Former Bangor Police Chief Reflects on Life, New Prognosis

Updated 10 months ago

After being retired for seven years, former Bangor Police Chief Don Winslow decided to give police work another shot and run for Penobscot County Sheriff.

“I was fired up about it because law enforcement gets in your blood, and I missed it.”

He wanted to give back to the community that he says gave him so much during a career that spanned nearly three decades.

But, then the cancer he battled three years ago came back.  So, he withdrew from the race.

“Wouldn’t you know it, two weeks into the campaign, I started have some discomfort in my chest, and to make a real long story short, we’ve discovered it’s a metastasis of the cancer that I had in my neck from three years ago, it’s moved into my lungs, and it’s not curable, and not operable.  It took the wind out of my sails, and I was disappointed because I wasn’t able to run for sheriff, but God had a different plan I guess.”

Don, and his wife Dora, say they maintain their positive attitude because of the support they have around them.

“We have got the best support system anybody could ever dream of.  I mean, I’m the lucky one right now, because I’m going to go to a better place, but, I feel bad for the people that I leave behind, but I’ve still got an opportunity to get things ready to make this transition easy for them.”

They have two celebrations to look forward to, one is a benefit dinner and evening with the public March 15th.

Proceeds will go towards medical bills, a vacation for the couple of 35 years, and for them to pay it forward to someone else.

Three years ago hundreds came out to support the Winslows’ when they were both fighting cancer together.

“And, I don’t want any tears, I want just a celebration of life,” said Winslow.

The other is a wedding…..

“My youngest daughter is getting married, and she changed the date from early September to the end of this month so that I could go, and feel good, and that, that is the ultimate gift for me.”

The Winslow’s want the community to know that they are so thankful for the tremendous support, and to send the message that if others are going through the same situation to reach out.

“It’s a ticket that we all have. We just happen to have front row seats. But, that’s ok. You know what, there are a couple of songs that come to mind for me, and I think, you know, Carrie Underwood, ‘Temporary Home,’ and then Tim McGraw, ‘Live Like You Were Dying.’ And, obviously you need to do that,” said Dora Winslow.

Don hopes that when he is remembered by those that knew him.

“That they remember somebody that was fair, and had integrity, and tried to put other people first, because I strived for that in my career. And, I hope that’s how I’m remembered. And, I hope that I’ve been able to help some people along the way,” said Winslow.

An Evening with Don Winslow is Saturday March 15th at Jeff’s Catering in Brewer.

Proceeds will go towards medical bills, a vacation for the couple, and for them to pay it forward to someone else.

The spaghetti dinner starts at 4:30.

There will be some special speeches made from friends throughout their lives, including a speech from Don himself.

For more information you can email corenna@cloainv.com and you can also search for the event on Facebook.


  • Laurie Lizotte

    Don Winslow, you are an amazing man! You have impacted many, many lives and our little community. Thank you for your years of dedicated service! <3

  • dawn

    Thank you for your loyal service. And for reaching out during this time, many will benifit.

  • juno111

    People could learn a lot from you and Dora….what a great interview and how touching…you both have such a way with words and know you won’t leave anything unsaid…I’ve had cancer before and worry it will rear its ugly head again some day but watching this….I feel better in a strange way….I will take your advice Dora and live like Im dying…thank you both!

  • vicki getchell

    I don’t know if you remember my husband, Donald Getchell, but he went to radiation at the same time. he used to say that you both handled it with dignity.

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