NORWAY — Muriel Eltena Everett Dignan left the evening of Wednesday, Dec. 27, to join her husband, Al, for further adventures in the afterlife.
Muriel was born in Dummer, N.H., on Oct. 10, 1927, the youngest child of George Washington Everett and Cora Eltena Bishop Everett, and joining her siblings Earl, Ashley and Marie.
The family moved to Norway a year later, taking up residence at the same home where Muriel’s surviving brother, Ashley, still lives today.
Skipping a grade, she graduated from Norway High School in 1945. During World War II, like many girls her age, she worked in the local shoe shop making Army boots. During Civil Defense drills, she would run messages to and from the watchers on Pike’s Hill.
On June 15, 1947, she married Albert Thomas Dignan, also of Norway, and they embarked on a 10-year adventure traveling the nation as Al worked at different construction projects, living, to name a few, in New York, Massachusetts, Michigan, Kentucky and Washington. They always returned, when they could, to Maine. Always wishing to stay busy, Muriel worked a variety of jobs during their travels.
Muriel and Al had two sons: Thomas and Michael. During 1961, they purchased the Paris Hardware Co. in South Paris, where Muriel took over running the store. She also served as the office manager and bookkeeper of Al’s two insulation companies. After closing the store and insulation companies, Muriel continued working a variety jobs, including managing the apartments created from the former hardware store, helping set up the Oxford Ames Department Store, assisting at Copyset Printers and as an aide at the Guy E. Rowe School complex.
A strong believer in education, she also pursued a lifelong dream by taking many college classes. Despite having been accepted to the University of Maine at Orono after graduating from high school, Muriel was just $100 short of being able to attend.
Muriel always loved working with children. She served as a Cub Scout den mother and was a Sunday school teacher at the South Paris Unitarian-Universalist Church. She and Al were also leaders for many years of the combined Norway-Paris Universalist Churchs’ youth group, sharing with the kids their lifelong love of travel.
Muriel was a member of the Oxford County Extension Group, enjoyed volunteering at the Stephens Memorial Hospital’s thrift shop and belonged to the Paris Cape Historical Society and the Twin Town Nature Club.
After she and Al retired, they continued to enjoy traveling. They also enjoyed playing card and dice games with their friends, especially canasta. After Al passed away in January 2009, Muriel continued to enjoy visits and games with her friends and family, and taking every opportunity to eat out.
Muriel always said her greatest joy was seeing and visiting with her sons and their families, to whom she had always given complete, unconditional love. Besides being survived by her brother, Ashley, Muriel leaves behind her son, Thomas, his wife, Paula Tackett Dignan, and their children: David, Steven, Jason and Sunday, their spouses and their seven children. Muriel is also survived by Michael Dignan and his wife, Tammy May, and their child, Sasha, and her spouse and two children.
Online condolences may be shared with her family at www.chandlerfunerals.com.