OLD ORCHARD BEACH, ME – Ralph F. Griffin, 91, passed away peacefully at home on August 26, 2015 after a short illness. His final hours were spent surrounded by his loving family. Ralph was the beloved husband of Maureen (Ahearn) Griffin. Born in Haverhill, MA on January 2, 1924, he was the son of the late William H. & Irene J. Griffin.
He was a 1942 graduate of Haverhill High School. After graduation, he joined the Army Air Corps and served during World War II. Ralph owned and operated Lakeside Motors in Haverhill, MA for over 45 years. Upon retirement, he relocated to Old Orchard Beach, ME.
Along with his wife, he is survived by his children: son, Wayne P. Griffin and his wife Susan of Haverhill, daughters, Diane L. and her husband, James Bevilacqua of Haverhill, Kelly J. and her husband Daniel Hogan of Haverhill, Kelly M. and her husband, Randy Boverman of Portland, OR; as well as his three sisters: Nancy J. Griffin, Eleanor D. (Griffin) Gaudreau, and Jacklyn (Griffin) Tierney, all of Old Orchard Beach. Affectionately known as Papa, he had 11 grandchildren and 9 great-grandchildren. He also leaves behind several nieces, nephews, sisters-in-law and brothers-in-law. He was preceded in death by his first wife, Esther M. (Michaud) Griffin, his daughter, Linda M. (Griffin) Proia, and brothers, William H. Griffin, Jr. and Rodney S. Griffin.
Funeral services will be held privately. Memorial donations can be made in Ralph’s name to: Beacon Hospice, 54 Atlantic Place, South Portland, ME 04106
Sheila (Steeves) Varney was born May 12, 1931 to Laura (Ganter) and Archibald Steeves in Woodstock, NB, Canada. She died August 29, 2015 at home surrounded by family following an extended illness. Sheila married Kenneth Varney of Houlton when she was age 16 and they shared over 50 years together. She worked for many years as a cook and as a sales clerk for the F.W. Woolworth Company. Later in life she returned to school via the adult education program and graduated from Houlton High School in 1980. She then furthered her education to become a certified nurse’s assistant and medical technician and worked in the medical field until her retirement.
Sheila was a kind and unassuming presence. Throughout her life she placed the needs of others before her own. She was a wonderful cook. She loved to read, knit and crochet, and created a number of intricate and colorful scarves which were sold to raise funds for the Ending Hunger Campaign of Maine. She was intrigued by philosophical and religious introspection. Sheila and Ken were very generous and welcoming to the neighborhood children on Fairview Avenue in Houlton, making each child feel special and included. She relocated to Southern Maine following his death in 1997.
Sheila is survived by her daughters, Carol Varney, Brenda Pratt and Donna Martin and an adopted son, Bernard J. Broder, III. 8 grandchildren, 5 great-grandchildren all of Southern Maine as well as 2 siblings, Archie Steeves and Lillian Bull of Canada. In addition to her parents, husband and 4 siblings, she was predeceased by a grandson Tyler John McLauchlan. Services and burial will be private.
HIRAM, ME -- On August 15, 2015, Dave lost his short fight with cancer. He was lovingly held in his wife’s arms as he left this world. He went bravely and with dignity, kissing his wife on her forehead before turning his head towards the heavens as if he were being beckoned.
Dave was loved by those whose lives he touched. He was always there to lend a helping hand, right up to the end. He was so much fun to be around and will be sorely missed by all his buddies. Dave went to school in Merrimack, NH and the friends he made there lasted a lifetime. He continued to make new friends wherever he went.
A carpenter by trade, Dave learned everything he knew by watching quietly and asking questions. He eventually ran his own crews and left his mark on homes all over the northeast. While Dave spent time learning all aspects of the construction trade, including framing and roofing, he chose to concentrate on vinyl-siding and was especially proud of his metal trim work.
Dave was a person who embodied the idea of work hard, play hard. His stress reliever was speed, the faster the better. Whether riding his beloved Harley down the open road or taking his snowmobile out in the woods in the middle of the night, Dave was happiest when pushing his vehicle’s speedometer towards its limits. He would dare friends to follow him, and some brave souls took him up on the challenge, afterward vowing to never do that again. Fast cars, dirt-bikes, wave-runners, boats, and trucks Dave liked them all. However, Dave loved the Harley he built, and for that reason Dave’s loving wife has chosen to have his ashes welded into the gas tank of his bike. The bike itself will be disabled so that it may serve as a monument to remember Dave’s life, at the home he shared with his wife.
Dave was preceded in death by his mother, Harriet Diana Golder née Foley, and his fondly remembered grandparents, Lawrence and Helen Golder.
Dave leaves behind his wife, Karen, who stayed by his side through difficult times, never doubting how much he cared for her. He also leaves behind his father, David G. Golder and David’s wife Penny; his brother, Jim Tees and Jim’s wife Kim; his sister, Diane Mann Golder and her children, Hannah and Helen; and his step siblings, Roland Desautels Jr. and Tammy Desautels. Dave also leaves behind a sister-in-law, Joy Maxner, two step-daughters, Holly Champion and Joya Champion Fielders, and Holly and Joya’s seven children, Dakoata, Destiny, Jade, Sedona, Andrew, Teagan and Brandon.
A celebration of life will be held at 2:00 PM on September 5, 2015, at Dave and Karen’s home at 357 King Street, Hiram, ME. Please come and share some good memories. Sandwiches and soft drinks will be served, and you are invited to bring any other food or drinks you wish.
Peaks Island - Louise G. O’Sullivan died at home on August 25 in the same place she started 98 years ago. Louise was the daughter of Justin and Doris (Hanson) O’Sullivan of Brackett Street, Portland. Early on, Louise developed a life long love of animals. Her father was a breeder of German Shepherds and Greyhounds. Louise showed these animals throughout New England. She also became an accomplished horsewoman, having trained at Rines Stables in Gorham, and riding in Central Park in later years.
Right out of high school this small town girl teamed up with her teenage dance teacher and choreographer, Ken Spaulding of Portland. They created an act consisting of ballroom and ballet combinations with flashy “adagio” high lifts and spins. The Western Promenade cemetery was their “practice studio.” Louise had a later start than most dancers, but she started as a pro. Louise and Ken’s first big break came when they were cast in the U.S. version of the Folies Bergere. They performed in hotels, theaters and nightclubs throughout the United States and Central America, touring with the likes of Rosemary Clooney and Mel Torme.
When Louise’s identical twin, Alice, joined the act they became known as the Spaulding Trio and the world opened up to them. Ken designed, and Louise fabricated, matching costumes for herself and her sister. They performed all over Europe and North Africa with the Philip Morris Broadway Revue and the Camel Caravan. The trio appeared on the Ed Sullivan, Jack Carter and Paul Winchell television shows. They toured with the Cristiani Brothers Circus, a family of bareback riders. A number of tours with the USO took them to the South Pacific Islands, Korea, the Marshall Islands and Japan. Although they traveled to many beautiful places they also saw pain and destruction. They worked under all kinds of conditions, often with the sounds of bombs overhead. Louise often said: “Your sense of values changes because of what you see. Why some men would want war is beyond me.”
After decades on the road, Louise was recruited by an executive from Broadcast Music Inc. (BMI), the renowned performing rights organization based in New York City. She happily found herself in the midst of artists, composers, singers and musicians. Louise became invaluable for her meticulous attention to detail and dedication to her work. As contract administrator of Performing Rights, Louise was responsible for processing complicated legal documents for BMI’s writer and publisher affiliates. According to Frances W. Preston, President of BMI, Louise was one of the most highly regarded employees. She retired at the age of 89, after a 48-year tenure.
Growing up, Louise summered at the family cottage on Peaks Island. In her adult years she looked forward to her annual vacation there as well, and returned permanently in 2007. She spent her remaining years in the place of her youth, content to settle into the natural rhythms of the island. Louise loved feeding the birds, tending her gardens, playing with her cat and gratefully embracing the simple pleasures of life, among them watching “Dancing With the Stars.” Modest and unassuming, she accepted this new role in life and made little mention of her storied past.
Louise was predeceased by her sister, Alice, and Ken Spaulding, her lifelong friend. She is survived by Alice’s stepson David Stolte and wife, Trudy, and her devoted caregivers and loving neighbors.
Many heartfelt thanks to Kitty Gilbert, FNP, Peaks Island Health Center, for her care and support.
Portland, ME -- Dr. John M. Fein, 92, died at home on August 18 in Portland, Maine. He was born on December 23, 1922 to Louis and Lola Fein in East Chicago, Indiana. He married his high school sweetheart, Lucyle Blumenthal, in 1946, a marriage that lasted 53 years until her death in 1999.
He received his B.A, magna cum laude, from Harvard in 1944, and his Ph.D. from Harvard in 1950, moving into a long and distinguished career as a faculty member (Spanish and Latin American Studies) and administrator at Duke University. He served three terms as Chair of the Department of Romance Languages, and also a term as Vice Provost and Dean of Trinity College of Arts & Sciences at Duke, and published two important books and many articles on Latin American literature.
He was awarded a Fulbright Lectureship to Chile, and also held visiting appointments at several institutions including Indiana University, Stanford, and Dartmouth. Throughout his teaching career and well into retirement he maintained a passionate love of literature. His other interests included travel, contemporary Latin American art, and gardening. He had a special love for the family summer house on Thompson Lake in Maine, the site of many happy family reunions. He will be especially missed and remembered for his wit, sense of humor, intelligence, as well as the encouragement he generously shared with his children and grandchildren, and the pride he took in their achievements.
He was preceded in death by his parents, his wife, Lucyle, and his brother, George. He is survived by son, David, and wife, Rita, of Greensboro, NC, his daughter, Judith, of Durham, NC, daughter, Jody, and husband, Robb of West Gray, ME, and daughter, Laurie, and husband, Dave, of Portland, ME, as well as grandchildren: Aaron, Dana, Margot, Sarah, Nathan, Jack, and Luisa, and six great-grandchildren.
Memorial contributions may be made to: Amnesty International, 5 Penn Plaza, New York, NY 10001 or Duke Gardens Endowment, Duke University, Durham, NC 27706