1937 – 2015
AUBURN — Elaine Barbara Pinette, born March 15, 1937, passed away Sunday, Aug. 23, at Androscoggin Hospice House, surrounded by her loving family after courageously battling cancer for two years. She was the daughter of Forrest and Helen (Barnes) Potter.
Elaine attended Auburn schools and graduated from Edward Little High School with the Class of 1954 and was a member of the Beta Alpha Gamma sorority. She married the love of her life, soul mate and best friend, Bruce Pinette, on Nov. 26, 1955. Together, they raised their three children, June, Michael and Jon. Although she answered to Elaine, she was most affectionately known as Nin, not only by her family, but by her cherished extended family and friends, too.
Elaine worked as a long-distance operator for AT&T (formerly New England Telephone) prior to having her children, then took respite to be home with them. She later resumed her position until her retirement in 1990.
She had been active in her church as part of the Calvary United Women’s Group and continued on the committee to organize and even host her high school reunions. She lunched with her sorority sisters regularly.
While in high school, she was a cheerleader and later carried on that cheering tradition as the No. 1 fan at her sons’ athletic events, as well as her daughter’s dance recitals and baton competitions. This passion extended to later in life, when she attended her three grandsons’ sporting events. Although football was her favorite, she was an ever-present icon at events, from football to karate, track, skiing, hockey, soccer, baseball, lacrosse, bowling and most recently, even her grandsons’ men’s softball and hockey games.
In earlier days, her grandsons recall her huge cowbell resounding loudly, an affirmation that Nin was there! She was also surrogate mom to many of the boys on the midget hockey team with her son, Jon, organized and coached by Bruce, while on their many bus trips to Canada.
Elaine loved to travel. In addition to her many trips throughout the country for karate and bowling competitions, she enjoyed Caribbean cruises, Caribbean island resort destinations, Hawaii, Mexico and a cross-country road trip, visiting important U.S. landmarks. She, along with Bruce, was also a gracious hostess of several family Florida vacations, including Walt Disney World, SeaWorld, Busch Gardens and more.
On one particular family vacation, she became affectionately known for her Grammy and Two Golden Globes.
Her family was her passion, but Elaine also loved going to garage sales, where she would find as many treasures for others as she would for herself. She enjoyed shopping at Kohl’s, going out to eat, taking care of her ubiquitous plants, hot, humid days, taking a dip in her pool, hosting parties under her tent by the pool, reading, crossword puzzles, solitaire and life. Elaine was always thinking of others with her kind words and gestures. She put a positive spin on life and always said, “When you get lemons, make lemonade.”
The family would like to extend thanks to Dr. Michael Bergeron and staff, Dr. Pandey and staff, as well as the Androscoggin Home Health and Hospice, and Hospice House staff for their excellent and compassionate care. A special thank-you to sister-in-law, Barbara Caron, for being at Elaine’s side each day while she was still at home.
Elaine is survived by her husband, Bruce; daughter, June and husband, Robert Richard, of Lewiston; son, Michael of Greene; son, Jon and wife, Sue Smart, of Portland; grandsons, Christopher Richard and wife, Amy, of Hebron, Nicholaus Richard and wife, Jessica, of Lewiston, Tyler Richard and partner, Kaitlyn Defilipp, of Cape Elizabeth; great-granddaughter, Olivia Mae; great-grandson, Gavin Zenon; sisters-in-law, Barbara (Pinette) Caron, Diane (Pinette) Prock, and Susan (Pinette) Leeman and husband, David; several nieces and nephews; and extended family and friends.
She was predeceased by her mother, Helen; father, Forrest; brother, Thomas; and sister, Charlene.
Online condolences and sharing of memories may be expressed at www.lynchbrothers.com.