Leonard C. Mulligan ’54

Leonard C. Mulligan ’54 died on August 18, 2020 in Bath, ME.  

(The following was published by Portland Press Herald on September 23, 2020)

Leonard “Red” Charles Mulligan of Washington Street, died peacefully Tuesday, August 18, 2020 at his home with family by his side. Red had a dynamic personality and was true to his nickname, not just by the color of his hair, but his joy for life and the colorful clothing he wore. While ever ready to embarrass his loved ones by often choosing to wear the colors of several flags on special holidays, (orange, white, and green on St. Patrick’s Day; red, white, and blue on July 4), Red’s quick wit and engaging smile, willingness to always lend a helping hand, and his ability to maintain a positive outlook no matter what came his way inspired many and often made him a fast friend for life to those who knew him. Red was born in North Andover, MA, on March 21, 1932, the son of Leonard J. and Ruth Mulligan. The family moved to Brunswick in 1939 where his father worked as a building contractor and later as a machinist at Bath Iron Works. Red was a 1950 graduate of Brunswick High School and graduated from Bowdoin College in 1954, with a major in economics and a minor in Latin. Red later attended graduate school in Springfield, MA. While at Bowdoin, Red was a member of the Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity and maintained strong friendships with several of his fraternity brothers throughout his entire life. In later years he and his fraternity brother, Hugh Dunphy, established a ROMEO (retired old men eating out) Club, where they would meet each week. Having come from modest means, Red knew the value of pursuing a strong education and was appreciative of those who helped him achieve that goal. Accordingly, one of his most rewarding accomplishments was to provide many other students with the same opportunity. Red entered the United States Army during the Korean War period and was stationed at Fort Lee, VA. He continued with his service as a member of the National Guard until 1962. In the early 1950s, Red met his wife, Carol Musk, while they both worked at Sebasco Lodge Resort. They married on April 2, 1955, and later returned to the Sebasco area, spending many wonderful summers with their extended family at their ocean front home. After graduate school, Red worked at Mass Mutual for several years, and by the mid to late 1950s, Red and Carol returned to Bath where he took ownership of the Gibbons Coal Company from his father-in-law, George Musk. For nearly 40 years, Red and his family built the Gibbons Fuel Company into a thriving business, with several offices in midcoast Maine. He served in leadership positions for the Maine Oiler Dealer’s Association for many years. Red was a strong supporter of the Bath community. He was a devoted supporter of the St. Mary’s Catholic Church, and he served with the Bath Chamber of Commerce. He was chairman of the board for Bath Memorial Hospital and played a key leadership position, along with Richard Morrell, in the merger of BMH and Regional Hospital in Brunswick to become Midcoast Hospital. Red was also a member of the Rotary Club, and was a lifetime supporter of the Maine Maritime Museum and the Patten Free Library. Red was a former trustee of the Hyde School. As one of the original founders of the organization, he and his lifelong friend, Bill Haggett, were instrumental in securing a site for the school, the former Pine Tree Society rehabilitation and convalescent home. Red and his business partner Sherwood Francis were leaders in the development of affordable, moderate income housing in Bath, with the building of the Kings Arms Apartments, and Sherred Village, now the Maritime Apartment complex. He was also involved with several other building projects throughout his career. After retirement, Red continued to give to his community. He served as an intake volunteer at the Sweetser Organization in Brunswick for more than eight years and found great joy in working as a Literacy Volunteer in Brunswick. Red is predeceased by his wife, Carol, with whom he spent 50 years of marriage prior to her death in 2005. He was also predeceased by his older sister, Ruth Lemieux, who helped raise him as a child after the sudden death of his mother at a very early age. Survivors include his stepbrother, Joe Mulligan; a son, Brian of East Boothbay, and members of his family Rose, Patrick and Benjamin; two daughters, Julie Bishop of Livermore, and her children, Erin and Alex, and Ann Mulligan and her husband James Valliere of Schwarzenbach, Germany; and six great-grandchildren.

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