AUBURN — The Hon. Lois Anita Snowe-Mello, 67, passed peacefully late Sunday, Jan. 24, at Androscoggin Hospice House. Lois was literally in the hands of family, Kim and Candy, and had been surrounded the past two months every day by love and support from her family and so many friends. Lois had long suffered from Crohn’s disease and in recent months, this horrible illness, combined with the side effects from the drug treatments and oral cancer were too much even for her indomitable and positive spirit, ending her amazing life.

Lois was born in Passaic, N.J., to Kenneth R. and Gertude “Trudy” Snowe and was educated at the County College of Morris and Arizona State University. She did missionary work in various parts of the U.S., in the Far East and in the Middle East. Lois later pursued further studies and degrees in Maine.

Lois and her beloved husband, Brian Mello, were married in 1990. Brian’s children became children to Lois, lovingly shared by their mother, Annette. She and Lois became a much-loved “sis,” to each other. Brian, Lois, Mike and Annette shared many happy and memorable times together as the children grew and began families of their own.

Beginning in 1996, Lois had held office and represented her hometown of Poland, as well as Minot, New Gloucester, Durham and Auburn in the Maine House for eight years and the Maine Senate for six years. Lois served on a variety of committees in every session and chaired several of them, including the Maine Department of Marine Resources, Commission On Eating Disorders and the Millennium Commission On Hunger and Food Security. In 2006, Lois was named “Guardian of Small Business” by the Maine Chapter of the National Federation of Independent Business. Over a period of two decades, she served at various times on the Maine GOP State Committee, the Androscoggin GOP Committee and the Poland GOP Committee. She was vice chairwoman of the Androscoggin GOP Committee at the time of her death.

Gov. Paul and First Lady Ann LePage visited their old friend the week before Lois died. They were friends years before he ran for governor. Maine GOP Chairman Rick Bennett and his wife Karen, personal friends for decades, also visited Lois in her final days.

Sen. Susan Collins, Rep. Bruce Poliquin, and former senator, the Hon. Olympia Snowe, all issued comments praising Lois’ years of service and contributions to her constituents and to Maine.

The Maine Senate and House of Representatives both held ceremonies recognizing and honoring the service and contributions of the Hon. Lois Snowe-Mello. Lois was also recognized and honored with a minute of silence by the over 500 attendees at the recent Androscoggin County Chamber of Commerce dinner.

She was predeceased by her father, Kenneth R. Snowe; her husband, Brian Mello; and granddaughter, Ashley Walton.

Lois is survived and missed by her mother, Trudy (Gertrude Steinbach) Snowe of Beaufort, S.C.; brother, Ken Snowe of Pompton Lakes, N.J.; sister, Linda (Snowe) Klotz and Fred of Beaufort, S.C.; her uncle, John and Beth Snowe of Ft. Pierce, Fla.; cousins, Bob and Eileen Snowe of Port St. Lucie Fla., Candy (Snowe) and William Gooch of Limerick, Gretchen (Snowe) and George “Chuck” Bly of Osprey, Fla., John and Darla Snowe of Ft. Pierce, Fla., Kim (Snowe) and Shawn Macdonald of Auburn, Stephen and Lin Snowe of Villa Rica, Ga., Tom and Pam Snowe of Shapleigh; the children she shared with Brian and loved like her own, Tracy and Jay Smith of Otisfield, Bruce and Donna Mello of Millinocket, and Jason and Annemarie Mello of Auburn. Grandchildren include Patricio Walton and husband, Mirco Soffritti, Natalee, Brianna and Michaela Smith, and Kurtis, Taylor, Lauren and Tanner Mello. Great-grandchildren are Gryphen Hodsdon, Noa, Naim and Gael Soffritti, and Raven Schoonmaker. Last but not least, Lois is greatly loved and missed by her “sis,” Annette and husband, Mike Coulombe, of Norway.

Friends and family are welcome to share memories and offer sympathies at www.thefortingroupauburn.com.

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