Mary (DeAngelis) Walker

KENNEBUNK – Mary (DeAngelis) Walker, of Kennebunk, died peacefully at the Gosnell House in Scarborough, in the early morning hours of Thursday, Sept. 7, 2023, after a 14-year battle with Alzheimer’s disease.

Mary was born Jan. 23, 1943, in Lewiston, and was the oldest of three. She graduated from Edward Little High School and went on to college, getting her degree in teaching from Farmington State Teachers College.

Mary was creative, kind, and giving. She brought that to her family and to her profession. She taught for 20 years in public schools, 18 years of which were spent teaching special education in the Kennebunk school system.

She always wanted to do her best for people, especially her students and grandchildren. She wanted them to be the best they could be, always encouraging them, showing up to events, and giving them cards with advice and a hug for comfort.

Mary was quiet and kind, with an inner tenacity to hold her own. She was an incredibly hard worker, often holding down multiple odd jobs gardening and cleaning houses (on top of a full-time job) to support her family.

Mary was an avid gardener and would spend hours tending her gardens. She loved mowing the lawn (she always mowed around the dandelions and the patches of forget-me-nots that popped up everywhere). She loved animals and could often be found in her backyard with a cat or two and a dog she had adopted from the shelter. Her cat Gordon and dog Kia were her companions and comfort during the early years of Alzheimer’s and held a special place in her heart.

She loved to cook with her grandchildren and was quite creative at times, with a comment from one of them explaining that what they ate was “tastefully different”. Regardless, the kids knew their “Noni” made the best caramel popcorn, peanut butter balls, and whoopie pies.

Mary loved music, reading, and learning. She liked dancing to Elvis and reading about Native American history. She was especially interested in the law and was proud that she earned her paralegal certificate when she was in her 60s. She loved coffee, hot chocolate (with extra whipped cream), and Boston cream donuts.

Mary liked to explore tide pools with her grandchildren. She also liked to walk the beach and was a prolific “gatherer” of all things at the high tide line. In the early years of Alzheimer’s, her creative nature was expressed in many a sculpture consisting of seaweed, rocks, driftwood, shells, and feathers, often adorned with flowers from the garden.

Her last several years were her most challenging as she tried to navigate profound memory loss and still make sense of the world and the people around her. Despite the loss and the accompanying regression, she greeted “her people” with a sweet smile and a knowing look that we belonged to her.

Mary was predeceased by her parents Mary and Herman DeAngelis; and her sister, Theresa.

She is survived by her children, Jennifer (Adam), Garrett (Monica), and Chris (Angie and her son, Caiden); her grandchildren, Benjamin, Daniel, Ashleigh, Matthew, and Lucas; her brother, Charlie (Jane); and her nieces Katie and Elizabeth and their families.

The family would like to extend their humble thanks to those who loved and supported Mary throughout her lifetime, especially during the years she walked her journey through Alzheimer’s. We extend a special thank you to all those at the Gosnell House who made Mary’s final weeks peaceful, comfortable, and dignified.

A Celebration of Life will be held on Saturday, Sept. 23 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Community House, Temple Street, Kennebunkport.

To share a memory or leave a message of condolence please visit Mary’s Book of Memories Page at http://www.bibberfuneral.com.

Arrangements are in the care of Bibber Memorial Chapel, 67 Summer St., Kennebunk, ME 04043.

In lieu of flowers, please consider making a small donation in Mary’s memory to

A Place to Start,

41 Main St., #2,

Kennebunk, ME 04043 or

Gosnell Memorial Hospice House,

c/o Hospice of Southern Maine,

390 U.S. Route 1,

Scarborough, ME 04074

Comments are no longer available on this story