BETHEL – Rachel MacKay of Bethel died peacefully on Dec. 12, 2018 with her loving family by her side.

She was born to E. Leroy and Abbie Brown of East Fryeburg, moved to Bethel with her family when she was five years old, and spent the rest of her life in the town she loved. She will be remembered as a loving and devoted wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, aunt, friend and neighbor.

She met Blake MacKay, the love of her life, when he moved to Bethel, and they were married for 61 years, until his death in 2013.  Together they raised four children in a busy household, and Rachel was at the center of a welcoming environment, where many friends and family gathered for laughter, more than enough food for everyone, and many lively ping-pong games. There were many celebrations with her cherished extended family, which for her, always included Blake’s large family that welcomed her as one of their own, from the day she met them. She found great pride and joy in her eight grandchildren, great-grandson and many nieces and nephews.

For many years, Rachel was a friendly face behind a counter at a business on Main Street. As a youth, she worked at the family business, Brown’s Variety Store, and the local movie theater. When she thought her children were old enough, she accepted a position as the manager of the Woof ‘n Weft fabric store for a few years, and then worked for more than twenty years at the Glidden’s Foodliner as a cashier and bookkeeper. She also taught Adult Education sewing and cake decorating classes, and honored several couples with the gift of their wedding cake. Rachel was a member of the Methodist Church, the Bethel Historical Society, and an active member of Eastern Star for many years. Many women remember her as their 4H, Brownie or Girl Scout leader, and to so many, she was the kind woman in the red coat.

Rachel is survived by: Susan and Scott Parker of Bethel, Gavin, and Ross, his wife Leann and their son Myles; Blaine MacKay of Brooklyn, N.Y.; Sandy and Mike Robinson of Wells, Patrick, Alex, Holly, and Sydney; and Mary and Carlos Pita of Simsbury, Conn., Brandon and Kyle.

In addition to her husband, she was predeceased by her siblings, Arlene, Alfred, and Jim Brown, numerous cherished sisters-in-law and brothers-in-law; and her nieces, Bonnie Eames Bowden and Linda Brown Foster and her nephew, Bill Eames.

The family extends a special thanks to the wonderful ladies who made it possible for her to stay at home throughout her illness:  Annie, Cheryl, Diann, Heather, Kristy, Maddie, Sammie, Tammy, and Wendy, and to the special friend who visited numerous times a week with homemade baked goods.

A memorial service is planned for March 30, 2019, at the Bethel Methodist Church.

Rachel was a devoted supporter of the arts, and, in lieu of flowers, please donate to the public schools’ music and theatre program: 

MSAD #44,

c/o Performing Arts,

1 Parkway Suite 204,

Bethel, ME 04217

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