ESTHER A. LITTLEFIELD
When speaking about her childhood growing up on a dairy farm, Esther would often say, “I had hands that fit just right.” She was proud of her cow-milking prowess. But her hands were not built for milking alone. She welded on the Liberty ships at the South Portland shipyards during WWII. She went on to weave at the Corinna Eastland Woolen mill and during that same time helped her husband Donald manage Littlefield’s Garage in Corinna. She worked in the lunch program at Nokomis Regional High. After she left that job, she and her husband Donald wintered in Kissimmee, FL for fourteen years. She continued to bake bread almost daily, massaging the yeasty dough with the same mixture of strength and gentleness with which she had coerced milk from those dairy cows. That strength of will and devotion to the daily tasks were part of who she was.
Esther Littlefield was not afraid of hard work. She instilled that dedication to work and getting the job done in all of her children and grandchildren. Nightly summer trips to the much beloved “God’s country” – the camp that she and her husband, Donald, built on Big Indian Lake in St Albans, Esther could be heard saying, “Don’t go down that hill empty handed.” Everyone was expected to pull their fair share of the load, but Esther never expected more of anyone else than she expected of herself. As dedicated as she was to work, she was equally devoted to play. She shared her boundless enthusiasm for games, practical jokes, and “ wicked good storytelling” over a vicious game of cards. The game was never over till it was over. No encouragement was needed to play a good game of cards until midnight or later. She never gave up.
Esther perpetually outlived every end of life prediction that doctors put before her. This past fall she made her family turkey dinner. She had one more bird to stuff, a few more Christmas gifts to wrap, and too many games yet to be played, always playing to win – right up until the end.
She was predeceased by her husband of 61 years, Donald in 2004; her daughter Sharon; her brothers Ivan, and Millard, and her sisters, Beatrice, Elizabeth, and Phyllis.
Esther is survived by a daughter Muriel Littlefield and husband Ken Toner of Freeport: a son, Kerbon “Kerby” Littlefield and wife Gail of Corinna; grandchildren, Mark Irish and partner David Schmittou of New Jersey, Hillary Carter, husband Jason and great-grandchildren Reese and Whitney of Ellsworth, Zeke Toner and son Corbin of Guilford, Tracy Farnham, husband Steve and their children Emma, Belen, and Frank of Winslow. Esther is survived by siblings, Jennie Thompson of Pittsfield, Phillip Reynolds of Lebanon, Winnifred Ahlquist of Gorham, and Evan Reynolds of Arizona; and many beloved nieces and nephews.
In addition to acknowledging the routine check-ins by family and close friends, the family wishes to thank the following for their support of Esther during her recent health struggles: Dr. Michael MacDonald and his wonderful support staff at Sebasticook Family Doctors, Sebasticook Valley Hospital staff, Tessa Clukey, her personal care attendant, and the nurses from Community Health and Counseling.
Family and friends are invited to visiting hours at Crosby & Neal Chapel, 68 Exeter Road, Corinna, on Tuesday, January 25th from 1 to 3 p.m. and 6 to 8 p.m. A Celebration of Life will be held in the spring with burial to follow at the Corinna Center Cemetery. A committal notice and service time will be announced in the spring.
The family asks for those who wish to remember Esther in a special way to make donations in her memory to the Downeast Family YMCA Swim Program (c/o Jean Wood), P. O. Box 25, Ellsworth, ME 04605; or to the American Legion Post 73, P. O. Box 1, Corinna, ME 04928.
Condolences may be left at www.CrosbyNeal.com.
Graveside committal services for Esther A. Littlefield, who died January 21, 2011, will be held Saturday, May 21st, at Corinna Center Cemetery. Arrangements are by Crosby & Neal Chapel, Corinna.
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