Mary Bryant

December 9, 1931 – June 12, 2021
“Your life is made of two dates and a dash. Make the most of the dash” unknown author
Dad has asked me to share stories of Mom’s life and some of her many accomplishments. He is so proud of how she lived her life and he told her, and us, often. She knew how much she was loved and respected but I am not sure she could ever really know just how many lives she changed for the better.
When Mom was only 7, her mother Elmona E. Browne, died just days after giving birth. Mom was now the eldest of 3, including an infant. She soon became the mother of the family.
Mom would do odd jobs to make money and then take the children out for the day. You could ride the train all day if you didn’t get off, so they went on many train rides. They went to double-feature movies and had penny candy. Mom swore them to secrecy because if their father found out, that would have been the end of the fun outings.
She left home at 14. She looked older than her age and found work quickly. She said she always knew that her Mom was watching over her and recalled seeing her Mom’s spirit in a field.
Mom worked in the kitchen at an all-boys camp on a lake in Maine. The boys from the city loved it when Mom would give them turns making cookies. Many of them had never cooked before. The chef said that Mom’s fried chicken was even better than his.
She worked in a hotel, carrying the linens up and down flights of stairs and cleaning.
Mom was a cashier at a grocery store in Connecticut. She used to draw the specials on the windows, with catchy phrases and pictures. She quickly became head cashier.
Mom would save up her money to bring presents to all her siblings at Christmas. Her father had remarried, and in the end, Mom was the eldest of 14 siblings.
Mom worked at Carlton Woolen Mill in Winthrop Maine as a spinner. That’s where she met Dad, Kenneth Bryant Sr. He was an inspector and had been admiring Mom from afar. He asked her out on a date. She accepted and made her amazing fried chicken, one of her many fabulous qualities that won him over. Two weeks later they were married in Dad’s family home in Readfield, and that began their 65 years together.
They went on to raise 8 children and raised a few of Mom’s siblings from the time they were 15.
Mom was an amazing cook. I’d love to know how many jars of food she canned and quart bags she froze. The cellar storage was filled with canned fruits and vegetables, most of which we grew on the farm. She made the best pie crust and biscuits. I loved cooking with her but never learned her finesse… it needs a dash of this, the bread must feel a certain way. I believe every child and grandchild had a chance to punch down the bread. She involved the children in what she was doing.
She was so happy as she became a grandmother and a great grandmother. She loved watching her family grow and seeing the joy that children brought. Mom had 14 grandchildren and 13 great grand children (including 4 on the way).
One year Mom made 1,000 wreaths, with the help of tiny hands, and sold them for $1 each. That was her Christmas money for the children. She always loved Christmas and because she never had a big Christmas, she wanted a huge Christmas for her children. She would start shopping the specials in January and keep chests of gifts upstairs. She was the best bargain hunter. She would always tell Dad how much money she “saved”.
She loved going to lawn sales and one day came home with 5 children’s bicycles. She loved collecting stuffed animals and dressing them in baby clothes. In later years, the spare bedroom was filled with 100+ dressed up stuffed animals. She was so proud that she donated them to the children’s ward of the hospital, so children would have something special when they were sick. The director sent her a thank you card that she stored in the family bible and read often.
She was talented at fixing up the house. Most rooms had beautiful vinyl wallpaper.
Mom catered for many years, again with the help of many hands (some not so tiny). She made and decorated spectacular wedding cakes. She would place wax paper on a metal “pedestal”, holding it down with a dob of frosting. Then she would start making a flower. One petal at a time. Then she’d gently set each one in the freezer to set, before adding it to the cake.
To Dad’s knowledge, Mom was the only person to get her GED in Maine in one night, with no formal preparation. She walked into the local high school and explained that she needed her GED. They started to give her the material to study and she explained that she needed it right then, so she could go the real estate school with Dad that night. This is a woman who left home at 14. Mom said she would read every book she could get her hands on, borrowing lots of library books. Mom also taught herself as she taught her children. The lady administering the GED test stayed late that night so Mom could finish and have it graded in time to go to real estate school.
When Mom was 40 she got her GED, real estate license, driver’s license and had her 8th and final child.
When Dad was Town Manager of Readfield, Mom developed the accounting system for the town (with no formal accounting experience).
Mom was active in the Kents Hill Methodist Church and sung in the choir. Mom always loved doing for others, especially those less fortunate. For several years Mom and Dad have sponsored a child through World Vision. Mom loved receiving the updates on his progress and was proud of the difference she made.
Mom had the most beautiful rose garden at their home in Readfield.
She was a self-taught artist, specializing in oil paintings on canvas. She loved painting nature scenes. She often had clouds in her paintings and always tried to hide something in the clouds like a dragon or cat’s face. She always loved finding things in the clouds and taught us to do this as children, laying out on the back lawn. She did take some art classes and the instructor soon asked her if she’d like to help teach the class; she had a real gift.
In her professional career I believe Mom was most proud of her work at Avon. Mom was a sales representative, back in the day when Avon was sold door to door in a set territory. She excelled in sales and become assistant manager followed by district sales manager. Mom wasn’t just good at sales, she was great with people. She motivated them by encouraging them and getting to know them personally. More than once she lent the start up money to women who needed a break. She invested in people, and they worked hard for her. She won Circle of Excellence 2 years in a row. She had to beat one amazing year with an even better year, and she did it. I’m certain Mom would have gone on to even greater accomplishments in Avon but unfortunately, she became sick and had to retire early. Mom was so proud of the trip she earned to Switzerland in 1986. She ate at the revolving restaurant where a James Bond 007 movie was filmed and rode on the Orient Express.
Mom and Dad’s travels included all of New England, Massachusetts, California, Nevada, Utah, Arizona, Florida, Hawaii, and Australia. There were many family camping trips in Baxter State Park and days at ocean, Reid State Park.
Mom loved Bingo and later the penny slot machines. She’s the only person I know who had almost as much fun anticipating the win as she did the win. “Oh, I’m in for 9. Let it shine with number 9”. She would get so excited playing the slot machines that at times she’d have a crowd watching her. Her excitement was contagious. You’d think she’d won the jackpot, but she was simply in bonus or winning a few dollars. She enjoyed the moment.
Mom loved animals and caring for animals. In addition to many cats and dogs over the years, she had Chippy the squirrel, Lucy the goat and Clarence the duck. She loved telling stories about these animals and elaborating just a little to make it even more fun. Mom loved butterflies and wolves.
Mom reconnected with her Aunt Mary (her mother’s sister) after many years. Aunt Mary lived in Windsor, Nova Scotia and she and Mom were instantly close. We had many family trips to see her.
There is so much more to tell about Mom’s life. It would be wonderful for others to share a special memory or story; either a new one or expand on something mentioned. I’ve written very little about each event and mentioned almost no one in particular because I don’t want to leave people out and I want to hear the stories as you remember them. Thank you.

Mary Bryant

Tina was a wonderful woman, loved and missed both by family and friends, but also in the community we lived in. She was a wonderful wife, excellent mother, and no one could’ve asked had a better friend. 

Conor Stokes, son

Jennifer Chambers, daughter

Joshua Chambers, son-in-law

Brandon Keoppel, son

Susan ward, mother

Arthur Stokes, father-in-law

Kenneth Keoppel ex, close friend

Lisa and Charley Ritzenthaler, sister and borther-in-law

Tina Stokes

To my loving husband Darrin James Wolf. I miss you so very much. I pray you’re at peach. I’m not ok but in time I will be. I lost my husband, my best friend, my everything. You were an awesome father and grandfather. I will forever miss and love you. 

~Vicky Wolf

 

Friends and Family: 

Mary Lou Ruiz-mother, Ted wolf- father, brothers Freg and Rodney. His kids Cody, Brandi, Travis. Grandchildren, Caelyn, Haylee and Nikki also Kaydence, Kayden and Ary. Of course his grandmother, aunts, uncles and cousin, nieces and nephews. All my family Mom & Dad, sister and brother-in-law, sister-in-law, nieces and nephews. His co-workers and many more. 

Darrin Wolf

Victor M Langroño was born in Santurce, Puerto Rico where after graduating high school he migrated to New York City for a better life. There he entered the Merchant Marines where he dedicated 20 years of outstanding service, traveling the world and making friends across the globe. After retiring he moved his family back to Puerto Rico where he opened the first catering business on the island. He employed folks from the small town of Barrio Mazán where he is honored to this day.

Victor was a husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather. He was dedicated to his family and their well-being his entire adult life.

We remember him as a hard working man with a sense of humor that lightened the heaviest of loads!

Father rescued many dogs, cats, birds and other wildlife from a doomed life.

Father was generous-welcoming family and friends into his heart and home.

All of us-thank him for being a part of our lives, for show us what truly counts in life is love. 

~Debra Longroño

Friends and Family:

Ecko Longroño, Noah Torres, Dieter Orriola, Julian & Ithaca Orriola-Dobkin, Danika Harkness-Douglas, KJ Douglas

Victor Manuel Longroño-Pinto

I am so glad Sharon and I had made plans for our eventual passing. Among those plans we had decided to donate our bodies to UTN so their could be some medical benefit prior to cremation . Prior to that we had proclaimed for several years that we each wanted cremation rather than a traditional funeral casket, burial, etc.). Once we heard about UTN we were convinced that this was the way to go.

Sadly, Sharon passed away April 10th of 2021. In those moments after learning of her passing doubt set in. Did I really want to make this whole body donation? I decided that the right thing to do was follow the plans that we had both agreed upon when she was alive.

I am happy to report that UTN followed through as promised. They were kind, courteous, efficient and respectful of my wife of thirty-five years. Losing someone that you’ve been together with for that long really hurts but UTN made that portion of handling death easy.

For anyone considering UTN as a reasonable alternative I can assure you that you won’t be disappointed.

Sincerely,

Merlin Studt

Sharon Studt

Gene Thomas, better known as Lamar, (or Honey Bunny to me) was born on September 11, 1935 in Orange, Texas and died in Florida March 22, 2021 at 3:37 PM. He received his college degree from Lamar University in Beaumont, Texas, so he teasingly told folks they named the university after him. Lamar enjoyed computers and radar systems. He was also an avid pilot who loved flying his Beechcraft Bonanza and helping folks out using Amateur Radio (W5-VEG) from the age of 16. Just prior to his retirement in 1993, he married me on his birthday of September 11, in a hot air balloon. Shortly after, we built their home in Sarasota, Florida, traveled extensively, laughed often, and enjoyed life to the fullest. His favorite morning greeting was, “What are we doing for fun today?” Being an altruistic and generous person his entire life, he donated his organs and body to science. Following his example, I will do the same and our ashes will then be commingled after death so we can spend a joyous eternity together. 

~Marie Thomas

Friends and Family

John Terry & Margaret Thomas
Debra & David Hamilton
Sean & Carol Mirek
Marge Mirek
Steve O’Donnell
Betty Sue Hun

Gene Lamar Thomas

Momma never met a stranger and always wanted to contribute to make things better for someone else. She was excited to learn even with her cancer she could contribute and help someone after her passing!! Thank you for making that happen!!

~Michele Miller-Hayes

Sandy Bewley

Our dad received a lung transplant that for about 12yrs. gave him a new life. My mom called it his 2nd birthday. But the last 7yrs. bought him many medical challenges including: eye cancer twice, cardiac surgery twice, and kidney cancer. He was also on dialysis. My dad fought hard for the last few years of his life, he kept fighting after the discouraging diagnoses kept coming. I don’t think he had as much fight after we lost my mom. We love and miss him everyday. We know that alive, he accepted many drugs and treatments still in the research phase, so we know he would have agreed to your study to continue to contribute to medicine in any way he could. Thank you.

~Judy Motte

James Pierce

My son was with us for 34 years and he had alot of medical problems. He was diagnosed with Epilepsy at a young age and fought with that his whole life. Than from epilepsy in July of 2017 he was diagnosed with another medical problem. He always told his dad and I that he wanted to donate his body to others so that he could help them and also they could figure out epilepsy and hopefully get a cure for it. I was there when he took his first breath and was there when he took his last breath. I love you my sweet son and miss you .
Love, your mom.

Johnathon Pauley

We were married for 33 years, a second marriage for us both. Most people speak well of the dead, which cause the cynics among us to wonder. I might become a believer yet, for my J was a beautiful human being in every way. He had a brilliant mind, a beautiful body and a kindly spirit.
I am told that the ache in my heart will lessen with time. If anything, I miss him more with each passing day.
Sybil Levien

Richard Bushell