Daniel Poulin

AUGUSTA – My Favorite Picture of You: It’s your high school senior picture. It’s 1968 and like all guys back then you were wearing a coat and tie. But as someone once said, “His eyes, what eyes”. You were looking just off camera and the photographer caught the bright, clear sparkle. There was confidence in that picture and an enthusiasm for the future.

Go back 18 years to February 18, 1950, 1:02 a.m. Dan entered the world kicking and screaming and cussing out the doctor and nurse for the cold room and bright lights he was suddenly confronted with. I know because I was there and about to follow 5 minutes later. Our folks use to say that when Dan was in his crib, he would scream and shake the rails until he was taken out. Impatience and restlessness would forever be characteristics of his M.O. along with risk-taking and a life-long toughness to never give up.

One of my earliest memories was when we lived in Augusta on Wade Street, at the time a short hillside side street off Sewall. We lived in the only house between the two ends. Wade curved part way down the hill and big granite blocks, maybe 2 feet high, retained our small yard from the road. Dan jumped in Dad’s car, popped the shift into neutral and rolled the car down the lawn. Hung up on the granite blocks with the rear wheels on the lawn and the front wheels in the road, Dan at about 4 or 5 years old blocked all traffic from passing through. That was the kind of event that marked a good deal of Dan’s life. It’s entertaining that he should be the one to have taught our sister, Paula, how to drive a standard shift. He spent his early years playing around Hanse’s Woods, Field and Pond where the Augusta Federal Building now sits. Hunting frogs and muskrats, flat stones for baseball bases, looking at a friend’s father’s “dirty magazines” hidden in a garage attic and laughing when another friend, Marky, was showing us how to set a mouse trap and had it snap back on his fingers – blood gushing everywhere: those were happy days.

Entering Cony High, Dan became very popular. He played football, was president of Cony’s Chizzle Whizzle, was in the Varsity Club: everyone knew him, he loved to be involved. Yes, my favorite picture of him was his senior picture with his sparkling eyes and his being ready to take on every future challenge.

But that future was about to take a cruel turn. Memorial Day Weekend, 1968, during a senior party Dan was a passenger in a hydroplane in the middle of the night when the boat hit an island at high speed. Survival was unlikely, his friends kept vigil in the hospital waiting area and Dan struggled through, tough as nails and never giving up. After weeks in the hospital, Dan started the long, slow recovery beating most all odds against living a near normal life, let alone living at all. He held a job at Augusta Public Works, married, had kids, fished, hunted at Granddad’s rustic hunting camp, played poker with Calumet Club friends, and was always seen smoking a pipe. In good weather, Dan often rode his motorcycle with the big farrin, eight track blaring and the pipe – always the pipe. He loved watching wrestling with son Pat, and daughter Shannon always found him happiest at Moxie. And Dan was a “Rip Van Winkle”. He wasn’t big on maintaining his own property but he was always helping friends and neighbors with the work they had. Everyone called him “Danny” and he was known and cherished for his devoted friendship.

That Dan lived through the boating accident was beyond all expectations, but the years were not easy as he had sustained a traumatic brain injury that would affect his memory, his tolerance for anything not conservative and his willingness to compromise. As a friend and relative once said, “No one knows how dark the world of the mentally affected is.”, and that is true. Brain injury has a classic and brutal cycle, and each injury has ever increasing odds of yet another injury. Dan suffered a second traumatic brain injury from a fall in 2001. With that injury he lost his health, independence, livelihood, and any happiness. He struggled for the rest of his years and relentlessly challenged himself with any risk no matter how dangerous in an effort to overcome his physical and cognitive losses. There was always that forever toughness! Dan passed away October 8, 2020 after yet another injury – this time to his lungs. Dan, as hard as your life was, I will always remember you by my favorite picture. Dan is now where he has wanted to be for a very long time. “This is thy hour O soul, thy free flight into the wordless.” By those who knew him, Dan was admired for his toughness and resilience.

Lots of people contributed to Dan’s care and well-being. During his last three years he resided at one of Creative Work Systems group homes for brain injury and stroke victims in Augusta. Our family truly appreciates the chance for Dan to have had the opportunity to live as independently and fully as possible in a small community setting overseen by a caring and diligent staff and administration.

Dan was predeceased his by parents, Paul and Margie Poulin. He is survived by his children, Patrick Poulin of Augusta, Maine and Shannon Lewis of Savannah, Ga.; sister Paula Fike and husband Mike of Manchester, Maine and their children Jessica Ruth, Melanie Clapp and Brandon Fike, and Dan’s twin, Don Poulin and wife Linda of China, Maine.

A private gathering will be held in the near future.

Memories and condolences may be shared with the family at directcremationofmaine.com

In lieu of flowers,

donations to “33 Creative Way Nature Trail” are appreciated.

Donations can be sent to:

Creative Work Systems

c/o Matt Hickey

10 Speirs St.

Westbrook, ME 04092

Guest Book