1913 – 2014

WEST PARIS — Marjorie Lois Thurston Burnham, 101, formerly of Hanover, passed away on Friday, July 4, at the Ledgeview Living Center in West Paris where she had resided since November 2002.

Marjorie was born in Rumford on June 8, 1913, the daughter of Lee and Edith (Martin) Thurston, who resided on their Ellis River farm. She attended area grammar schools, Rumford Point High School for one year and graduated from Gould Academy in 1930. Graduating in 1933 from the Nasson Institute in Springvale with a degree in Home Economics prepared Marjorie for a lifetime of nurturing, supporting, and inspiring her family.

On Oct. 30, 1935, Marjorie married Charles E. Burnham Sr. in Gilead. They celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary with family before his death on Jan. 23, 2000. Marjorie was a homemaker, sewing, cooking and tending to her four sons, who each would make her proud. She truly loved her family and worshiped the time she spent with them. She created pants for her sons from worn-out, woolen work pants, washed clothes by hand for many years and eagerly cooked holiday dinners for 35 to 40 people. Knitting, crocheting and quilting became her hobbies. Over the years, she knitted hundreds of pairs of mittens, socks and sweaters, crocheted beautiful Afghans and expertly pieced together family heirloom quilts.

Early on, she worked for the Rumford Health and Welfare as supervisor of the canning operations. She also volunteered as a World War II plane observer, documenting plane movement in the area and the types of aircraft. In 1963, Marjorie started work in the Rumford School Nutrition Program as a cook at the Rumford Point School and later the Rumford Center School. She retired in 1978 as head baker for the system at Rumford High School, baking all of the bread and dessert items for the system. For many years, Marjorie operated a home bakery during the summers routinely cooking dozens of doughnuts, loaves of bread, sheet pans of brownies and squares all before breakfast. For a while, she sold her homemade pies to the Sunday River Ski Area for $1 a pie.

Marjorie and her husband operated the South Arm Campground in 1967, and during the summers of 1968 to 1970, she worked as the baker at the NTL Conference Kitchen in Bethel.

She was a member of the Pythian Sisters, an auxiliary of the Pythian Lodge No. 54 in Hanover. Marjorie and Charles were also active members of the Bear River Grange for many years.

Marjorie is survived by four sons, Charles E. Burnham Jr. of Rumford, David L. Burnham and his wife, Jeanne, of Scarborough, Guy F. Burnham and his wife, Cheryl, of Bethel and Melvin P. Burnham and his wife Debra of Skowhegan; 12 grandchildren; 26 great-grandchildren; 10 great-great-grandchildren; four siblings, Marlin Thurston of West Peru, Verna Luke of East Boothbay, Harmon Thurston of Brandon, Vt., and Jeanette Lamson of Portland.

Marjorie was predeceased by her husband and five siblings, Montier (infant), Arthur Thurston, Helen Hanscom, Marion Ladd, and Evelyn Stevens.

Marjorie was a resident of the Ledgeview Living Center for twelve years. The family wishes to extend their appreciation for the loving care she received from her many friends, especially Ellen Hutchins.

Friends are invited to sign the family guestbook and share their thoughts, condolences and memories online at www.meaderandson.com.

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