Anthony (Tony) J. Cook, Sr., who served the Town of Gray in a variety of capacities, died last Friday at his home.
He was the son of Marco and Cecelia Rossi Cooca; he changed his name many years later. Born in Rumford, he worked for Oxford Paper Company and, later, for the New England Shipbuilding Corporation in South Portland.
Tony loved sports as a young man, and was a professional boxer. He left the ring when he married Maude Jones on Valentine's Day in 1947.
Tony enlisted in the Maine Army National Guard, and attained the ranks of first sergeant and chief warrant officer. He retired in June, 1977.
He worked for the city of Portland as a business license inspector, retiring in 1980 but continuing to assist in elections until 1996. He also worked as a substitute teacher in Gray-New Gloucester public schools.
Throughout his adult life, Tony Cook gave prodigiously of his time and talents to Gray. He served on the Planning Board, Zoning Board of Appeals and for many years on the Gray Town Council. He was elected to the Charter Review Commission last year, and saw the new Charter he helped create approved by Town voters. It was his last victory at the polls.
A baseball and football coach and official for years, he turned to golf more recently. Eventually, he managed to combine his two great loves-his wife, Maude, and the game of golf-by convincing Maude to take up the game, at the age of 66.
He is survived by Maude, his wife of 53 years, in Gray; a son, Anthony, Jr., of Criehaven Island; a daughter, Joan Laine, of Danville, Indiana; two brothers, Angelo Cooca, of Rumford, and Michael Cooca, of Florida; five grandchildren and six great-grandchildren; and the Town of Gray, which owes him deep thanks for his dedication.
A funeral service was held at Bible Believing Baptist Church, with Pastor Darwin Vail officiating; burial will be in Brooklawn Memorial Park.
Arrangements were by Wilson Funeral Home.
Belna Libby, 83
Belna L. Libby, 83, who lived in Gray until last March, died November 10 at the Barron Center, in Portland.
Born in Ashfield, MA, she was one of 14 children of Fred E. and Alice M. Burnell. She moved to Maine as a teenager, and graduated from Greely Institute in Cumberland.
She married Freeman Stowell in 1935. Mrs. Libby worked in Portland as a waitress at Your Host Restaurant and at Casco Printing.
In 1971, she married Leon Libby, Sr., and moved to Gray. Mr. Libby died in October.
Mrs. Libby enjoyed gardening, sewing, cooking, crocheting, knitting and cake-decorating.
She is survived by two sons, Richard A. Stowell, of Gray, and Ralph A. Stowell, of New Gloucester, and a stepson, Leon E. Libby, Jr., of Kennebunk; three brothers, Clive Burnell, of Saco, Carlan Burnell, of Cumberland, and Auman Burnell, of Steep Falls in Standish; seven grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren. A funeral was held on Monday at Wilson Funeral Home, with the Rev. George Bovill officiating.
Beaulah "Bea" Ames Skilling, 74, of Gray, died November 24.
She was born in Kingfield, daughter of Hazen Ray and Hilda Vivian Wing Ames. She graduated from Flagstaff High School and Maine Eye and Ear Hospital School of Nursing.
She enjoyed traveling with her husband, most recently to Hawaii, Florida and Canada, socializing with her nurse friends and family gatherings.
She is survived by her husband, Albert Skilling, of Gray; two sons, Terry Davis, of Scarborough, and Alan Davis, of Bradenton, FL; a sister, Mrs. Richard (Geri) Bandlow, of Springvale; two brothers, Richard Ames, of Hawaii, and Robert Ames, of Eustis; and one granddaughter.
Steven Sumner, 27, of Storer Street, died unexpectedly December 7 in Biddeford.
He was born in Melrose, Mass., a son of David and Marilyn Minnick Sumner, and was a 1992 graduate of Gray-New Gloucester High School. He was also a 1994 graduate of Southern Maine Technical College, where he majored in hotel, motel and restaurant management.
Mr. Sumner was working as a technician at Spring Harbor Hospital in South Portland.
An outstanding high school athlete, he played basketball, ran track and cross country, and won the state high jump championship in 1992.
Surviving are his parents of South Portland; two brothers, David Jr., of Saco, and Jason, of Jacksonville, Fla.; and a sister, Jessica Sumner of Gray.
A funeral service was held previously.
George W. Smith, 90, of Mayall Road, died Monday, December 18, in a Portland hospital.
He and his late wife, Teresa, worked for The Gray News. He also logged with his horses Lady and Darley, worked for the maintenance department of the Town of Gray and the state and was a truck driver, among other occupations.
He is survived by three sons, Philip A., of New Hampshire, G. Walter, of Freeport, and Norman E., of Casco; five daughters, Dorothy L. Dyer, of Rainbow City, Alabama, Ruth Whitney, of Limington, Teresa Smith Bell, of Deering, ND, Sharon Hope Smith, of Colington, NC, and Norma Smith Willis, of Gorham; a stepson, Harold E. Nason, of Standish; four stepdaughters, Cora Nason Wood, of Carleton, AZ, Mary Nason Eastman, of Dixfield, Cynthia Nason Tufts, of New Gloucester, and Sally Nason Smith, of Minot; a sister, Helen Stanton, of Standish; 38 grandchildren; and great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren.
Burial will be in Standish.
Edwin L. Strout
Edwin L. Strout, who lived in Gray most of his life, died unexpectedly at his home on December 30.
He was born in Poland, a son of Edwin R. and Beatrice W. Strout, and attended Pennell Institute. He married Judith Butler on June 11, 1953, and worked for Gray Electronics for more than 30 years.
He was a volunteer fireman and constable for the Town of Gray.
He is survived by his wife; a sister, Sylvia Pawlowski, of South Portland; two sons, Jeffrey, of Poland, and Timothy, of Springvale; two daughters, Linda Gay, of Sanford, and Julie Mason, of Turner; 10 grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.
A funeral was held last Tuesday, with Pastor Darwin Vail officiating. Arrangements were by Wilson Funeral Home, Gray.
Barry C. Bailey, 51, of Gray, died January 7 after a long illness.
He was born in Portland, a son of Walter and Barbara Greene Bailey. He attended schools in Bridgton, and graduated from Bridgton Academy.
Mr. Bailey served in the Army for six years, and later in the Air Force.
He was a member of Grace Baptist Church in Portland.
He is survived by his wife of 30 years, Jackie Bailey, of Gray; and two sons, James Scott, of Gray, and David Michael, of South Portland.
A funeral service was held on Tuesday at Grace Baptist Church; burial will be in the spring at Chase Cemetery, in Windham. Arrangements were by Jones, Rich & Hutchins Funeral Home, Portland.