June 18, 2018
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Former Bangor police chief Francis Woodhead dies at 89

By Dawn Gagnon, BDN Staff

BANGOR, Maine — A former Maine State Police lieutenant who went on to serve as Bangor’s police chief from the early 1970s through the late 1980s died Saturday after a brief illness.

Francis Woodhead was 89 at the time of his death, according to his obituary.

Born Dec. 26, 1923, in Lewiston, Woodhead was a graduate of Lewiston High School. He enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Forces in 1942 and was stationed in the South Pacific on the island of Tinian, among other locations. In 1948, he served with the U.S. Air Force in Korea.

Woodhead embarked on his career in law enforcement in 1951, when he joined the Maine State Police, attaining the rank of lieutenant before retiring in 1971. Later that year, he became chief of the Bangor Police Department, a post he held until he retired in 1987.

An article about his retirement in the Bangor Daily News described Woodhead as “The Policeman’s Policeman.”

According to his obituary, Woodhead and his wife, Beatrice, spent much of their retirement years in Stuart, Fla., returning each summer to Phillips Lake in Dedham to the cottage Woodhouse built in the 1960s.

In addition to his wife, Woodhead is survived by his children, Gayle Kinney, Ellen Woodhead and James Woodhead, as well as his grandchildren, several siblings, a sister-in-law, half brother and many nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his son, Dennis, two brothers and a son-in-law, according to his obituary.

Friends and family are invited to share conversation and refreshments 1-3 p.m. Thursday at the Family Reception Center of Brookings-Smith funeral home at 163 Center St. in Bangor. Private interment will be at Mount Pleasant Catholic Cemetery in Bangor.

Correction: An earlier version of this story contained misspellings of Francis Woodhead's name and incorrectly stated his age. Those errors have been corrected.

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