academically and athletically.  Dean and Gardner will be representing the Northern Region of the Maine Sports Legends.
    Perley Dean was an athlete, teacher and coach, official in IAABO, guidance counselor and community service citizen. At Easton High School in the late 1940s, he was on the baseball, basketball and track teams.  He pitched for Presque Isle Legions Jr. League Baseball in the summers and in 1949 played for the Bangor Daily News Team. At Colby College his freshman year he pitched for their baseball team, transferring to UMO for his remaining college years and pitching for the Black Bears.
    Steve Shaw, the athletic director at Easton High School and successful coach at Central Aroostook for many years, said, “Perley excelled as a baseball pitcher at the University of Maine. An outstanding athlete who competed as a gentleman and a team player.”
    While at the University of Maine, he played summers on a semi-pro team in the Maine-New Brunswick Baseball League. At UMaine, Dean was also a member of Phi Eta Kappa and played on the fraternity’s basketball team.
    Dean’s teaching and coaching career began in 1955 at Hodgdon High School where he coached boys and girls basketball teams, baseball and taught social studies and math. The following year, he taught and coached at Central Aroostook in Mars Hill. He coached JV and varsity basketball and varsity baseball, along with teaching physical education and driver’s education. In 1959, his basketball team won the Aroostook ‘M’ Championship. Dean was also a member of the basketball official’s IAABO Board.
    After receiving his Master’s Degree in Education, he started his career as guidance counselor for 24 years, one year at Houlton High School then at Presque Isle High School until he retired as guidance director in 1989. Suzanne Hews, a guidance counselor at Presque Isle High School, remembers Dean as “a person who truly had the students interests at heart.  He wanted them to succeed in the classes, high school programs, and whatever higher education they chose.”
    Paul Lynch, a vocational teacher at Presque Isle High School said, “Perley worked very hard with the vocational students, steering them into classes which would carry over to the Vocational Colleges or a career as a mechanic or in the farming community.  He touched many young people’s lives and loved being around the students.” 
    He was a member of the Maine Association of Counseling and Development, National Education Association, Maine Teachers Association and SAD 1 Teachers Association and Maine State Retired Teachers Association.
    In the community of Presque Isle, Dean was a very active participant.  He was a longtime member of the Presque Isle Kiwanis Club and past distinguished Lt. Governor for District 30.  He chaired scholarship program for the Grant Memorial United Methodist Church and the Kiwanis Franklin S. Cunningham Scholarship Fund, which was given to a Presque Isle High School senior.  He also served three terms on the SAD 1 Board of Directors, Presque Isle City Council, Executive Committee of the Northern Maine Development Commission, for the Advisory Board for the Museum of Science at the University of Maine at Presque Isle and was a member of the Turner Library Foundation Board.
    The Northern Maine Fair in Presque Isle greatly benefited from Dean’s service. Edward Hews, a friend of Dean’s and past president of the Northern Maine Fair, said Dean “spent many years supervising the operations of the Northern Maine Fair in Presque Isle as its general manager from 1991 until 1998 and continuing as a trustee until 2002. His work in the Agriculture Exhibition Building truly made it a showcase for the Grange, Homemakers and Youth Exhibits. As a friend of his and working with him on many projects, I saw him as a person truly concerned in the welfare of our youth and community. I consider it an honor to have known a man so deserving of this tribute by the Maine Sports Legends to have Perley Dean inducted into their Hall of Honors.”
    Dean and his wife, Marilyn, had three children — two sons and a daughter who now live in southern Maine with their families, including five grandchildren.
Lawrence Locky Gardner will be officially inducted, posthumously, into the Maine Sports Legends Hall of Honors Shrine for 2008 during a State-wide Annual Banquet in Waterville at the Alfond Youth Center on October 12, 2008 at 12:00 noon.  This honor is presented to men and women for their extraordinary commitment and work behind the scene, both academically and athletically.  He will be representing the Northern Region of the Maine Sports Legends.
    Lawrence “Locky” Gardner was an athlete, playing baseball and basketball in high school and college.  In 1940 at Jacksonville Grammar School, Gardner started his career in education for 37 years. Moving to Fort Fairfield the next year, he was a principal (teaching principal at first) of the Fort Fairfield Grammar School and Junior High School until 1969, when he was named principal of Fort Fairfield High School.
    He coached grammar school basketball for 16 years, including a state championship team in 1950. Keith Mahaney of Fort Fairfield had Gardner as his first basketball coach from 1944-1947. “I learned all the fundamentals of the game during these three exciting years that served me extremely well during my high school and college career,” said Mahaney, who went on to star in basketball at the University of Maine and still holds basketball records today along with being inducted into the Maine Hall of Fame.
    Thomas “Skip” Chappelle said, “Locky was a real key and inspiration to me in my coaching profession and what it was all about. A very valuable mentor and role model to me in my early coaching career, he had tremendous insight into what the teaching, education and coaching profession were all about.”
    Chappelle worked with him for five years and went on to play and coach at the University of Maine and has been inducted into five sports halls of fame.
    Along with coaching, Gardner officiated basketball and baseball and was a member of the National Association of Approved Basketball Officials and National Baseball Umpires Association.
    As a teacher and principal, Gardner spent 37 years in the education field trying to make a difference.  Many teachers recall how he was driven by the students and how he cared about them immensely. He strove to help them succeed in their goals, and in their lives.
    Gary Janosco, a former teacher and later a principal for SAD 20, recalls very clearly the impact that Gardner had on his life. “He became very quickly a mentor and almost a second father.”  Janosco recalls some advice he received from Gardner. “If you want to be a good teacher or principal, you’ve got to be three things:  fair, firm and consistent.
    Gardner had the calling of the ultimate “school man.”
    “School was made to feel comfortable for us, he had the knack of making all of the students feel special, important and loved,” said Jim Ugone, who had Gardner as a teacher, coach, principal, Boy Scout leader and eventually his superior.
    Ugone, became a teacher and coach in Fort Fairfield and later was principal of Caribou High School.
    “I couldn’t have been luckier to have met such a caring and unassuming man, one who gave so much and asked so little of the people he met. I will be eternally thankful for having known Locky and for being one of his ‘kids,’” said Ugone in a letter to the editor on Gardner’s passing in 2002.  
    Jeannette Condon, SAD 20’s former superintendent said, “It always amazed me how many people knew Locky, and loved and respected him. I knew him as a legend. He was always larger than life.”
    Gardner was very active in the community by serving on the town’s budget committee, as recreation director for eight years, member of the Aroostook Valley Country Club and past president of the Upper St. John Valley Senior Golf Association, past president of the Fort Fairfield Athletic Association, past director of the Community General Hospital, United Fund, Fort Fairfield Chamber of Commerce and commissioner of the Fort Fairfield Housing Authority. He also coached Little League baseball for eight years and was nominated State Little League Coach of the Year.
    In 2002, Gardner passed away, leaving one son, Larry, who is a teacher and coaches at Fort Fairfield High School, daughter-in-law Marilyn and a granddaughter, Libby. His son remarked, “Dad would be very humbled and appreciative of this fine honor.”