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SPRINGVALE - Elaine Joyce McAleney Richards, 77, of Georgetown, formerly of Somersworth, N.H. and Springvale, left the shores of Georgetown Island for more sacred waters on Monday, Jan. 14, 2013. Her daughter was holding her hand.
Born in Springvale on Feb. 2, 1935, she graduated from Sanford High School in 1953 and married her high school sweetheart, who was a Navy man.
Elaine and Lou cherished each other for 59-and-a-half years. Together, they raised two daughters, LuAnn Richards Erickson, formerly of Rochester, N.H., and Debra Ann Richards Thibodeau, of Georgetown. Lou and Elaine also had a hand in raising three grandchildren, Kristy Erickson, of Portsmouth, N.H., Kevin Thibodeau, of Georgetown, and Lainey Thibodeau, of Georgetown. Elaine adored her sons-in-law, John Thibodeau, of Georgetown, and Bob Erickson, of Rochester, N.H.
Shortly after he daughter LuAnn was born, Elaine was visiting a friend in the hospital who had been stricken by illness. A few days later, Elaine was paralyzed from the neck down. She had polio. She rehabilitated at Hyde Home in Bath. This was the beginning of a long affiliation with Post Polio Support Groups in Maine and New Hampshire. She was one of the founding members of the New Hampshire Network Post Polio Support Group and remained an active participant, even though she moved to Maine. She enjoyed attending the Maine conference each year to reconnect with friends.
Despite her challenges throughout life, Elaine was an incredible homemaker. She brought her family together for family dinners each week, and anyone, family or not, could drop by without warning for a hot cup of coffee and an interesting conversation. She opened up her doors to all of her daughter's friends when they just wanted to visit or get a sound piece of parental advice.
Elaine spent much of her time volunteering. She worked for the COOP in Somersworth, packaging up farmer's food for share families, the Cooperative Extension and the local schools. She worked as the office manager for HP Robinson and Sons and as the accountant for BJ's Variety, both in Somersworth. While living in Georgetown, she volunteered to fill food baskets for local families, buy toys for children for the Georgetown Community Center and fill shoe boxes at church for children in Africa. Elaine had a very generous heart.
Though she lived in Georgetown for five short years, she was part of the fabric of the community. She really enjoyed the Georgetown Fire Department Suppers and Annual Auction, loved eating at the Five Island's Wharf, found her calmness at Reid State Park, attended every parade in Georgetown and Bath, and found her place with God at the Five Islands Baptist Church. She will be truly missed by all who have been blessed to know her.
She is now reunited with her daughter, LuAnn, her mother and father, Marion and Fredrick McAleney, her sister, Barbara Grondin, and many dear friends and family members.
A celebration of Elaine's life will be held on Sunday, Jan. 27, at 2 p.m. at the Five Islands Baptist Church. Refreshments will be served after the memorial service and hymn sing.
Elaine wished for donations to be made in her memory to the Georgetown EMS, 777 Five Islands Road, Georgetown, Maine 04548, or to the New Hampshire Network Post Polio Support Group (NHNPPSG), P.O. Box 725, Somersworth, N.H. 03878.
You may share your condolences with the family at http://www.desmondfuneralhomes.com.
Published in Fosters from Jan. 21 to Jan. 26, 2013