BERWICK, Maine<B> </B>— Ernest Earl Gahan, 83, of Crabapple Lane, formerly of Madbury and Durham, N.H., passed away on Friday, Nov. 27, 2009 at his residence.
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He was born on Oct. 12, 1926 in Wakefield, Mass., the son of Arthur M. and Helen (Turner) Gahan. He served in the U.S. Army during World War II. He built his own garage and operated Gahan's Garage of Madbury for many years.
Ernie lived and loved racing. He built all of his own race cars out of his garage in Madbury; he was an independent driver setting records all over the East Coast during his racing days. In 1950s, he joined the NASCAR Modified Circuit. In 1966, he received the NASCAR National Modified Championship award at Daytona Raceway. He was honored and received the Carnegie Medal of Heroism along with a few other drivers for saving a fellow race car driver's life. After his racing career Ernie operated a small construction business out of his home in Berwick.
Ernie is survived by his son, Robert Gahan and his wife, Carol (Randall) of Barrington; his daughter, Jean Gahan of Madbury; his brother, Paul Gahan of Newmarket; his sister, Margaret Trask of North Port, Fla.; his two granddaughters, Michelle Cacio of Travis AFB, Calif., and Holly Beth Gahan of Rochester; his six great-grandchildren; his former wives, Sally (Forbes) Gahan of Berwick, and Clara Jean Virgin of Madbury; and many nieces, nephews, extended family and friends.
Family flowers only requested; memorial contributions may be made in Ernie's name to the Seacoast Cancer Center of Wentworth-Douglass Hospital, 789 Central Ave, Dover, NH, 03820 or to the Cocheco Valley Humane Society, 262 County Farm Road, Dover, NH 03820.
Friends and family may call on Wednesday, Dec. 2 from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. at the Purdy Memorial Chapel, 2 Concord Road, Route 4, Lee. A funeral service will follow at 2 p.m. at the Purdy Memorial Chapel in Lee. A reception will be held immediately following the service at the American Legion in Somersworth.
To sign the online guest book, please go to www.purdyfuneralservice.com.
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Published in Fosters from Dec. 1 to Dec. 2, 2009