Roger W. Dolan ’51

Roger W. Dolan ’51 died on March 13, 2015, in Portland, Maine.

(The following appeared in The Portland Press Herald in March):

CAPE ELIZABETH – Roger William Dolan, 89, of Cape Elizabeth, passed away on March 13, 2015 at the assisted living facility, Birchwoods at Canco in Portland. Born Oct. 13, 1925 in Portland, he was the son of James D. and Betsey (Bjorkman) Dolan. Roger (Mickey) was predeceased in 2014 by his beloved wife of 63 years, Frances.

Roger graduated from South Portland High School as both class president and valedictorian in June, 1944. That summer after graduation he entered the U.S. Army. He saw intense and extensive combat service in WWII in the Central Europe & Rineland Campaigns during the winter of 1944-45. Roger served as a rifleman in the 102nd Infantry Division earning the Combat Infantry Badge, Service Star Central Europe, Service Star Rineland, American Campaign Medal, World War II Victory Medal, European Theater Ribbon, and Good Conduct Medal.

After the war ended, he completed preparatory studies at Amherst College in Massachusetts before entering the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York in the summer of 1946. He continued his studies there into late 1949.

He completed his Bachelor of Arts degree at Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine in 1951, and later obtained his Master of Education degree from the University of Maine in Orono in 1955.
In 1951, Roger married Frances (Hooper) Bell, a widow at the time who was raising three young children. He willingly took on his “new” family, and later his son, Stephen, was born into the family in 1952.

Roger began a career of teaching mathematics & physics, and also coaching football and baseball at Biddeford High School beginning in 1951. In 1956 he continued his teaching and coaching career at Westbrook High School.
After more than 40 years, he retired from public school teaching, but continued coaching football for several years at Westbrook Jr. High School. Mickey loved sports, and he especially loved coaching. To many, many people around the State of Maine he is still fondly remembered as “Coach Dolan”.

Mickey is also remembered by many as one of the finest all-around athletes at South Portland High School from his playing days in the early 1940’s. He was an outstanding player in high school sports, a three year All-State back in football, an all-tourney guard in basketball, and twice an All-Telegram League infielder in baseball. Mickey captained both the football and basketball teams at S.P.H.S.

Although not of sufficient physical size to play on the powerful nationally ranked Army football teams of the late 1940’s, Roger did play at several infield positions for the Military Academy baseball teams of 1947, 48 and 49.
He was induced into the Maine Baseball Hall of Fame in 1990, both for his successes as a high school and college player, but more especially for his many years of coaching at the high school level at Biddeford and Westbrook.
Mickey was very active as a basketball official during his winter “off season” months between his fall football and spring baseball coaching duties. Over the years, he officiated at a great many games both at the high school and junior high school levels.

For much of his life, Mickey was an active member of the First Congregational United Church of Christ in South Portland. He served as an usher and deacon there for a number of years.
After their retirement, Frances & Mickey enjoyed spending time together following a number of fun pursuits. They loved visiting Florida, and for many years they spent the month of February in Myrtle Beach, SC. During the Maine summers they loved playing golf as members of the Purpoodock Club in Cape Elizabeth, and fishing for trout and salmon during their annual trips to Cobb’s Pierce Pond Camps.

Their home on Spurwink Avenue in Cape Elizabeth was always the place where the extended family gathered during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday seasons. Pets were welcomed at the Dolan household as Mickey & Fran were “cat” people who always had at least one resident cat. Mickey had a great love for all animals, could usually be seen each morning feeding all the birds that frequented his back yard.

Roger was predeceased by his parents, brothers James and Richard, sister Betsy, and stepdaughter, Nancy Bell Fergusson.He is survived by his son Stephen and his wife Mary of South Portland; stepsons, Gordon Bell of Tenants Harbor and Daniel Bell of Cape Elizabeth; sister Beatrice Potenzo of Scarborough and her daughter Joanne Freeman and husband George and their daughter Dory of Scarborough, her sons Frank Potenzo and his partner Anita MacDonald of Buxton, Anthony Potenzo, his wife Norma and their sons Jarin & Vincent of South Portland; children of Nancy Bell Fergusson: Colon Fergusson of Whitefield and Elizabeth Fergursson and her son Robin of Dresden.

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