Elisabeth S. Dewing


Norway – Elisabeth S. Dewing, 90, of South Paris, died Friday, Jan. 5, at Stephens Memorial Hospital.

She was born in Philadelphia, Pa., on April 25, 1916, the daughter of Earle Covington Smith and Elisabeth Fulton Drummond Smith. She was raised in Philadelphia, educated at Friends Select School and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania as an English and French major.

Graduating from college with no marketable skills during the height of the depression made it difficult to obtain employment. That summer she earned money to attend business school by working as a waitress in Kearsarge, N.H.

During World War II, while working as a service representative in the business office for the phone company, she felt the need to help with the war effort as well as find a job that offered greater challenges. She enlisted in the newly formed Women’s Army Corp (WAC). It was the start of a military career that took her all over the United States, France, Japan and to the Pentagon.

During the Korean conflict she served with General MacArthur at his headquarters in Tokyo. It was while stationed in Japan that she experienced her first earthquake. She rose to the rank of CWO W-4. The military offered her many opportunities to indulge in her love of travel.

It was while on leave, during a cruise of the Greek Islands, that she met her future husband, Dr. Stephen Dewing. Bess retired from the Army in 1965, and married Stephen Dewing. They moved to Waterford in 1969, when Steve took the position of the first full-time radiologist at Stephens Memorial Hospital. She and Steve continued to indulge in the mutual love of travel and eventually they visited all five continents.

Retirement and marriage gave her the opportunity to develop her cooking skills. A meal at her table was a culinary delight. All who had the opportunity to share them with her fondly remember her Christmas dinners and superb apple pies.

She was a member of the Christ Episcopal Church in Norway. Many thanks are to be given to her fellow church members, her many friends, the staff of Androscoggin Home Care and Hospice, and especially the staff at Stephens Memorial Hospital who made her final days comfortable and full of grace.

She is survived by her stepson and daughter-in-law, Andrew and Nancy Dewing of Greenwood; stepgrandson, Ian Dewing; two great-granddaughters of Albuquerque, N.M.; as well as many cousins from Arizona to New Jersey.