UNITY -- Rodney Wayne McElroy, 81, of Unity, passed away June 6, 2013. Rod was born in the Clifford/Brown Homestead atop Santa Claus Hill in Reed Plantation, Wytopitlock, on July 7, 1931, the son of Chester Noonan McElroy and Beula Evelyn Brown.
Rod attended schools in Patten, Maine, and Snohomish, Wash., graduating from Patten Academy with the class of 1950. He was proud to have served his country from 1951 to 1955, during the Korean Conflict as a member of the U.S. Air Force.
During semester break in January 1959, he married Gloria D. Doering and 18-month-old son George. Gloria and Rod soon had three more sons, Kevin Keith, Mark Ross and Jeffrey Wayne McElroy, each being a special loving joy to them.
He entered the University of Maine in 1955, graduating in 1959 with his bachelor's degree, later returning to the University of Maine for his master's degree and Certificate of Advance Study from the same institution.
Rod spent many years of his life in various positions that he truly enjoyed, primarily working with young people starting in 1959 at Brownville Junior High School in Brownville, then to Lincoln, at Mattanawcook Academy, then in Maine School Administrative District 3 where he was the first guidance counselor at Mount View High School. He became principal in 1967, a position he truly enjoyed, and served as superintendent of MSAD 3 for 10 years before leaving public education to work as a training supervisor at Great Northern Paper Co. Later Rod served two terms, 1994 to 1998 in the Maine House of Representatives. He often said that working with a group of young people was far more satisfying and generally more productive.
The time spent with family and friends at their Shin Pond Camp was the most enjoyable days of his life, made even more significant when his grandchildren were there. He loved them dearly and certainly appreciated the important parts they played in his life.
During his life Rod was involved in various education associations, the Masonic Lodge 98 of Patten and other community and social organizations, including Unity Barn Raisers, Unity Cemetery Committee, Unity Planning Board, Maine Retired Teachers Association, Maine Genealogy Association and the American Legion.
Rod always felt that his life was one of rewards and good fortune full of good friends, super neighbors, colleagues and loving family.
Rod leaves his loving wife of 54 years, Gloria; and four sons, George, and his wife, Donna, and their children, David and Kelly, Kevin and his attention to family togetherness, Mark and his wife, Christine, their sons, Drew and Scott, and Jeffrey and his wife, Amy, and their children, Jake, Kimmie and Brian; two special aunts, Bernice Brown, of Wytopitlock, and Betty Lent, of East Millinocket; a niece, Tori Glidden; and nephew, Glen Glidden, and family; his good friend and brother-in-law, Bud Heal, and wife, sister-in-law, Betty Heal, of East Millinocket. Also included are various brothers- and sisters-in-law and many cousins and friends throughout the country.
He was predeceased by his parents; his brother, Keith; and sister Marilyn Glidden; a special uncle, Ted Brown; and friend and uncle John T. Lent; along with many cousins, aunts and uncles. "We lived, we loved, we laughed. It was a good life."
Funeral services will be at 3 p.m. Thursday at the Clifford Performing Arts Center, Mount View Complex, at 577 Thorndike Road, Thorndike.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to McElroy Scholarship Fund, c/o Mount View High School, 577 Thorndike Road, Thorndike, ME 04986.
Arrangements by Bowers Funeral Home, Island Falls.