Alexander Avery MacNichol, 78: Former district court judge

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CAPE ELIZABETH — Alexander Avery MacNichol, former Portland District Court judge, died May 14 following a brief illness.

Born at Holt Hall in Portland on March 15, 1935, the son of Alexander A. and Genevieve Roche MacNichol, he grew up in Eastport until World War II, when his father’s military service took the family to Brooklyn, N.Y., Santa Monica, Calif. and finally Hamburg, Germany.

After graduating from St. Francis High School in Biddeford, MacNichol joined the U.S. Army and served as a paratrooper in the 82nd Airborne Division.

Attending St. Francis College was the best decision he ever made. It was during his college years that he met his future wife, Loreen Whitehouse, at a St. Joseph’s College dance. Following graduation, the two dated while he attended the University of Maine School of Law. On Aug. 17, 1963, they were married in Springvale.

After passing the bar, he joined the law firm of Nesbitt & MacNichol in South Portland. In the 1960s, he was one of the first attorneys hired to form Pine Tree Legal Assistance of Maine. He was later recruited to work in the Cumberland County District Attorney’s office in Portland as an assistant prosecutor. Returning to private practice, he worked as a criminal attorney and enjoyed the challenges of trial work. He served on the governor’s Pardons and Commutations Board, and in 1984 was appointed as a district court judge. After returning once more to private practice with the law firm of Jackson & MacNichol, he retired from a distinguished legal career that spanned almost 50 years.

MacNichol was an active communicant of St. Bartholomew’s Church in Cape Elizabeth and was currently serving as a member of the diocesan review board for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland. He was a member of the Spurwink Rod and Gun Club for 45 years and was an expert marksman.

Survivors include his wife Loreen MacNichol, of Cape Elizabeth; two daughters, Katie MacNichol Turk and husband Bruce, of South Pasadena, Calif., and Susan Guthro and husband Jay, of Pembroke, Mass.; a son, John N. MacNichol, of Portland; a sister, Susan MacNichol, of Eastport; a brother, David MacNichol, of Eastport; and five grandchildren, Emily J. MacNichol, Alexander Turk, William Guthro, Cecelia Turk and Thomas Guthro.

A Mass of Christian burial was held May 19 at St. Bartholomew Church, in Cape Elizabeth.

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