Marilyn Rose Noyes Mollicone

AUGUSTA – Marilyn Rose Noyes Mollicone died peacefully on May 26, 2023, in Augusta, a little over a week before her 95th birthday. She was born June 5, 1928, in Bethel, Maine, the daughter of Leslie Arthur Noyes and Bernice Nina Haines Noyes. She attended East Bethel Primary School through eighth grade, and graduated from Gould Academy in 1946, salutatorian of her class. Marilyn attended the University of Maine and achieved a B.S. in Botany with high honors, in February 1950. She began working on a master’s degree in plant pathology at UMaine in 1950, but was not to finish until decades later, as her life unfolded with commitments to family and community service.

Marilyn married Phillip Mollicone of Livermore Falls, Maine, the son of Filippo and Filomena DiSerio Mollicone. They had two children, Phillip Leslie Mollicone and Nina Rose Mollicone. The family lived in Winthrop, Maine, for nineteen years and both children attended and graduated from the Winthrop Schools. In 1975 Phillip and Marilyn moved to Augusta. Phillip worked for the Maine Department of Transportation. He died in 1978.

Marilyn was one of the finest all-around naturalists in the State of Maine. While living in Winthrop, she and her family were members of the Kennebec Rocks and Mineral Club and visited mines in Maine, New Hampshire, New York and Canada. They were members of the Maine Iris Society, and the New England Iris Society, and won many prizes in shows and competitions. Marilyn was an accredited Master Judge for the American Iris Society. She was a member of Kennebec Valley Garden Club and the State Federation of Garden Clubs, where she held a number of chairmanships. She was also an accredited Master Judge for the garden clubs.

Marilyn joined The Josselyn Botanical Society in 1949. She served as Treasurer of the Society for 11 years (1996 to 2007) and became a Lifetime Member-at-Large of the Board of Directors in 2007. In 2012, at age 84, Marilyn was honored as a Distinguished Member of the Josselyn Botanical Society. Her service did not stop there: she was an editor of The Society’s Bulletin Number 14, published in 2013, and she continued to inspire many young botanists and attended the Society’s annual summer forays up until the year before she died. At her death, Marilyn held the record for longest-time membership in the Society – 74 years.

A devoted member of Augusta Nature Club, Marilyn served as its President from 1976 to 1980, and again from 1982 to 1985, and served on various committees. Over the years, she planted many native shrubs and perennial wildflowers in the Augusta Nature Center. She always had a special interest in the Augusta Nature Club’s day camp for children, of which she was Director for 19 years. In 2016, the Augusta Nature Club planted an ‘Accolade’ elm tree and placed an inscribed granite bench in the Nature Center to honor Marilyn’s inspired long-time service. In 2017 she received the Augusta Mayor’s Recognition of Excellence Award for “the 19 years she helped summer campers identify birds, bugs, and plants in Augusta’s Nature Park”, and for her longtime public service.

Marilyn was also one of the founders of the Pine Tree State Arboretum, now the Viles Arboretum. She served as Treasurer for the first 20 years, in the 1980s and 1990s.

In 1986 Marilyn returned to the University of Maine as a graduate student in botany. She finished her Master’s degree and began work on a Ph.D. researching fungi, working with Dr. Joyce Longcore. At age 75, she created an internet-based source of Monoblepharidalean fungal cultures, with directions for growing the cultures and photos of all fungal stages, made available as a resource for teachers. After six years of research, Marilyn was unable to finish her Ph.D. due to failing eyesight.

Marilyn had a deep love for nature. Throughout her lifetime, she supported many natural history, conservation, and humanitarian causes. She was a member of the Friends of the Herbarium at the University of Maine. She was especially interested in vascular plants and collected specimens for the herbarium. She also had an interest in mosses. Marilyn will be long-remembered for her many contributions and support for learning, conservation, and stewardship of nature.

Marilyn is survived by her children, Nina Mollicone of Bethel and Phillip Mollicone of Alford, Scotland, and his wife, Amanda; grandchildren Phillip and his wife, Cynthia Thickpenny, of Glasgow, Scotland, Michael, and Madeleine, of Alford, Scotland; and nieces, Elsie Grant, Alice Grant, and Priscilla Jackson.

She was predeceased by her husband Phillip; sisters, Thelma Louise, who died in infancy, and Carolyn Grant.

The funeral will take place at Knowlton and Hewins Funeral Home, 1 Church Street, Augusta, on Saturday June 10 at 10 a.m., (visiting hours from 9:00 to 10:00). A celebration of Marilyn’s life will follow at the Viles Arboretum from 11:30 a.m. – to 1:30 p.m. Burial will be in the Veterans Cemetery, Augusta.

Arrangements are in the care of the Knowlton and Hewins Funeral Home, 1 Church Street, Augusta where condolences and memories may be shared with the family on the obituary page of the funeral home website by visiting

Memorial donations may be sent to the Josselyn Botanical Society

(c/o Andrea Nurse,

16 Masterman Drive,

Avon, ME 04966),

Augusta Nature Club

(P.O. Box 5335,

Augusta, ME 04332-5335)

Viles Arboretum

(153 Hospital Street,

Augusta, ME 04330),

Kennebec Valley Humane Society

(10 Pethaven Lane,

Augusta, ME 04330),

or the charity of your choice.

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