Bruce G. Gile

May 29, 1936 - December 14, 2020

U.S. Veteran

Service Date:

There will be no immediate service. A celebration of life service and military honors will be held later in the spring.

Bruce Glenn Gile, 84, of Alfred, loving husband, father and grandfather passed away, after a very brief illness, on December 14, 2020 at Maine Medical Center with his family by his side.

He was born at Bankwall Farm in Alfred, Maine on May 29, 1936 to Jeremiah Alden Gile and Dorothy Enman Gile. Bruce attended Alfred schools and graduated from Sanford High School in 1955. He attended University of Maine Orono in the two-year Agriculture Program.

Bruce met his wife Carolyn Mae Plummer at a Sanford High School dance. They were married on June 10, 1960 and had 60 wonderful years together. They resided for 55 years in the home they built on Gile Road in Alfred.

After graduating he enlisted in the U.S. Navy serving for 6 years as an Electrician’s Mate and was discharged at the rate of petty officer first class. While he had several duty stations there were two he enjoyed the most. One was aboard the submarine USS Sea Owl (SS-405) stationed in New London, Connecticut. The other was his last assignment on the submarine tender USS Hunley (AS-31), stationed in Holy Loch, Scotland. Carolyn and their daughter Brenda were fortunate to have joined him in Scotland and lived there for over a year.

Upon his return to civilian life, Bruce joined his dad, Jerry, and his brothers Alden, Wayne and Keith in their new venture of growing apples. They cleared land and planted several orchards in Alfred and Waterboro and operated leased orchards in Newfield, Lyman and Parsonsfield. Over the years they expanded to a farm store and established a cider mill which they used to press their own cider and cider for many other orchardists. Bruce was proud of the pick-your-own apples operation that he was instrumental in starting. He also did a bit of substitute teaching in the Sanford High School Industrial Arts program.

Bruce was member of the Massabesic Lions Club for 45 years. He was on many Committees and the Board of Directors and served as its President in 1983-84. He was a Progressive Melvin Jones Fellow, which is an honor–not an award. The fellowship is Lions Clubs International Foundation’s highest form of recognition to acknowledge an individual’s dedication to humanitarian service. In 2006 Bruce started the P.E.T. (Personal Mobility Program) program and he and other Lions produced hand-cranked carts that were shipped to developing countries and given to people who had mobility issues and were unable to walk. This program is still going today with assistance from clubs in the Maine Lions District 41. He was a member of the American Legion Brown-Emmons Post 134. Bruce served on the Historical Committee for the Town of Alfred for several years. He was a member of the Sanford Multiple Sclerosis support group and looked forward to their meetings.

He took up skiing when he was 50. He volunteered with the Maine Handicapped Skiing Program at Sunday River. When he was no longer able to do that due to his MS, he became a client and participated in their excellent program, skiing downhill as long as possible and then enjoyed riding the ski bike. Hunting, fishing and snowmobiling were among his other fun things to do, especially when he could do them up at the camp on Middle Jo-Mary Lake near Millinocket. Golfing with good friend, John Quint, was also great fun for him. He and Carolyn were fortunate to take several cruises including the Caribbean, Alaska, Panama Canal and Bermuda.

Bruce’s hobbies included tinkering in his workshop and he was always “inventing” better and easier ways to do something for the business and himself. His passion was woodworking and he turned beautiful wooden bowls and carved spoons made from every kind of wood imaginable. He enjoyed collecting antique tools. Bruce was quite good at painting, both oil and watercolors.

Bruce was pre-deceased by his parents and brother, Wayne Gile.

Bruce is survived by his wife of 60 years, Carolyn (Plummer) Gile, his daughters Brenda Gile, Julie (Gile) Canning and husband Colin (Coco) Canning and son Glen Gile. He was “Papa” to his one grandchild Caleb Gile. Other survivors include brothers Alden Gile and wife Sylvia and Keith Gile, sisters-in-law Joyce Gile, Donna Plummer Binette and Donita Sanford Plummer, and many nieces and nephews.

Due to the current situation with COVID-19, there will be no immediate services. A celebration of life and Military Funeral will be held in the Spring.

The Autumn Green Funeral Home is respectfully handling arrangements.

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