AUBURN – Nellie Gordon Tidswell, 82, formerly of Livermore, died Friday evening, May 1, at Hospice House of Androscoggin in Auburn.

Nellie was born on Feb. 16, 1927, in Livermore, the daughter of Perley C. Gordon and Sarah V. (Lettie) Beedy. She was educated in Livermore and Leavitt schools and enjoyed attending the summer reunions with her remaining classmates.

On Dec. 21, 1946, Nellie married Charles E. Tidswell, and together they raised four children. He died in September 1995. Five years ago, Nellie moved from the Livermore farm that she and her late husband had run and where they had lived for nearly five decades. They also enjoyed their fruit stand, Charlie’s Pride, that they started later in life at the same location.

She served the town of Livermore in several capacities beginning in 1965. She served as tax collector, constable, town clerk, secretary to the selectmen, and treasurer. Nellie served as treasurer from 1972 until she retired because of illness in 1995.

She also owned and operated the Carpet Rack in Livermore Falls. She incorporated her love of traveling with organizing bus trips under the name of “Nellie’s Friends” for many years until a second illness in 2005.

Nellie belonged to many groups and organizations over the years, including the Livermore Cemetery Committee, Senior Citizens in Livermore Falls, Turner and Auburn, Grange, Extension, historical society, bowling leagues, woman’s club, craft groups, 4-H and the board of directors for Franklin Memorial Hospital.

She organized swim lessons for local children in Brettuns years ago. Nellie loved new adventures and had taken trips with her youngest granddaughter to Europe and a cruise to the Bahamas. She read extensively and took college classes on tourism following 9/11, always the optimist. Her mottoes were “might as well laugh as cry” and “if it doesn’t kill you, it only makes you stronger.”

Nellie never fully retired, becoming a landlord of two apartment buildings in Auburn after the sale of her farm. She enjoyed spending as much time as she could with family. She loved gathering to celebrate any occasion and embraced life. She never turned down an opportunity to travel, visit, go on outings or engage with family and friends as long as she was able. She said she had had everything a person could need in life, and felt lucky to see her grandchildren grow up and to see her great-grandchildren. Her children feel like they won the lottery in the parent department and will miss her steadying compass in their lives. She felt that if you were in a difficult situation, “just keep smiling.”

She is survived by her four children and their spouses, Carol A. Lanier and Lawrence Duguay of Turner, Charles E. Tidswell Jr. and Jeanne of Cocoa, Fla., Conrad P. Tidswell and Laurie of Gastonia, N.C., and Calvin L. Tidswell of Auburn; her grandchildren include four granddaughters and their husbands, Kati and Sam Rhinehart of Simpsonville, S.C., Cynthia and Keith Blanchard of Dedham, Carrie and Jimmy Jones of Fort Worth, Texas, and Cherie and Chris Poole of Lewiston, and two grandsons, Conrad Tidswell and his wife, Krissy, of Hallandale Beach, Fla., and Cory Tidswell and fiancée, Amanda Cossaboom, of Greene; her eight great-grandchildren include Zoe and Jacob Starnes and Samuel Jones of Fort Worth, Texas, Charlotte Blanchard of Dedham, Cambrielle Poole of Lewiston, and Karsyn, Tatum and Bodie Rhinehart of Simpsonville, S.C.

She is also survived by a brother, Clarence Gordon, of Livermore; and numerous sisters- and brothers-in-law and their families.

She was predeceased by her parents; husband; and a brother, Reuel Gordon of Livermore.

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