Richard J. McGee

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  • - Ashley
  • "Mike and family, so sorry to read about your wonderful..."
    - Gary & Paula Potter
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    - Phil McCarthy
  • "a great loss, we were lucky to have him arthur"
  • "Very sorry for your loss He was a wonderful man"
    - keith & ann stewart
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Service Information
Fairfield, ME

FAIRFIELD - "Coach" Richard John McGee, 84, passed away in the evening on Thursday, Feb. 26, 2015, surrounded by his loving family and close friends. He was born to Joseph and Claire McGee, one of four children, in Providence, R.I., on Aug. 27, 1930. His young parents probably had no idea of the impact their son would have on thousands of young people in Central Maine.
Richard "Dick" McGee's father, Joe, was the coach of the Providence Steamrollers, a professional football team in the 1930s and 40s. Dick would travel all around New England with his father's teams thus beginning a lifelong love of football. Dick played for LaSalle Academy, graduating in 1948, and then moved on to play collegiate football at the University of Maine. His time spent playing for the University of Maine forged a devotion to the state of Maine, and created friendships and connections with teammates that lasted his entire life.
Upon graduation from the University of Maine in 1953, Richard moved to Winslow and began his career of teaching and coaching. It was there that Richard met the love of his life, Shirley Harriet Marcia, in 1956. They married in 1957, and together they raised four children in their house on Main Street in Fairfield: Michael, Marcia, Susan and Kelly. His love of football and athletics took second place only to his love of family.
Coach McGee then moved to teach and coach football at Lawrence High School in Fairfield. At that time, he recognized the need for a comprehensive community recreational program for the children of the area. Together with his friend Chief Fred Gould, Dick, and his wife Shirley working behind the scenes, created the Fairfield P.A.L. program, which still operates to this day, for hundreds of children each year. Dick served as the director of the Fairfield P.A.L. for 54 years, from 1959 to 2013. Although Dick was an incredibly accomplished and renowned college football coach, it is safe to say his proudest accomplishment was the inception of the P.A.L. program. Because of his dedication to this program, the P.A.L. fields have named the Richard McGee Athletic Fields.
For two years, Richard commuted from Fairfield each day to coach at Bowdoin College. In 1967, Coach John Winkin offered him the head football coaching job at Colby College in Waterville. This job offer changed Dick's life and he became a lifelong Mule. He was the head football coach from 1967 to 1978 (his proudest accomplishment was his team of 1972 that set a Colby wins-loss record of 7-2 that still holds to this day), the athletic director from 1974 to 1984, and he was an assistant football coach from 1985 to 1996. His passion for Colby sports remained undiminished throughout his entire life. Even on the day of his death, he spoke to Coach Whitmore about a Colby/Bowdoin battle.
Coach McGee received many awards for his coaching and community contributions including Maine High School Coach of the Year and New England College Coach of the Year. He was recognized several times for "Contributions to New England College Football" and "Outstanding Contributions to New England Athletics." His awards were appreciated, but to those who knew him, he was a very humble man who always had time for a conversation and a kind word. He loved his community and the simple life of living in a small town. A man of great devotion and spirituality, he went to Mass daily at the Immaculate Heart of Mary where he served as a Eucharistic minister. He loved being able to walk to Belanger's Drive In for a burger and a shake, and he loved walking to the bank to chat with the tellers, and then head to Rite Aid to pick up his daily paper. With a big screen television, a big heart, and a big living room, everyone in town was welcome at 105 Main Street to enjoy the big game of the day (and to Dick, all games were big)!
His happiest times were those summer days spent with his wife, family, and friends by his house and pool on Main Street. P Buddy (his nickname from his grandchildren) would fire up the barbecue grill to grill his chicken "bone side down" and open his house up to any and all that may be passing by. Any given weekend, he would be surrounded at the pool by his children, grandchildren, current and former players, neighbors and friends at "the Black Hole"…his house on Main Street where everyone arrived, but no one wanted to leave.
Coach McGee was predeceased by his parents, Joe and Claire; his sister, Michaella; his brothers, Joe and Phillip; and by his wife of 49 years, Shirley. He is survived by his son, Michael and his wife Jennifer and their children Jaime, her son Bryceson, Michaella, Haley, Maxwell Haney, Diana Haney, Quinson Lancaster and wife Theresa and family; his daughter, Marcia and her husband Randy and their children Ross, Whitney and her fiancée Travis Dorsey and their children Truan and Aulden, Taylor; his daughter Susan and her husband Gregg and their children Matthew and Jenna; his daughter Kelly and her partner Rob Irish and her children Jacob and Justin. He is also survived by many dear and close friends and players who were like his sons.
A special thank you to all of the staff at Bedside Manor, especially his dear friend and companion, Scott McManaman. Also, the family extends its gratitude to Dr. Harmon and Renee McCafferty for ensuring a peaceful passing for our beloved P Buddy.
If you wish to remember Coach Dick McGee, visiting hours will be held from 4-7 p.m. at Lawry Brothers Funeral Home, 107 Main St., Fairfield, on Friday, March 6. There will be a Celebration of Life at Colby College on Saturday, March 7, beginning at 1 p.m. in the Colby College Cotter Union. Arrangements are by Lawry Brothers, 107 Main Street, Fairfield. An online guestbook may be signed and memories shared at
You only had to meet him once to remember him forever.

In lieu of flowers, donations
can be made to the
Coach Dick McGee Scholarship Fund
at Lawrence High School.
Please make checks to
Lawrence High School
and on the memo or envelope,
please write Coach Dick McGee Scholarship Fund.
Mail to: Lawrence High School
9 School Street
Fairfield, Maine

Published in Central Maine from Feb. 28 to Mar. 1, 2015
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