Melba A. Cook Tabor Reynolds
1928 – 2009
AUBURN — Saturday, Dec. 12, our mother took her long awaited trip home. She will be spending Christmas with Jesus!

She was born in Auburn, Nov. 28, 1928, to Josephine Lane Cook and Robert Knowles Cook Sr. The youngest of five children. She grew up in New Auburn and had many friendships that have lasted through the years. Rosalie Hames was able to spend many hours visiting with her “school friend” and reviewing old times. Norman Fournier, now of Arizona, has been in constant contact with her. They took turns calling each other once a month. Melba was a long-time member of Sixth Street Congregational Church and later Good News Chapel in Lewiston.
Pastor Don Levesque and her “church” family have been a source of comfort. She attended schools in Auburn and graduated from Edward Little High School in 1946. After World War II, she worked as a clerk-typist for the treasury department in Washington, D.C., coming “home” to Maine after a severe bout of homesickness. She held varied jobs in the mills around Lewiston-Auburn until, on Nov. 26, 1951, much to the consternation of her grandmother and mother, she eloped and went to Pawtucket, R.I., with George E. Tabor.
They were married for 35 years. Together they raised four children. He went home to Jesus in 1986. She carried many varied titles or as some would say aliases: Barbie, Cookie, (which was rough with a houseful of other “Cookies”), Aunt Barb, Maxi Mum, Nanny and her most important title of mommy.
She was always busy, busy, busy. She was one of the first Tupperware demonstrators in New England, rising to sales manager and earning the use of a 1960 Ford Fairlane. She became a Girl Scout Leader of Troop 287 based at Sixth Street Congregational Church in Auburn. Many good times were spent around a campfire with the Girl Scouts.
In 1965, she and George purchased “The Answer,” their farm on Witham Road. This opened the door to many challenges and opportunities. There was said to be a revolving door on the farm. “Tabors Revolving Roundhouse.” Many people in and out all the time. Some just to visit and many that came to stay.
She had many children whom were not of her blood but were definitely of her heart. She worked the remaining years of her career at the Lewiston Sun Journal, first as a proofreader and later in the Classified Advertisement Department. Though she would rather have been home, she didn’t mind being there due to a special relationship with her boss, Marianne Ireland. This relationship has continued even after she retired in 1990.
Now she had the opportunity to fully enjoy her grand and great-grandchildren, her farm, her gardens, and most especially her knitting-a love and passion many have benefited from in the form of afghans and sweaters. After the loss of George, she was blessed to have married David Reynolds in 1987. Not senior citizens, but “recycled teenagers.” They had many happy years together until David’s death in 2002. Still keeping the revolving door, now it is “Reynolds Revolving Roundhouse.”
She is survived by her older sister, Marilyn Wilkinson; her children, Misty (Lyndell) Tabor, Dawn Robinson, Lois Fulton, and Scott Tabor and his wife, Darla, the daughter of her heart and granddaughter, Marcy Webster; her granddaughters, Meredith Hanby, Cynthia Thompson, Katelin Tabor and Amanda Robinson; her grandsons, Allen Robinson, Mikel Tabor, Matthew Tabor and Lane Fulton; her special helper and great-granddaughter, Madison Fulton; and 12 other great-grandchildren; her foster daughter, Stephanie Leonard; and many nieces and nephews.
She was predeceased by her two husbands; her parents; her brothers, Robert K. Cook Jr. and Jess L. Cook; her sister, Ruth (Betty) Barlow; she has also grieved the loss of her son-in-law, Ralph Robinson; and her grandson-in-law, Charles Webster.
The family is grateful for the care and love their mother received from Jeri Wade, FNP of Family Healthcare Associates, Dr. Austin, Caryn Bourgoin, Michelle Hawkins, Keena Sullivan, Mary Heath, Kate Roberge, Marion Claxton, Volunteers Karen and Sheila, and the oh so many other caring individuals of Androscoggin Home Care and Hospice.

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