Anna Dew dies
Anna Sorensen Truax Dew, of Gray, died on March 16 at her home with her family by her side after a brief battle with cancer.
Anna was born in Portland, the daughter of Carl and Emily Sorensen. She attended Portland schools and Deering High School.
She married A.J. Truax on July 4, 1944, and worked at Fostee Avery on Congress Street.
After working at the South Portland Shipyard during World War II in the east yard, Anna and her family moved to Connecticut where she worked for several years in the ball-bearing business.
She married F. J. Dew in 1966 and they moved back to Maine in 1971 and settled in Gray, where Anna worked for MSAD #15 as a bread baker for three schools. Finishing her working career at Pineland in New Gloucester, she retired in 1986.
Anna is survived by her husband, Francis; two children, Karren O'Meara, of Jensen Beach, Florida, and Joe Truax, of Gray; three granddaughters, a great-grandson and four great-granddaughters; a sister in North Carolina; along with several relatives in the local area.
A graveside service will be held at a later date at Village Cemetery in Gray.
Rebecca Higgins dies
Rebecca Kent Higgins, formerly of Gray, passed away in Walpole on March 15.
Arrangements are by Strong Funeral Home and Cremation Center, 612 Main Street, Damariscotta.
Melvin Frank, Jr.
Melvin Addison Frank, Jr., of Pownal, passed away on April 28 at the home of his daughter and son-in-law after a long, courageous battle with lung cancer.
Mel was born in Pownal on Dec. 30, 1942, the only son of Elizabeth Allen and the late Melvin A. Frank. He grew up on his grandparents' farm, instilling in him a love of nature and an unparalleled work ethic.
Upon graduating from the Pennell Institute in Gray at the age of 18, Mel owned his own business, trucks and equipment, buying wood lots and selectively cutting them. An accident eventually prohibited him from such arduous physical labor, leading him into a successful career in the car business. During a period of more than 20 years, Mel went from being a top salesman at Pape Chevrolet to General Sales Manager, central to the growth of the dealership from the startup operation in the early 1970s to the flourishing franchise it is today.
For the last 15 years, since fully recognizing the value of residual income and time freedom, he has worked successfully in many network marketing companies. His leadership skills were put to good use, as well as his remarkable ability to understand people.
Mel not only worked hard, he played hard. His love for stock car racing trophies from Beech Ridge Speedway. He always enjoyed the ocean and boating. And for years he relished outdoor adventures as a leader of Boy Scout Troop 58, friend and mentor to the boys, and father to his youngest son, Tyler, whom he led down the long trail to Eagle Scout. He had a hearty share of stress and difficult times, yet his energy and enthusiasm for life were with him through his final days.
If there is one last thing to say about Mel Frank, it is that he was the toughest, most determined man you could ever hope to meet, and when it came to his loved one, he gave everything he physically and emotionally had to give with complete selflessness. His eternal optimism sustained him for 62 years, added years to his life as he wrestled with cancer, and serves as as timeless inspiration to those who have had the good fortune to know him.
He is survived by his mother, Elizabeth Allen, of Gray; two sisters, Carlene Durgin, of Gray, and Gloria Nichols, of Washington State; a daughter, Rhonda Mitchell and son-in-law Elwood Mitchell, of Gray; two sons, Richard Frank, of Durham, and Tyler Frank, of North Yarmouth; and two stepsons, Glenn Flanders, of Bowdoinham, and Andrew Flanders, of Parsonsfield. He also has two granddaughters, Amanda Arsenault and Katherine Frank, along with many nieces and nephews.
A funeral followed a visitation, with Pastor Brian Undlin officiating.
In lieu of flowers, please send donations to Boy Scout Troop 58 of Cumberland and North Yarmouth, attention Brian Tarbox, 620Walnut Hill Road, North Yarmouth, ME 04097.
Arrangements were under the care of Wilson Funeral Home.
Barbara Pollard Ryan, 70, of Gray, passed away on Monday, May 2.
She was born August 22, 1934, on the family farm, the daughter of James W. B. and Sarah Hansen Pollard.
Barbara graduated from Pennell Institute in 1952. She married James Verrill on June 20, 1953, who predeceased her, and later Joseph Ryan on June 29, 1973.
Barbara worked at Cole Farms, Cook's Hardware and her brother Phil's IGA store. She volunteered for Meals on Wheels, was a member of the Red Hat Society, Gray Unit #86 American Legion Auxiliary and the Christian Women's Fellowship.
Barbara loved to travel, and spent winters in Apache Junction, Arizona, with her husband Joe. Most of all, Barbara loved being with family.
She is survived by her husband, Joseph, of Gray; children Colleen Verrill, Robert Ryan and Cindy Bunch, all of Gray, Joyce Barr, of Vacaville, CA, Melinda Frye and Wayne Verrill, both of Poland Springs, and Joseph Ryan, of Lewiston; 18 grandchildren; 5 great-grandchildren; and three sisters, Donna Hill and Jane Barton, both of Gray, and Geraldine Cose.
A visitation was held on Thursday, and a funeral at the First Congregational Church on Friday. Committal will be in Gray Village Cemetery.
Memorial donations may be made to Gray Fire & Rescue, 125 Shaker Road, Gray, Maine 04039.
Arrangements were by Wilson Funeral Home, LLC, 24 Shaker Road, Gray.
Harry B. McLean
Harry B. McLean, 64, of Gray, passed away peacefully on April 29, with his family at his bedside, after a long, courageous battle with cancer.
He was born June 27, 1940, in Yarmouth, the son of Robert and Vesta (Emery) McLean.
Harry began working with Hannaford Trucking Company in 1867, and was a company driver for 37 years.
Harry's many achievements within the company include recognition for 35 years for the annual safe driving award; associate of the month; Amtralease 1986 Driver of the Year; nomination to the National Private Truck Driver Hall of Fame in 1991; selected lifetime member of the Million Mile Club by the National Safety Council; achieved his three million mile safe driving award in 1999; selected Maine Motor Transportation Association driver-of-the-month in both May of 1986 and February 2000. He was nominated on more than one occasion, and was selected as the nation's runner-up finalist for, Truck Rental and Lease Association's Driver of the Year award. Harry achieved 3.5 million miles of safe driving before his retirement.
Harry enjoyed family, friends, camping and breakfast at Cole Farms.
He was predeceased by his parents.
He is survived by his beloved wife, Louise McLean, of Gray; son Jay McLean and wife Cindy, of Gray; daughter Paige McLean and partner Tony De Saint, of South Carolina; sisters Eleanor Nason, of North Yarmouth, Beverly Fogg, of Cumberland, Myrtle Goud, of Freeport, and Mildred O'Neill, of Cumberland; brothers George McLean and wife Norma, of South Portland, Donald Goodwin, of Ohio; and grandchildren Casey and Dan McLean, of Casco.
A graveside service was held on Wednesday at Walnut Hill Cemetery, Route 115, North Yarmouth.
Condolences may be expressed at www.funeralalternatives.net. Arrangements were under the care of Funeral Alternatives, Route 500, Yarmouth.
In Harry's memory, donations may be made to Maine Cancer Foundation, P.O. Box 553, Portland, ME 04112.
Daniel H. McLeod
Daniel H. McLeod, 79, of New Gloucester, passed away April 28 at Maine Medical Center following a brief illness.
He was born in Portland on June 20, 1925, the son of John J. and Albina Charland McLeod.
He was one of five sons who served in World War II. Daniel fought with the 5th Army in Italy, where he received the Purple Heart and the Bronze Star for bravery.
He was a proud member of the Gray Post #86 American Legion, where he was the Past Post Commander, a member of 40&8, and a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post #6859 in Portland and Amvets Post #6 in New Gloucester.
He worked for many years for Lucas Tree Company, and retired from S.D. Warren Company, in Westbrook. He and his brother Norman owned and operated McLeod's Restaurant in New Gloucester during the 1970s.
Dan loved animals, especially his dog, Penny. He loved to garden. He was gifted in repairing mechanical and electrical equiment. He spent most of his retired years operating his HAM radio equipment and talking to people all over the world. His call sign was KINND.
He was predeceased by his wife, Dorthy Wing McLeod, in 1994, and by his brothers, Merton J. McLeod and Francis L. McLeod.
He is survived by his sister, Ellen Pride, of Portland; brothers Norman T. McLeod and wife June, of Portland, John J. McLeod and wife Thelma, of Phoenix, AZ; stepchildren Karen Stone, of Auburn, Floyd Wing, of Gray, and Thomas Wing, of Portland; very dear friend Louis Nielsen, of New Gloucester; seven grandchildren, four great-grandchildren, several nieces and nephews and his faithful dog, Penny.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to New Gloucester Fire & Rescue, P.O. Box 82, New Gloucester, ME 04260.
Arrangements were under the care of Wilson Funeral Home, Gray.
Deborah "Deb" White Preble, 51
Our wife, mom, daughter and friend went to be with the Lord on April 29, 2005 at home surrounded by her family and dear friends four years after being diagnosed with breast cancer. Deb put up a gallant fight, never ever once complaining of this cruel disease that was slowly taking her life. Deb was our strength through it all, never allowing us to show sadness or sorrow for her as she fought so hard to live. In the worst of times, when greeted and asked, "How are you doing, Deb?" she would answer with, "Good" and a smile on her face. We all have much to learn from her strength and courage through the last four years while battling he cancer.
Deb was born in Portland, Maine on Sept. 27, 1953, to Bob and Bertha Aikens White. She grew up on Pride Street in Westbrook, graduating from Westbrook High School in 1971. Using her business training acquired in high school she went to work at New Hampshire Insurance Company after graduation. She moved and settled in Gray in the early '70s and went to work at Pineland Hospital as an aid. Figuring out quite early on that this was definitely not her forte, she had higher sights for her life, she started studying for her employment test with the US Post Office. She passed her test easily and was hired as a temp at the Portland Post Office. For the next 26 years she worked in several offices, Westbrook, Gray, Raymond and settling into the Casco Post Office which she retired from this past February. .
Deb was so loved by all of her postal patrons. She always went the extra mile to be sure each and everyone of their needs were taken care of. A dedicated employee, she never knew how to say no when anything extra was asked of her. Deb would be there. During the Ice Storm in '98, when we all thought that the post office did not have to be open that morning, Deb made Jeffrey drive her to her treasured office through downed trees and power lines to make sure that the doors were open for business. More than once on Christmas Eve after putting the boys to bed she'd be back at the post office making sure those last minute packages and cards got out. It was just the dedicated person she was to her job and customers.
Shortly after moving to Gray she met her future husband, Jeffrey Preble. Sensing the ultimate challenge presented the ultimate reward, Jeffrey spent weeks and months convincing Deb to go on that first date. Happily they hit it off and were married on January 20, 1984. Together she and Jeffrey raised two sons, Jake and Jon, who were the focal point of Deb's life. The sun rose and set on those two boys. Deb's life revolved around them. She did an outstanding job of raising Jake and Jon (though criticized now and again by her friends for spoiling them... just a little!) They both have made her so proud in their school work, both all "A" students. In their kind nature and thoughtful ways, they cared for their mother through her illness with such tenderness and love. Once when commended on what a great job they were doing in caring for her and how proud we were of them, Jon said, "We are only caring for her like she did for us."
Besides managing a chaotic and fun household, Deb was also involved in breeding and showing her basenji dog, Merry Muffin. She was co-founder and secretary of The Mainely Basenji Club. When the boys came along, time was stretched thin, and she no longer showed her dogs but continued to love and enjoy them. Not a day went by that you wouldn't see Deb heading out for a dog walk with her beloved pets. Along with the dogs she also loved her cats. She said more times than once that when she got old she'd be known as the crazy lady with all the cats!
Deb is survived by her beloved husband of 21 years, Jeffrey W. Preble, of Gray, and two sons, Jake and Jon, Breezy and Buster, her two dogs and cats, Crazy, Tiger, Pluto and Milky Way.
She is also survived by her Dad, Robert White, and stepmother Mary, of Westbrook; sister Delphine Palmer, of Falmouth, and brother Bob White and wife Diane, of Gorham; and four stepsisters. She was predeceased by her mother, Bertha White, in 1990. Deb will be sadly missed by her Aunt, Barbara White, her cousins, nieces and nephews, and many, many good friends she has acquired over the years. And most of all by her best friend, Gail MacLean.
All of us, friends and family, are amazed at the blessing we have been given to have Deb in our lives. We would have loved to have more time with her, but we were just so fortunate to have her at all.
Her family wishes to express its appreciation to the Center for Cancer Medicine in Scarborough and Dr. Thomas Ervin and staff and her nurses from Home Health Care, not only for their excellent medical care and help in Deb's fight with her cancer, but also for their kindness and the love they always gave to Deb.
Visiting hours were on Wednesday and a funeral service at Prides Corner Congregational Church, Westbrook, on Thursday, with Pastor Susan Gilpin officiating.
Arrangements were by Wilson Funeral Home, 24 Shaker Road, Gray.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Prides Corner Congregational Church, 235 Pride Street, Westbrook,ME 04092, or Greater Androscoggin Humane Society, 420 Poland Spring Road, Auburn, ME 04210