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Ella P. Phinney

August 13, 1927 - March 21, 2016
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BATH - Ella P. Phinney, 88, passed  away peacefully March 21, 2016, at Hill House Nursing Home.  She was born Ella Margaret Phillips in Pownal, Maine, on August 13, 1927, the second daughter of Frederic and Ethel (Cole) Phillips.  She grew up on the family dairy farm on Route 9 and graduated from Freeport High School in 1947.  She met her future husband Donald I. Phinney, of Steuben, during her school years as her sister was dating, and later married, Don’s brother.  Don went off to World War II in 1943, but she refused to write to him as she was ‘too young’.  Following her father’s death, the family lost the farm in Pownal so Ella, her mother and sister moved to Freeport to work in the shoe factories.  After Don came home from Italy they began a  relationship leading to her sending him postcards daily from the class trip to Washington DC, and their eventual marriage on June 18, 1950, in Freeport.  They both worked at Freeport Shoe, Ella as a stitcher and Don as a cutter.  Their first son, Douglas, was born June 29, 1953.   

Within a year, they decided to move to Philadelphia where Don got a job using his training in refrigeration at Sealtest Ice Cream.  They lived in the suburb of Lawndale, Ella was mother and homemaker and their second son, David, was born on July 24, 1956.  They enjoyed the ‘Philly’ area, and traveling to the Poconos, Atlantic City and Washington DC, and back to Maine whenever possible.  In 1961, they moved back to Freeport where they lived on Mechanic Street and the boys attended Freeport Schools.  When the kids were old enough to stay at home with a sitter, Ella went back to work at Freeport Shoe.  They bought the house at 19 South Street in 1969, where they lived for the remainder of their lives.  After Freeport Shoe closed, Ella worked for Auerbach Shoe in Brunswick for a short time before landing a job with LL Bean where she was a fancy stitcher working on bags and luggage.

Ella and Don always had many couples they socialized with, having picnics and visiting each other’s homes for ‘card night’.  They enjoyed cribbage, pinochle, canasta and Pokeno to name a few.  While Don was being active with two boys, Ella was centered on homemaking. Ella enjoyed Elvis movies, Lawrence Welk, candlepin bowling, crochet, needlepoint and talking on the phone to friends.  They took annual vacations to cabins on Crystal Lake or Lake St. George until the early 80’s when Don got the property in Steuben where he was born and built a camp following his retirement.  After Ella’s retirement from Bean’s in 1989, time was spent between Freeport and ‘the cottage’ in Steuben where they hosted friends and family for ‘lobster feeds’ on the shores of Dyer Bay.   

Ella was predeceased by her sister, Celia R. Phinney of Freeport, and by her loving husband of 64 years, Donald I. Phinney also of Freeport. She is survived by two sons, Douglas I. Phinney and his wife Lynn of Topsham and David A. Phinney of  Boothbay Harbor; and four grandchildren, Jonathon Hewitt and his wife Margrett of Topsham, Christopher Phinney and his wife Megan of Milford, Megan Noyes and her husband Joseph of Oakland and Danielle Phinney and her fiance Steven May of Brunswick.  The family wishes to express their thanks to the staffs at Brunswick Family Health, Midcoast Medical Group, CHANS Home Health Care and CHANS Hospice in Brunswick for their dedicated care of Ella and the entire staff at Hill House Nursing Home in Bath where she resided for her final year and a half.   

Funeral services will be held at Stetson’s Funeral Home, 12 Federal Street in Brunswick with visiting hours from 6-8pm on Friday March 25th and service at 1 pm on Saturday March 26th.  A Celebration of Life will be held immediately following the service at the Knights of Columbus Hall in Brunswick.  Internment later in the spring will be at Grove Cemetery in Freeport. 

Contributions in memory of Ella may be made to Hill House, 155 Whiskeag Road, Bath, ME, 04530.

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