AUGUSTA — Ramona A. (Knowlton) Cook passed away Wednesday, Jan. 24, in Augusta. She was born at home March 13, 1929, in Dresden, and was the daughter of the late Sherman Hoyt Knowlton and Ethelwyn M. (Reed) Knowlton.

Ramona graduated from Bridge Academy High School in Dresden in 1947.

She was predeceased by a son, Royce C. Burgess; her first husband, Ronald C. Burgess; her late husband, Lawrence M. Cook; two sisters, Roberta Parlin and Nellie Niewola; and a brother, John Knowlton Sr.

Ramona is survived by six children: Pamela J. Whitaker and husband, Brad, of Conway, S.C., Rachel A. McAllister of Buxton, Ronna A. Bernier and husband, David, of Richmond, Mark W. Burgess and wife, Ruth, of Greene, Risa A. Paquet and husband, Louie, of Oxford, and Rita A. Burgess of Cary, N.C.; a sister, Ella Hersom, of Dresden; and many grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews and friends.

Ramona’s first “official” job at the age of 12 was picking strawberries in order to purchase her first beloved palomino horse, Victor. As an adult she worked at Bates Mill, the Bobcat Den at Bates College and for veterinarian Dr. Camille A. Gardiner, all of Lewiston.

Ramona’s love of animals, especially Palomino horses, was a lifelong passion. She was a longtime member of the Maine Horse Association, where she won many, many year-end championships and honors throughout the years showing Palomino American Saddlebred horses. She was also a member of the American Saddlebred Association of Maine, as well as the American Saddlebred Association of America, and a member of the Palomino Horse Breeders Association of America. Ramona was well-known throughout Maine and the New England region for breeding and raising quality Palomino American Saddlebred horses at her farm, Pine Acre Stables. In 2009, Ramona was inducted into the American Saddlebred Hall of Fame.

Ramona loved all animals, especially her “little Lucy,” a miniature Pinscher. Taking pictures and studying birds and wild animals that frequented the fields behind her house in Dresden was a favorite pastime. At other times she enjoyed word search puzzles, listening to country music countdowns every week and seeing family and friends.

Condolences may be expressed to the family at

Ramona A. Cook

Guest Book

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