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Official Obituary of

John W. Snowe

February 29, 2024
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John Snowe Obituary

John W. Snowe, of Cundy’s Harbor passed away peacefully at home on the evening of February 29, 2024.

His story started on a VERY snowy night, Guy Snowe woke his fifteen year old son, Kenneth, to help shovel the car out - a baby was on the way! Ken often groused that his brother Carlie still slept. The snow proved too much! A taxi cab was called to 498 Turner Street in Auburn and on January 3, 1932, a fourth son, John Willard, was born to Guy and Hazel (Trafton) Snowe at Maine General Hospital in Lewiston, Maine. 

John attended Washburn Elementary School, Webster Junior High School and Edward Little High School, where he was active in the Drama Club and played clarinet in the band. When still a boy, Mrs. Allen, the next door neighbor, taught John how to play cribbage - a game he loved throughout his life. Having trouble counting his hand, John called his dad for help. Upon hearing what cards he held, his dad exclaimed, “You have a 29 hand!” John’s good fortune continued - he joked that he won his wife’s hand in marriage in a cribbage game with her mother, Gertrude.

He enjoyed hunting and fishing with his father and brothers in North East Carry. He became a member of the Big Bucks Club.

After graduating ELHS in 1951, John entered the US Navy in the fall. He married his high school sweetheart Beth Crowell in May 1952 at Carlie and Barbara Snowe’s Auburn home. Stationed in Jacksonville, FL, John did tours in Carribean, the Mediterranean and participated in Exercise Mainbrace, which was the first large-scale naval exercise undertaken by the newly established Allied Command Atlantic, one of the two principal military commands of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (when he crossed into the Arctic Circle, he was initiated into The Blue Nose Club).  After his military service, John studied business at Youngstown College in Youngstown, Ohio, and worked as a traveling salesman.

In 1957, John returned to Maine and started Maine Shawnee Step Company with his brothers, Carlton and Richard. After buying the Bangor Division of Maine American Vault from brother Carlton in 1965, brothers Richard and John changed the name of their company to American Concrete Industries. After buying out his brother Richard, he grew American Concrete Industries into one of the largest precast companies in New England, certainly the biggest in Maine, passing the torch after 50 years.

John was a 32nd Degree Mason at Tranquil Lodge #29, and a member of Kora Temple.

In 1972, John started the Hearth & Cricket Shops on the Nezinscot River in Turner, and later Bangor and South Portland. Folks fondly recall the Fireside Chat radio commercials.

John enjoyed swimming, skiing, boating, playing bridge, photography and enjoyed earning his pilot’s license. Over the years, he enjoyed spending time at Sugarloaf and his camp on the Carrabasset River, his villas at Treasure Cay in the Bahamas, gardening and building stonewalls. Early on, he taught himself computer programming - his American Concrete Home Page predated Google! His website for Grace Galleries (antique maps) was mentioned in Forbes Magazine. Once a busload of foreign tourists appeared at Holbrook’s Store in Cundy’s Harbor looking for the physical location of Grace Galleries. A quick phone call from Christine and John gladly went across the street to greet the visitors and walk them to Grace’s home on the point. 

John leaves behind his beloved wife of 71 years, Beth. His children: Candace Gooch (William) of Limerick, John C Snowe (Darla) of Fort Pierce, FL, Kimberly MacDonald (Shawn) of Auburn, Stephen Snowe (Lin) of Villa Rica, GA. His grandchildren: Meghann Zanotta (Matteo), Jennifer Damon (Matthew Tardiff), Sean “Opie” MacDonald (Ashlee), Craig Damon  (Alyssa), Tyler Snowe (Courtney), Mitchell Snowe, Jason Gooch and Christina Gooch. And, his great-grandchildren: Liam and Anna MacDonald, Gianluca, Davide, Alessio and Lorenzo Zanotta; Benjamin, Thomas and Charles Tardiff; Wesley, Lucas and Lydia Damon; Teagan and Adeline Snowe; Collin Bruns; Caleb and Katherine Gooch; Liam and Anna MacDonald. 

He is also survived by two nieces and three nephews: Gretchen Bly, Linda Klotz, Kenneth R. Snowe, Robert Snowe and Thomas Snowe.

John was predeceased by his parents, brothers Kenneth Snowe, G. Carlton Snowe, Richard Snowe, nephew Peter Snowe, niece Lois Snowe-Mello, and by his in-laws Gertrude and Charles Crowell.

John’s family thanks Alice Quinn, the private home care aide whose help made it possible for family to care for John at home, and to CHANS Hospice for their guidance during these difficult months.

There will be a celebration of life at a later date.

In lieu of flowers memorial contributions may be made in John’s memory to Chans Home Health and Hospice at 45 Baribeau Dr. Brunswick. Or to the charity of one’s choice.

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