AUBURN — Lorraine Beverly (Berry) Blake, a longtime former resident of New Gloucester, passed away peacefully with family at her bedside Wednesday, March 14, after a courageous, heart-wrenching battle with dementia.

Lorraine was born July 9, 1949, in Lewiston, daughter of Hugh W. Berry and Beverly M. Pike. She grew up with her sister, Sandra, at the home their father built on Weymouth Road in the village of Dry Mills in Gray.

Lorraine attended Dry Mills School, Pennell School and was a 1967 graduate of Gray-New Gloucester High School, where she was salutatorian.

On Aug. 23, 1969, Lorraine married her classmate, Everett Philip (Phil) Blake, at a small service in Gray. They lived in Beverly, Mass., and Monument Beach, Cape Cod, where she met Pam Best, who became her lifelong friend. Lorraine and Phil returned to New Gloucester in 1974, where they raised their two children, Thomas and Angela, in their home on Penney Road, divorcing in 2003. She moved to Myrtle Beach in 2005, where she spent a year enjoying the sun and sand. But Lorraine missed Maine and bought a new house in Poland, spending seven years there until her health began to decline.

Lorraine had a tremendous work ethic, beginning as a girl picking and selling strawberries at her childhood home. She was a familiar face to many, as she worked directly with customers for several years at Gray Pharmacy, Liberty Oil and Webber Oil.

She had been an active member of the First Congregational Church of New Gloucester, organizing countless bean suppers with her beloved cousin, Louise Sawyer. She was very active in the New Gloucester Memorial School PTO during the years her children attended, and had been active with the Royal River Riders Snowmobile Club of New Gloucester. She was a steady bowler in Raymond and Auburn bowling leagues.

Lorraine could always be counted on to lend a helping hand, feeding everyone at all the family events and gatherings. She graciously hosted family and friends who filled the house on extended visits, making sure they were well-fed and comfortable.

As “Grammie,” she found great joy in her two grandchildren, Isaac and Acadia, loving all of their many play dates and traveling to countless ball games. She was definitely a believer in spoiling her grandchildren and thoroughly loved holidays, decorating the house for each one, while giving special gifts. She didn’t hesitate to drive to Vermont to spend time baking with Acadia, and was delighted to take Isaac out for lunch, to the movies and to go bowling together.

She enjoyed dancing and classic country music — her favorites being the Statler Brothers and Elvis Presley. She loved to travel and made sure to visit the Statler Brothers Museum in Virginia and Graceland. She especially enjoyed her trips to Myrtle Beach and Daytona Beach, and family vacations in the Bahamas.

Lorraine loved butterflies and all things Goofy and Pillsbury Doughboy, and also enjoyed her collection of Fenton Milk Glass, even making the pilgrimage to its factory and museum in West Virginia.

Lorraine leaves behind her son, Thomas, devoted daughter-in-law, Shelley, and grandson, Isaac Blake, of New Gloucester; her daughter, Angela Blake, and granddaughter, Acadia Petrie, of Colchester, Vt.; sister, Sandra Andrews, of Mechanic Falls; and sister-in-law, Joanne Hutchison, of New Gloucester; nephews and nieces, William Jr. and Ronald Andrews, and Daniel, Tamara and Diana Hutchison.

Special thanks to her loving caretakers during her time at Woodlands Memory Care of Lewiston, Clover Health Care of Auburn and Androscoggin Home Care & Hospice of Lewiston.

Lorraine B. Blake

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