Eugene McCluskey

Obituary of Eugene D. McCluskey

Eugene D. McCluskey, 74, died June 5, 2020 in Bangor after a period of declining health. He was born Sept. 28, 1945 in Bangor, the son of Lawrence and Elsie (Gagnon) McCluskey. Gene grew up in Presque Isle and graduated from Presque Isle High School, Class of 1964. After high school he attended Fort Kent State College for a semester before transferring to Northern Maine Vocational Technical Institute, Class of 1968. He later earned his Bachelor/teaching certificate from the Univ. of Southern Maine (Portland/Gorham University). He proudly served with the US Navy SeaBees during the Vietnam era. After the service Gene found his calling- Education, and began teaching industrial arts at Biddeford High School for 2 years before moving his family back to Presque Isle to teach at Presque Isle High School (PIHS), to raise his family in the hometown he loved, and also to realize his childhood dream of having a barn full of horses. He spent 30 years at PIHS, teaching industrial arts, working the school farm, and eventually as the PIHS Vocational Director. He happily spent many summers working at his father’s garage and riding horses in his spare time. He left the high school to work as director of admissions at Northern Maine Community College, from which he eventually retired. He loved teaching, mentoring, telling “shop” jokes, and being involved in education overall. Nothing pleased him more than helping students succeed, or seeing a former student around town. He often joked that he wanted to go to school to become an engineer, but his mother didn’t like the idea of him working for the railroad, so he became a teacher. Gene retired in 2016 after 49 years in education. His “golden years” were spent in Houlton with Joyce, riding his 4 wheeler, enjoying her family, and having Thursday morning coffee with his friend, Steve. Gene was also a member of the Winegar Post 480, American Legion, Presque Isle. Gene was an amazing father, grandfather, mentor, partner, and friend, and will be dearly missed by all who knew him. He loved to talk and tell stories (occasionally siting the Irish gift for gab) to anyone who would listen (and probably a few who were not), but most importantly he listened. His conversation was engaging, fun, and entertaining. He was a very thoughtful advice giver, and was always kind. He was successful in his career, loved work, but was humble about his accomplishments. He loved his horses, dogs, some of his cats and his family (again, some of them). Gene was happy and positive, though he would tell you it is okay to be sad now. And if Gene were giving advice today, he might say, as he said to his young sons every night at bed time, “Have happy dreams.” Surviving in addition to his fiancée, Joyce MacDonald of Houlton are two sons, David McCluskey and his wife, Jessica of Eddington and Paul McCluskey and his wife, Jennifer LeBeau of Seattle, Washington; four grandchildren, Jacob and Isaac McCluskey of Eddington and Owen and Aaron McCluskey both of Seattle; one brother, Gary McCluskey and his wife, Carla of Presque Isle and two sisters, Barbara McCluskey and Lynn Philbrick. The list would not be complete without mention of Madison and Damien Macdonald, Brennen MacDonald, Mackenzie Anderson, Cassandra MacDonald, Kristen Livingston, Brittaney Cooks and family (Joyce’s grandchildren). A graveside service with military honors will be held 12 noon Monday, September 14, 2020 at the Northern Maine Veterans Cemetery, Caribou. For those who wish, memorial contributions may be made to the Northern Maine Community College Foundation, 33 Edgemont Drive, Presque Isle, ME 04769 or at
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A graveside service with military honors will be held at a later date at Northern Maine Veterans Cemetery, Caribou.
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