Cumberland Center, ME -- Deborah Freeman, APRN, BC,61, of Cumberland Center, died on Saturday, June 11, 2016 at Gosnell Memorial Hospice House. She was the wife of Greg Sweetser.
She was born October 24, 1954, in Portland, ME to the late Eben and Barbara Freeman. Debby graduated from Deering High School in 1973 and from Mary Hitchcock Memorial Hospital School of Nursing with an RN in 1976, became a licensed Family Nurse Practitioner in 1982, earned her BS from the University of Maine at Farmington in 1992, and was appointed a Faculty Associate in Nursing at UMF in 1994.
Debby worked at Maine Medical Center Intensive Care Unit, Strong Area Health Center, Rangeley Health Center, Sugarloaf Region Health Center, as Director of the Saddleback Ski Area Ski Patrol, as Director of the Rangeley Region Ambulance Service, Tri-County Family Planning, Student Health Services at the University of Maine Farmington, Lakes Region Primary Care in Windham and finally Androscoggin Cardiology, in Auburn and Central Maine Heart and Vascular Center in Lewiston.
Debby was an amazing woman who touched the lives of everyone she met. Debby and her husband, Greg Sweetser, live in the Sweetser Family Farm, established in 1812, on Blanchard Road in Cumberland Center. The outpouring of love and support from her friends, family, colleagues, and patients is not surprising, but Debby would be embarrassed. She always pointed the spotlight on others even when she was the star.
Debby was motivated to give more than she took, and nursing was a natural career choice. She had a thirst for learning, and she was one of Maine’s, and the Nation’s, early Family Nurse Practitioners. She mentored dozens of nurses and was a preceptor for Simmons and University of Maine nurse practitioner students. The bonds she created with these individuals remains strong today. Debby blazed a trail for women early and continued throughout her life.
Debby’s first job in the Intensive Care unit at MMC was an immersion into the medical field. Deb took her skills to rural medicine when she practiced at the Strong Area Health Center and provided services at the Student Health Services at the University of Maine Farmington, and Tri County Family Planning. She loved rural medicine where one becomes a specialist in all aspects of health care. Her move back to Cumberland in 1996 brought her back to the MMC system, and finally she moved into cardiology at Androscoggin Cardiology, and eventually at Central Maine Heart and Vascular Institute. Deb’s specialty in pacemakers and implants made her a valuable member of the CMHV team.
An athlete her entire life, her passion was spending time in the mountains in the winter. She and her husband spent 18 years at Saddleback in Rangeley where they raised their children on the ski slopes, in the mountains, and on the lakes of Western Maine. This life long bond to winter sports never wavered. Debby was diagnosed with the aggressive Stage 4 Uterine cancer immediately following her 20-mile winter backcountry ski trip to Grand Falls Hut to celebrate New Year’s Eve 2015.
In her 16-month battle with cancer, Debby maintained an incredible outlook on life. She cherished every day and followed her mantra of “choose your attitude.” As she told her friends, “Greg and I wake up every morning and we make the decision to smile. What other choice is there?”
Debby and Greg were married for 37 years and shared more experiences and joy than they ever imagined. Debby’s pride and joy were her two boys, Sam and Eben. She was so proud to have raised two such fine men. Her joy expanded beyond all bounds with the addition of Sam’s wife, Erin McDermott Sweetser.
At her core, Debby was a healer, a mentor and an inspiration to her family and friends. Her legacy may be honored and perpetuated by the consideration of support for the Maine Children's Cancer Program so that other children and families might have increased opportunity to experience and enjoy the beauty and blessings of long and active lives in Maine.
Debby is survived by her children, Samuel Billings Sweetser and his wife Erin McDermott Sweetser of Park City, Utah; and Eben Winthrop Sweetser of Orono, ME; Siblings, Sue Atwood and her husband Rusty of Gorham, ME; John Freeman and his wife Johnna Haskell of Carrabassett Valley, ME; and Betsy Doyon and her husband Dennis of Bethel, ME; brother-in-law Rick Sweeter and his wife Linda of Raymond, ME; sister-in-law Cathy Sweetser and her husband Jock Moore of Greenville, ME; and in-laws Dick and Connie Sweetser of Cumberland Center, ME.
Relatives and friends are invited to attend a memorial service, which will be held on Sunday, June 26, at 1:30 pm at the Sweetser Farm, 15 Blanchard Road, Cumberland Center, Maine.
Donations in Debby's memory may be made to:
Maine Children's Cancer Program
22 Bramhall Street
Portland, Maine 04102
Lisbon Falls - George Surowoj 62 of Huston Street, Lisbon Falls died Tuesday June 7, 2016. He was born in Ingolstadt, Germany on February 5, 1954 the son of the late Zachar Surowoj & Martha Grün Schein. He was educated at Kensington High School in Buffalo, New York. He served in the United State Navy during the Vietnam Conflict from 1972 to 1980.
He worked at VIP Parts, Tires & Service for 20 years and then Action Screen Printing for the past 10 years.
George enjoyed photography, old landmarks, the weather, current events and was always reading a newspaper, gardening, working with his hand especially carpentry, music, and most of all spending time with his grandkids.
He will be remembered for his sense of humor, his love for animals, the unique nicknames he gave to each family member as well as close family friends, his generosity and kindness, his strong work ethic, his handyman skills, and his famous grilled cheeseburgers.
He is survived by his partner of 29 years Rebecca Sanders of Lisbon Falls, his stepdaughters, Shalon Sanders of Topsham and Brandy Sanders of Lisbon Falls, his five grandchildren, Markis and Sabrina Larrivee, Emalee Sanders, Tristen Bouffard and Rylie Turcotte, as well as a sister Lilli & Theo Steltermann of Lancaster, NY, three brothers, Karl and the late Eleanor Zernickel of Grand Island, NY, Paul & Sue Schein, Peter & Michele Schein all of West Seneca, NY, ten nieces and nephews and eleven great nieces and nephews.
Biddeford, ME -- Gordon Dominic Deniso, Jr., known to family and close friends as “Tumboy”, passed away on May 28, 2016 after a sudden illness.
Born in Boston on November 29, 1960 to Gordon Deniso Sr. and Marjorie Steele Deniso, he is survived by his mother of Cape Elizabeth, his twin brother G. Daniel Deniso of Scarborough, his sister Gay Deidre Deniso and her partner, Connie Pacillo, of Cape Elizabeth, and nephews Cameron and Reid Deniso of Scarborough. He was predeceased by his father is 2002.
Gordon resided at Pineland Center in Pownal for 30 years. Having suffered brain trauma at birth which caused severe learning disabilities, he was admitted to Pineland in 1966 as there were no public school options at that time. He was an eager student quickly learning over 100 ASL signs to help compensate for his profound deafness. A very social and likable little boy, he so enjoyed his newfound means of communication. As a young boy at Pineland, he befriended those less capable and was known for his gentle and compassionate nature.
During this time he made frequent visits home to Portland where he loved riding his bike and playing baseball with his brother and sister. He was tremendously skilled at puzzles in which small metal balls had to be carefully rolled into holes. Possessing enormous perseverance, he was always successful. But, toy pinball machines were his favorite; he enjoyed going to the local drugstore to pick out new ones.
In 1971, he suffered a status epilepticus seizure and was left severely brain damaged, losing all his capabilities.
Since 1996, he had resided locally in group homes. During these years, he was fortunate to have some truly wonderful caregivers whose company he greatly enjoyed. Most recently, with the help of his caregiver, Cody McManus, he was able to visit his mother, weekly, for lunch at her home.
The Bob Dylan song “Blowin’ in the Wind” was sung at a graveside service held at Riverside Cemetery in Cape Elizabeth by Laura Dover whose husband Keith cared for Gordon for several years and enjoyed “many laughs” with him during that time. As Dylan penned, “how many years can some people exist, before they’re allowed to be free?” Keith remarked this week, “how tremendously difficult it must have been” for him but, that, “he can finally rest”.
Old Orchard Beach, ME – Girard N. McGee, 86, of Old Orchard Beach, passed away on Saturday, June 4, 2016 at Greenwood Center in Sanford with his family at his side. He was the husband of the late Lillian (Lariviere) McGee.
He was born on September 15, 1929 in Biddeford, ME a son of the late John and Marie (Demers) McGee.
In his early years Girard owned an oil business. He went on to become a carpenter with a passion for finishing work.
He belonged to the Am Vets, Eagles and Elks Clubs and was a life member of Le Voltigeur Club. Girard enjoyed hunting and fishing and loved spending time with family playing cards; he was also know to surprise his wife at her favorite Bingo Hall.
He is survived by his son, Roger McGee and his wife Pauline of Wells and his two daughters Nancy L’Heureux and her husband Gary of Old Orchard Beach and Dorothy Nelson and her husband Mark of Bailey, CO. He also leaves seven grandchildren, Nicholas, Adam, Jeffrey, Jamie, Alicia, Marcus and Forrest, eleven great grandchildren and a sister Doris Puleio of Amherst, VA, as well as several nieces and nephews. He was also the brother of the late Rosario McGee, Ronald McGee, Andrew McGee, Rita McGee and Beatrice Goudreau, and was the grandfather of the late Christina (Nelson) Bunch.
Relatives and friends are invited to attend a graveside service on Saturday, June 11, 2016 at 10:00 a.m. at St. Joseph’s Cemetery, 120 West Street, Biddeford, ME.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made in his memory to:
Hospice & Palliative Care
23 Spring Street
Scarborough, ME 04074
Portland, ME – Gertrude L. (Bouchard) Witham, 92, passed away on Tuesday, June 1, 2016 at Seaside Rehabilitation Center in Portland. She was the wife of the late George H. Witham.
She was born in Greenville, ME on December 22, 1923 a daughter of the late Charles J. & Vivian G. (Ryan) Bouchard. She grew up in the Greenville and Skowhegan area and graduated from the Covent School in Edmundston, Canada.
She was a life member of the Order of the Eastern Star, Rose of Sharon Chapter in Augusta. Gertrude was also a member of the Red Hat Society and a devout Christian. Above all she was “Nana” to many generations.
Gertrude enjoyed Beano, crossword puzzles and reading, mostly novels and the Christian Guide Post.
She is survived by her daughter Marian Duchesneau of Colorado; She also leaves several grandchildren including Jennifer Huber and her husband Frederick of Las Vegas, NV, James David Hathaway and his wife Laura of Lyman, ME, Elizabeth Urquhart of Monmouth, ME and Kari Smith of Colorado. She also leaves numerous great grandchildren including Victoria Pickreign and her husband Josh of Portland, ME. Alexandria Huber of Portland, ME, Frederick Huber III and his wife Cristina of Anchorage, AK, Lanayria Urquhart of Turner, ME, Heather Autrey and her husband Anthony of Colorado and Brittany Smith of Colorado and great great grandchildren Liam, Urijah, Jackson, Molly, Wyatt and Ashlee as well as two brothers Donald Witham and his wife Linda of Swans Island, ME and James Witham and his wife Karen of Las Vegas, NV and many nieces and nephews. She was the Mother of the late George Witham, Jr. and Vivian G. Hathaway and the sister of the late Donald Bouchard.
Relatives and friends are invited to attend a graveside service at the Maine Veterans Memorial Cemetery at Civic Center Drive, 129 Blue Star Avenue, Augusta on Monday August 22, 2016 at 10 a.m.