RUMFORD — Alys G. Parsons, 98, of Andover, died Thursday, Aug. 12, at Rumford Hospital.

Alys was a wilderness woman and a true champion of the Maine wilderness and avid friend of the Richardson Lake environment. She was the oldest resident of Andover and had been offered the Boston Post Cane.

She was born in Cambridge, Mass., on Feb. 16, 1912, and was the daughter of George and Elizabeth (Caverly) Grua. She graduated in 1933 from Cony High School in Augusta. Alys had not only lived most of her life in the back woods, but her career centered around bringing a wilderness experience to others.

Alys and her husband, Larry, owned and operated Lakewood Camps from 1942 to 1976, one of the oldest sporting camps in the United States, and had still spent her summers there at Middle Dam, tucked away in a cozy corner of Lower Richardson Lake, in the Rangeley Lakes region of Western Maine, until September 1999, after more than 57 years.

In the early years at Lakewood Camps, Alys was a registered guide, hostess, chief cook and bottle washer and postmaster, however, her marriage to Capt. Larry Parsons forced the closure at the picturesque summer post office at Middle Dam because a married woman was not allowed by the U.S. Postal Service to serve as Postmaster.

She was a member of Chi Omega Society, and had served as treasurer and trustee of the Andover Public Library for many years. She was a personal friend of the writer Louise Dickinson Rich who she talked with on the phone on a daily basis.

She was married in Livermore Falls on Feb. 27, 1937, to Laurence H. “Larry” Parsons, who died in Andover on Nov. 1, 1980.

Survivors include a sister, Ruth Pelletier, of Utica, N.Y.; a niece, Christa Parry and husband, William, of Clark Summit, Pa.; one grand-niece; and one grand-nephew; and good friends, Ted Orino of Rumford, Betsy White of Andover, and their families.

Friends are invited to sign the guest book and share memories online at

Guest Book