BATH – Elford Austin “Brud” Stover Jr., a man recognized throughout Maine as one of the state’s most celebrated all-around athletes, a loyal friend and great community leader, died early Friday evening, Oct. 5, 2012, surrounded by his loving family. Brud, short for “little brudder,” his big sister, Nancy’s nickname for him, was born July 30, 1935, in Bath, a 12th generation native Mainer, and son of Elford Austin Stover and Lillian Josephine Lee Stover, both of Bath.
Brud grew up in Bath and quickly distinguished himself as a naturally gifted athlete, whether it was in a pick-up game at Dike School or the YMCA with his childhood friends, or organized competition in any of his three favorite sports: football, basketball and baseball. He began his long, illustrious sports career in local programs, where his biggest fans were his parents and sister. At Morse High School his childhood friends joined him on championship teams in baseball and football and tournament bound basketball teams. He graduated from Morse High School in 1953 and attended Phillips Exeter Academy for a postgraduate year, where he was named the schools’ 1954 athlete of the year. Brud attended Bowdoin College, where for four years he excelled in football, basketball and baseball. He was a stand-out quarterback and safety for the Polar Bears, acquiring spots on the Sunday Telegram’s All Maine Team. Stover was the first basketball player in Bowdoin history to break the 1,000 career point mark, and he starred in multiple positions on the Polar Bear nine each spring. He played semi-pro baseball during his collegiate summers in Nova Scotia and Maine, including a stint with the Augusta Millionaires. In addition to being named all state in all three sports, he received the Bangor Daily News’ Sports Award for Maine College Athlete of the Year in 1957. Even more important to him than sports accolades, was another cadre of lifelong friends comprised of teammates, fellow history majors, Psi Upsilon fraternity brothers and many other classmates of the great Bowdoin class of 1958. Brud married his high school sweetheart, Marilyn Florence Brown, Dec. 27, 1958. He served in the Army for a brief period and then went to work for Mutual of New York. For several years he lived outside of Maine in New York, New Jersey and Chicago, and began his family. He moved back to Bath in the mid-1960s and went to work for Bath Iron Works, where he stayed for more than 30 years in industrial sales. Upon retirement he began a productive second career as a manufacturing consultant developing, promoting and influencing small businesses in his beloved home state of Maine. In Bath, Brud was a highly visible community member serving on the town council from 1964 to 1968 and as acting chairman for part of that time. He also served on school board and for two decades coached Bath kids in youth sports. In the 1970s, Brud became a widely recognized and sought after basketball referee for high schools and colleges all throughout Maine. He chaired Maine Basketball Officials Association and mentored many referees who to this day are grateful for his instruction and influence. Brud’s numerous awards include: The Ollie Berg Award, induction into the Maine Sports Hall of Fame in 1998, Bowdoin Athletic Hall of Honor in 2005 and Maine Baseball Hall of Fame in 2012. Brud was enormously proud of the Mainsail Award that he received from Morse High School Student Community Liaison Committee in 2010. This award honored his work with fellow members of the Morse High School, class of 1953, developing the Blue and White Classic Golf Tournament; an annual event that has raised more than $320,000 for the Morse High School Scholarship Fund. In 2011, he was named chairman emeritus of the Blue and White Golf Classic. He also served on the committee overseeing the Morse High School Scholarship Fund. Brud was resolute in his belief that any child desiring to further their education should have access to financial assistance. For more information on Stover’s athletic career see: www.athletics.bowdoin.edu/information/history/hall/stover or www.mshof.com/Inductee-21.
Brud is survived by his dearly loved wife of 54 years, Marilyn Stover; children, Lee Stover of Portland, Susan Garrett and John of Yarmouth, Tim Stover and Kathleen of Washington, D.C., Michael Stover of Woolwich, and Marianne Stover of Biddeford; as well as his grandchildren, Nathan and Meghan Stover of Bath, Jack, William and Andrew Garrett of Yarmouth. He is also survived by an extended family of in-laws, cousins, nieces, nephews and countless much loved friends.
Visiting hours with the family are 4-6 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 10, at David E. Desmond & Son Funeral Home, 638 High St., Bath. A memorial service with be held 1 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 13, at Kresge Auditorium at Bowdoin College, with a reception immediately after. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Morse High School Scholarship Fund, Morse High School, Bath. To share your thoughts and condolences with the family, please visit www.desmondfuneralhomes.com.