1955 – 2015

AUBURN — Cathy Ann Newell Nichols, 60, of Fayette, widow of Leroy Nichols, died peacefully in the early morning hours of Saturday, June 20, at the Hospice House in Auburn.

She was born April 12, 1955, in Farmington, a daughter of Walter Everett “Blackie” and Blanche (Benedetto) Newell. When Cathy was three, the family moved to 17 Baldwin St., Livermore Falls, which remained the family home until 2008. She attended and graduated from St. Rose of Lima Catholic School, and then went to Livermore Falls High school, graduating in 1973. While in high school, she was a cheerleader and was on the girls track team for four years. She also was on the Prom Committee and was a member of Future Homemakers, Future Teachers and the Co-op Education Work/School program. She took classes at UMF, UMA and UMLA.

Cathy worked at the Otis Paper Mill for 13 years, in the beater room, lab, finishing, off-machine coater and the steam plant. She also worked on many special projects, including training people on their jobs. She joined RSU No. 57 in 1990, as a Special Ed Tech and substitute teacher, until 1996. After her husband, Leroy, died, the Otis Mill rehired her, and in 1998 she went back to her first love: working with kids, especially those with disabilities and behavioral issues. Cathy continued working at Leavitt Area High School in Turner, and from 2000-2004 was the Jobs For Maine Graduates, Opportunity Awareness Program specialist. It meant so much to her that her “JMG Kids” stayed in touch. She also coached JV cheering at Leavitt.

She also was employed four years at International Paper/Verso, working on No. 1 pulp machine, No. 5 paper machines and the super calendars.

In 2010, she went to work as a Special Ed Tech at Jay Elementary School. She also worked as a one-on-one aide, and spent a year at Livermore Elementary in the Special Needs classroom. For the past two years, she worked as a Special Aide in the Life Skills room. Cathy loved her jobs at Spruce Mountain District.

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She coached football and basketball cheering and competition cheering for the Livermore Falls High School Andies for many years. Her teams qualified for the State Championship in 1992, 1994 and 1997. She also coached Andies track for a couple of seasons. Cathy coached Area Youth Sports cheering for many years, creating Spirit Day for AYS cheerleaders.

Cathy was a member of the Hillside Sports Club. She was an avid reader, liked to cook, sew, work outside, garden, and she especially liked going to the ocean and loved collecting sea glass, sand dollars and shells. She enjoyed swimming, fishing, four-wheeling and ice skating. She loved Pepsi, Italian food, caramel and the color blue. She was a SUPER FAN of the New England Patriots, the Livermore Falls Andies, the Leavitt Hornets and the SM Phoenix.

The most important part of Cathy’s life was her family. She loved them with all of her heart and soul. She was “Daddy’s girl and Mommy’s helper.” She adored her brothers and sister, nieces and nephews, aunts and uncles; but her greatest love was for her son — her pride and joy — and his family. She loved kids — all kids — but most especially her Special Needs kids.

She is survived by her beloved son, Jason Stanhope and his longtime companion, Cindy Collins, of Fayette; two brothers, Brian Newell of Fayette and Kevin Newell and his wife, Joan, of Lunenburg, Mass.; her Godson, Christopher Lidstone and his wife, Kathy, of Barnwell, S.C.; three grandchildren, Mike Williams, Kristen Pernie and Paige Charette; four great-grandchildren, Lily Williams, Kallie Thibeault, Aubry Charette and Aubrey Cardwell; several nephews and nieces. She was predeceased by her parents and a sister, Deborah Lidstone.

Tributes and condolences may be shared on her memorial wall at www.wilesrc.com, where her memorial video may also be viewed.

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