Ralph L. Richards

South Portland- Ralph Leroy Ricahrds,92, longtime residents of Cape Elizabeth and Buxton died peacefully on September 12, 2017 at the Maine Veterans’ Home in Scarborough. 

He was born in Grand Lake Stream during a heavy snow on January 31, 1925, with the attending doctor transported to Grand Lake Stream by horse and sleigh.

Ralph graduated from Princeton High School in 1943.  The three boys from his graduating call all enlisted into the service with two going to Europe and on to the Pacific.  Ralph joined as a U.S. Paratrooper serving for three years in Europe during World War II in the 13th and 82nd Airborne.  He marched with the 82nd Parachute Infantry Division in New York City, the largest parade held following the Allied Victory in Europe. 

Ralph earned his Bachelor and Master’s Degrees from the University of Maine at Orono with graduate work at Boston University.  He started his career in education as a science teacher in the small town of Brownville Junction, continued as principal at Mechanic Falls and then became the longest serving administrator as high school principal for Cape Elizabeth.  HE was a member of the Maine Teachers’ Association Executive Committee and former President of the State Principals; Association.  He also belonged to several local organizations where he resided. 

In 1951 he married his best friend and love of his life Barbara Ann Cook of Woodland after meeting at the Woodland Labor Day Fair. 

Ralph is survived by his wife, Barbara, of 66 years, his sons, G Bion Ricards and his wife Muriel of Rockport, and Scott D. Richards and his wife Pamela of Cape Elizabeth, his two grandchildren Wesley and Elle Richards, his sister Ria Furbish of Austin, Texas and sister-in-law Norma Richards of Dover-Foxcroft and a niece and four nephews.  Both his sons are grateful to their father for all he taught them whether it was wood working, falling a tree in the woods, writing, plumbing and having the general ability to take on most any project.  He never hesitated to tell them how much he loved them. 

He was predeceased by his parents; his brother Philip Richards and brother-in-law Roger Furbish.

Ralph had a subtle downeast humor, a tremendous work ethic, boundless energy and was said to have four loves: snowmobiling, gardening, cutting wood and his wife Barbara.  He always had a huge bountiful garden including a Christmas tree farm and liked to give his produce away to family, friends and the needy.  Later he focused on organic gardening.  He and his wife enjoyed traveling the United States, Canada and Europe.  He hung a print of Henry David Thoreau’s quote in the family room “Man looks at his woodpile with a kind of affections,” To Ralph there never seemed to be enough dry stacked hardwood for the winter season ahead.  He spent several months each year at the family camp that he built with his father on Big Lake near Princeton. 

The family would like to thank the wonderful and thoughtful staff of the Maine Veterans’ Home in Scarborough for the care of Ralph. 

Memorial gifts may be made online to the Maine Veterans Home at Mainevets.org or by mail at: Maine Veterans’ Home, 290 Route 1 Scarborough Maine, 04074.  A private committal service is planned.

Virginia T. "Ginny" Houston

Auburn, ME - Virginia Thompson Houston of Poland Maine passed away on Friday, September 15, 2017 at the age of 94. 

“Ginny” was born December 8, 1922 in Byron, Maine, the daughter of Alfred N. and Eunice H. Thompson. Ginny attended Auburn Schools and graduated from Edward Little High School with the class of 1941.  She was active in sports.  She graduated from Auburn Maine School of Commerce.  She worked many years at Mechanics Savings Bank. 

Ginny married Stanley E. Houston of Durham on July 8, 1945 at the High Street Congregational Church in New Auburn.  They resided in Auburn and spent summers at the family camp in Otisfield.  They moved to Poland, ME in the early 70s.  She spent her later winters in Spring Hill, FL. 

She was active in numerous clubs and organizations.  She enjoyed playing cards on Saturdays with a special group of friends. 

She was predeceased by her parents, her husband, her brother Raymond Thompson and her son-in-law Frederick Walters. 

She is survived by her daughters Sheryl Walters of Poland, ME and her companion Stephen Cox and Janice Rawson.  She also leaves her grandchildren Pamela Oberg and her husband Chris of Somersworth, NH, Katie Rawson and her husband Ryan Wire of West Hills, CA, Paul Rawson Jr. and his wife Caitlin of Poland ME, and Nathanial Rawson of Bloomington, IN as well as her great grandchildren Alexis Oberg, Keegan, Connor and Mackenzie Rawson, her brother-in-law John Houston of Topsham and many beloved nieces and nephews. 

The family wishes to thank her caregivers at Schooner Estates and Clover Manor. 

A graveside service will be held at Gracelawn Memorial Park in Auburn at a later date. 

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Responsible Pet Care P.O. Box 82 Norway, ME 04268 as she loved her daughter’s two cats or the Poland Recreation Dept. 1231 Maine St, Poland, ME 04272 as she loved watching her grandchildren and great grandchildren play sports.

Eric E. Hirshler

Lewiston, ME - Eric E. Hirshler, a longtime Granville resident who had retired to Lewiston, Maine, died August 30, 2017, at age 93. He loved art museums and cathedrals, Roman ruins and archeology, old master drawings and early modern German painting, opera and classical music. He loved to learn. He is much missed by his many friends and by those whose lives he expanded.

Married for fifty-one years to Marilyn Nair Hirshler (1931-2004), he was the son of Lewiston physician and surgeon Dr. Max Hirshler and Dr. Helene Hirshler. Born in Germany in 1924, Hirshler came to Maine in December 1938; he earned his BA at Bowdoin College (1946) and his MA and PhD degrees at Yale University. In the 1950s he worked in New York City at the United Restitution Organization, at UNESCO, and at the Leo Baeck Institute; he also began his long career as a professor, first at Rutgers University (Newark) and at Brooklyn College. 
 

 

In 1959 he joined the faculty of Denison University, where he first taught German language and literature (1959-1965) and then became Professor of Art History (1966-1989); he served as Chair of the Art Department from 1965 to 1972 and director of the art gallery from 1967 to 1970. During a leave from Denison, he was Chair of the Department of Art History at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada (1972-1974). Fascinated by human history, Hirshler spent several summers as the principal investigator of the archeological excavations in Sremska Mitrovica (Sirmium), in Serbia. He was the author and editor of the book Jews from Germany in the United States and he wrote a number of articles and numerous book reviews for academic journals. He was the recipient of grants from the Kress Foundation, the Lilly Foundation, and the Denison Research Foundation.  

 

Professor Hirshler returned to Lewiston following his retirement in 1989. He volunteered at the Bowdoin Museum of Art and occasionally offered lectures at Bates College. He was a dedicated Friend of the Lewiston Public Library, serving on the Board of that association and establishing the Marilyn N. Hirshler Book Fund to support the library’s acquisition of books about art and architecture.

His intellectual curiosity never waned, and he shared it with his favorite caregivers at Aging Excellence and, during his last week of life, with the merciful women at Hospice House in Auburn. His last regret was his unfinished book review about Austrian artist Egon Schiele. Dr. Hirshler is survived by his daughter Erica Hirshler, a senior curator at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and her husband, Harold Clark.
  

 

A private memorial will be held this fall. Donations in his memory to the Marilyn N. Hirshler Book Fund at the Lewiston Public Library (200 Lisbon Street, Lewiston, ME 04240) would be welcomed.

 

 


Evelyn Renna

Westbrook, ME – Evelyn Renna, 94, of Westbrook, passed away peacefully in her sleep at her home on Thursday, August 31, 2017.  She was the wife of the late Joseph P. Renna.

 

She was born in Vinalhaven, ME on April 11, 1923 a daughter of the late Freeman & Gladies (Bradstreet) Hopkins.  She grew up in Vinalhaven, attending local area schools and graduating from Vinalhaven High School in 1941.  While living in Vinalhaven she met her husband, a fisherman by the name of Joseph Paul Renna, of the coast of the island.

 

Evelyn was a lifelong resident of Portland; she spent fifteen years at Health Tex and looked after many children throughout her life.  Children were her greatest joy as she was constantly surrounded them, whether they were her own, her grandchildren or even neighborhood kids; she would treat them as her own and would do anything they needed.

 

Evelyn is survived by three daughters, Tamara Coxe of Westbrook, Deborah Budroe and her husband Rob Grover of Windham and Rosalind Foster and her husband Gary of Westbrook.  She also leaves nine grandchildren, fifteen great grandchildren and eight great great grandchildren.  She also was the mother of the late Laurie Renna, who died in April 2017.

 

Relatives and friends are invited to attend a graveside service on Friday, September 8, 2017 at 11 a.m. at Calvary Cemetery, 1460 Broadway, South Portland, ME.

Mary W. (Smith) Macminn

Portland, ME.  Mary Smith Woodman MacMinn, 95, died August 27, 2017 at Cedars nursing facility.  

Mary was born on August 27, 1922 in West Buxton, ME.  She was the daughter of Fred and Abby Smith. Mary attended local schools and was graduated from Buxton High School. She was employed at Owen Moore department store in Portland as a fashion designer and sales coordinator. Mary moved to New York City and was employed at Munsingwear Hosiery Co. as Vice President of Sales.  

She enjoyed arts and crafts. One of her hobbies was interior decorating.  Her later years were spent at her home at Higgins Beach in the summer and Florida in the winter.  

She was preceded by her first husband, Sumner Woodman of Bar Mills, and her baby daughter Susan, as well as her parents, sisters, Helen Dean, Louise Leavitt, Sarah Smith Huff Johnson, and brother Philip Smith. 

She is survived by several nieces and nephews.  

As per her request, Mary will be cremated and her ashes will be scattered near her childhood home in Buxton and the family plot in Hollis.  

There will be no services.

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