Remembering Life of Former Bangor Police Chief Don Winslow

Catherine Pegram

Updated 2 months ago

A former Bangor police chief who spent years fighting crime has lost his biggest battle.

Don Winslow died Thursday morning of cancer. He was 57-years old.

Winslow was certainly known known for his time on the police force, but in the last few years he became known for the way he handled a deadly disease with humor and grace.

When Bangor police chief Don Winslow retired in 2007, after almost 28 years at the Bangor Police Department, he left behind nearly a lifetime of law enforcement

“I’m looking forward to life without a pager and a cell phone for a little while,” he said.

“This is a job where you get to be in the know. This is a great bunch of people and I’ve made a tremendous amount of friends over the years…it’ll be hard to walk away from that.”

His new life brought even bigger challenges. While he was still on the force, came a diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease.

Then four years ago, cancer – for both Winslow, and his wife, Dora.

“We want people to see the positive in this and to move forward. We all have our journeys, we all have our challenges. I firmly believe God doesn’t give us more than we can handle.”

“Our social calendar is now full of doctor appointments and blood work. I go for radiation every day. It’s just incredible the amount of time.”

Winslow hoped to return to law-enforcement with a run for the Penobscot County Sheriff job last year. Shortly after his decision to enter the race, he found out the cancer had returned.

“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.”

The community embraced Winslow with various events, too, including a flash mob on the Bangor waterfront last month.

Through it all, Winslow smiled…

“It’s a ticket that we all have. We just happen to have front row seats.”

knowing his future and hoping his past would not be forgotten.

“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.”

In a statement from the Bangor Police Department Thursday, current Chief Mark Hathaway noted that Don Winslow served as the 27th Chief of Police in Bangor.

He rose up through the ranks, beginning as a patrol officer.

Winslow actually got his start as a firefighter in Old Town in 1976.

Hathaway said, “Don lived his life, managed his police department and fought his battle with cancer in much the same way – with courage, compassion and always with a great sense of humor. He will always be our Chief.”

Visiting hours will be Wednesday, July 16th from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Gracie Theater on the grounds of Husson University.

The funeral will be the next day, Thursday, July 17th, at 2 p.m. at St. John’s Catholic Church in Bangor.

A procession will follow to Mt. Pleasant Cemetery on Ohio Street, with a reception after that at Jeff’s Catering in Brewer, starting at 5 p.m.

 

 


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