The new Bob Gagnon Suite at Pen Bay Medical Center was dedicated at the hospital on Sept. 8. For the Gagnon family, as well as friends and community members who attended the dedication, it was a celebration of the life of Robert “Bob” Gagnon, remembered dearly by his large family and numerous friends.

Beurmond Banville, Bob’s childhood friend, speaking to the group who gathered in the new suite for the dedication, said: “Bob believed that giving was better than receiving. Much of his life was dedicated to assisting others, and his generosity became legendary.” Banville reflected on their shared youth in northern Maine and Bob’s evolution into a timeless and beloved civic leader. He concluded his heartfelt tribute by saying, “I am sure Bob will be smiling down upon everyone who comes here.”

The Bob Gagnon Suite is designed and furnished especially for cancer patients and other patients receiving palliative care or hospice care, and for their families. The suite consists of a light-filled, welcoming family room overlooking Penobscot Bay, and three patient rooms that have been renovated to look and feel like home. Each room contains a comfortable foldout bed so that visiting family members can rest and even spend the night.

Among the many who attended were those for whom the patient rooms were named – Howard Miller; Dr. Hank White and his wife, Marian; and Dr. Thomas Williams and his wife, Virginia, representing the Williams family. For all present, the opening of this space represents a milestone in expanding services in cancer, hospice and palliative care in the community.

The Bob Gagnon Cancer Fund has worked for many years raising funds for the care and treatment of those affected by cancer, a portion of which went to the creation of this suite. Through the generous gifts of many community members here in the Midcoast and on the islands, the fund has contributed to cancer care at Pen Bay for many years. For more information on the Bob Gagnon Cancer Fund, visit pbmc.org/gagnonfund.