Mary E. Martin

June 7, 1927July 12, 2013

Mary Elizabeth Martin died July 12, 2013 at home in Harpswell. She was born in Framingham, MA on June 7, 1927, the daughter of Lillian Thurston and her first husband. Lillian took Mary and her younger brother John to Presque Isle to live with grandmother Lena Thurston while Lillian moved to Portland to look for work during the Great Depression. After finding a job as a tailor at Marcus Bothers, Lillian collected her children when Mary and John were in their early teens and moved them to Portland to be with her. Although John couldn’t acclimate to city life and returned to Presque Isle, Mary thrived.

Mary married Bradford N. Martin on July 14, 1947, and together they raised six children. Mary worked steadily during her children’s youth while Brad was at sea with the Merchant Marine and later when he was a firefighter for the City of Portland. Among other positions, she worked for a number of years in the Meat Department at the old Federal Market where she formed life-long friendships.

Brad and Mary lived in one half of a duplex at the corner of Franklin and Lancaster Streets in Portland. Brad’s brother Wayne and his late wife, Beverly, lived in the other side of the duplex with their five children. Because of the closeness of the two families, both physically and emotionally, Mary was often the second mother figure for the five cousins, as well as mother of her own six, fixing meals and caring for all eleven. Over the years at different times, she provided a home for various nieces and nephews, at least one former spouse of a divorced child, and others who needed a temporary home and a mother’s undiscriminating love. Once you were part of Mary’s family, you were always her child.

Mary’s children and her nieces and nephews called or visited with her almost daily for advice and counsel, or just plain friendship. Mary loved babies and never let a grandchild’s or great-grandchild’s birthday go by without attending with an armful of presents, many of which she knitted or crocheted herself.

She was a caring person and was involved in her family’s lives as Momma, Aunt Mary, Grammie or Great-Grammie and enjoyed a close relationship with all of them. Most remarkable about Mary was her ability to provide love, support, and advice to anyone who needed and wanted it. Her approach was non-judgmental, gentle and caring.

As she aged, there never seemed to be a time when she was out and about that one of her many extended family members didn’t stop her to tell her how much her support had meant to them. Her generosity, tolerance, and open heart influenced many peoples’ lives positively.

She provided in-home care for her mother in the latter’s last years. Among Mary’s many other accomplishments, she was a breast cancer survivor of over thirty years. She was rarely idle and almost constantly had a knitting or crochet project in her lap; whether it was a gift or something she would sell at a craft show or church bazaar. Mary gave the money from these sales to St. Jude’s and Ronald McDonald House. Many of her baby quilts, sweaters, and hats she sent to Ronald McDonald House or Maine Medical Center. She was a special lady.


Mary E. Martin

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July 26, 2013

To the family of Mary Martin,
With prayers of sympathy and comfort to you all. She will be greatly missed.
From: Suzanne Guay and family

July 19, 2013

Aunt Mary will be miss by alot of people and we will always love and miss her. Becky Martin


July 19, 2013

A Genuine Gem!!! If I grow up to be half the lady Mary lived to be, I'll consider myself blessed. It is my pleasure knowing her love.

Brenda Risbara

July 18, 2013

I am very sorry to hear of your loss! She was a special lady, with a big heart!

Kathy Martin

July 17, 2013

Though our bright and loving star known always as "Aunt Mary" has dimmed we can take great comfort in knowing we have a very beautiful and loving Guardian Angel watching over us. You will be much loved in our hearts and our minds forever. Love and God Bless

Evelyn Moreau

July 17, 2013

Words are inadequate to tell you all how sorry we are for your loss. As a lifelong friend she will be thought of fondly and lovingly. Love to you all Maggie Howe and Evelyn Howe Moreau

Kadie Alexander

July 17, 2013

I love you Grammie Martin. I miss you so much already, but I know your looking down on all of us. I know how proud you are of me. No matter how sad I get and how much i miss you I know you'll always be in my heart. All my love.

Diane Leighton

July 17, 2013

Im so sorry for your loss shes in a better place now even though she will be missed you will see her agin in heaven god bless the family

Dianna and Wayne Martin II

July 17, 2013

God Speed Aunt Mary! Heaven is a better place with you and Dan watching over us all! Thank you for being you and Loving us All!!! Missing you but will see you again someday......God Bless!

July 16, 2013

So sorry for your loss. Pam Slater (Portland, Maine)