BANGOR and HERMON -
On September 4th, 2020, our strong willed and beloved wife and mother Marlene (Doughty)(Bowden) Donahue, 82, passed away, peacefully, at home, with her devoted husband at her side, surrounded by the love of her caring sons and daughter.
Marlene was born and grew up in Hermon. She had many fond memories of time spent with her parents, Lester and Mona Doughty, and younger brother, Gene, at their home on Hermon Pond. She graduated from Hermon High School in 1955.
Marlene spent her next several years as a stay at home mom. She was protective, yet lionhearted, a force to reckon with when it involved her family. She had a hint of zaniness to make life interesting for herself and her children. She was loving but was never one to mince words, so you always knew where you stood with her.
In addition to her family, she recalled returning and graduating from St. Joseph’s Nursing School as one of her greatest accomplishments. Marlene worked as a psychiatric nurse at BMHI until her retirement. During her long career, she radiated integrity, hard work, and was respected, admired and appreciated by her patients and coworkers.
Before, and certainly after retiring, Bill and Marlene looked forward to, and greatly enjoyed time together. They took their annual winter cruise to the Caribbean, spent summer seasons traveling or at the campground, started BHC, dined out often, visited with friends, hosted and attended gatherings, and kept up to date on (all) the news and happenings of family. Marlene loved to dance, joke, shop, read, work on crossword puzzles, and play cards and bingo. She was a fan of watching sports, game shows, and politics on television.
Marlene will be greatly missed by her dear husband of 38 years, William “Bill” Donahue, of Bangor; her cherished sons, Gordon Bowden Jr. of Bradley and Greg Bowden of Bangor; and adored daughter and son-in-law Sheri (Bowden) and Tony Severance of Orrington. Marlene relished her role of grandmother. She leaves her wonderful grandchildren, Abbie (Severance) and Cassady Pappas of Otter Creek; Natalie Bowden of Machias and New Hope, PA, Anthony Severance Jr. of Orrington, Hali Bowden of Portland, and Grey Bowden of Orono. Nothing lifted Marlene’s spirits more than watching her precious great- granddaughters, Vivien and Sylvie Pappas. Marlene is survived by sisters and brother-in-law, Edward and Joan Donahue of Maryland; Millie and Tricia Donahue of Maine; and her special sister-in-law, more like a daughter, Margaret “Peg” (Donahue) Haskell of Deer Isle. Marlene was an amazing Aunt and Great Aunt to many nieces and nephews and felt especially close to her niece, Cynthia (Hansen) Reid and nephew, Joel Hansen, Bangor.
She will be fondly remembered by her three ‘honorary’ children; Jamie Breen of North Carolina, Christa (Colburn) Garcia of Bangor and Florida, and Robert Johnson of Augusta, as well as the ‘dynamic duo‘ she considered her extended family; steadfast friend, Gert Murphy of Alton and sidekick in being obstinate, Nicole Demont of Old Town. Marlene had numerous lifelong relationships, including two forever friends, Carlene (Grant) Robinson of Hermon and Kay (Scanlon) Bennett of Bangor.
She was preceded in death by her parents, her older half-brothers Earl, Eddie, and Russell McPherson, her younger brother; her sister-in-law and friend, Nina (Bowden) Hansen, as well as several treasured Bowden, Doughty, and Donahue family members over the years.
There are lots of stories we could share but for those lucky enough to have known Marlene to each his own favorite. She had a quick wit, a tendency to be bold and blunt, but was also known for her unrivaled compassion. She was beautiful and had the most expressive blue eyes and infectious laugh. Although she is gone she will definitely be etched in our thoughts and lives through our countless remembrances of her.
Bill and family would like to acknowledge the people that reached out to Marlene while she toiled with the difficulties that come with the battle she faced bravely in her final months. Thank you is not sufficient to express our gratitude to all who helped her remain true to her beliefs, and encouraged her somewhat stubborn personality, great sense of humor, and larger than life attitude. She did it her way right through to the end.
In keeping with Marlene’s wishes, there will be an incredibly brief gravesite service. She did not want tears, and would have said, if you must shed a couple, just don't make it a habit. Marlene would be the first to proudly embrace the spicy characteristics endearingly used to describe her and be appalled at the length of this obituary.
A graveside service will be held 1:00 PM Saturday, September 12, 2020 at Mt. Hope Cemetery, 1048 State Street, Bangor with Bill Walsh officiating. Those who wish to remember Marlene in a special way may make gifts in her memory to the American Cancer Society, One Bowdoin Mill Island, Suite 300, Topsham, Maine 04086 or Susan G. Komen for the Cure Maine Affiliate, P.O. Box 1626, Bangor, Maine 04402-1626.