BANGOR – Joseph E. Brogunier died peacefully with his family at his side on Jan. 21, 2014, in Bangor. Joe was a remarkable man born in 1935 in Hagerstown, Maryland, who grew up in hardship to win a scholarship to attend Brown University where he met his beloved wife, Hope. A respected scholar of Modern American literature, he earned his PhD at the University of Minnesota in 1969.
He was a professor in the Department of English at the University of Maine at Orono for 36 years, where he was known for his intellectual rigor and thorough analysis of the structure and meaning of literature. For many years, he edited with dedication Paideuma, a journal devoted to Ezra Pound scholarship. Of the many authors he admired, Melville and Faulkner endured as his favorites.
Joe lived a simple and reserved life, in which his family was of paramount importance to him. As a father he enjoyed backpacking and star gazing with his children. He also loved listening to the Rolling Stones, watching W.C. Fields and commuting on his motorcycle. In retirement, he enjoyed breakfasts at HoJo’s, lunches at Java Joe’s and regular visits to the Bangor Public Library. He was a lifelong member of Amnesty International.
Joe is survived by Hope, his wife of 54 years; his son, Claude and (wife Sarah Brogunier) of Lancaster, Pa.; his daughter, Michele Brogunier and (husband Matthew Mitro) of Madison, Wis.; and his son, Tobin Brogunier of Athens, Ga.; and four grandchildren. He was predeceased by his son, Silas Brogunier. He is survived by his sisters, Patricia “Sally” Wolfe and Christine Feldhaus; and was predeceased by his brother, Leon “Pete” Brogunier.
Joe’s family thanks the caregivers at Ross Manor and New Hope Hospice for their professional and compassionate care.
A memorial service is planned at a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations in Joe’s honor may be made to the Bangor Public Library or Amnesty International.