A few weeks shy of her 101st birthday, Marguerite S. Hills died peacefully on April 11 at her home in Waldoboro. Her cat, Sarah and her son, Larry were with her at the time of her death.
Marguerite began her life’s journey in Warren on May 25, 1917 with her parents Leo Simmons and Lillian (Libby) Simmons. After her parents divorced and her mother died at a young age, Marguerite lived most of her childhood and adolescent years with her grandparents, Charles and Sylvia Libby in Warren. She attended Warren schools and graduated from Warren High School.
On April 17, 1938 Marguerite married her childhood friend, Victor Hills, and began an adventure that was to last 63 years. They began their marriage in Warren where Victor taught her to drive using an old farm truck that she drove around and around in a field. So began her lifelong passion for driving cars that took Marguerite and Victor to much of the eastern seaboard and all over New England with Marguerite at the wheel. Even into her 90s she would often say, “Today I will be driving one of my elderly friends to her doctor’s appointment.”
Victor grew up on a farm in Warren, and after a few years of living in Thomaston, the itch to return to farming was strong. Much to Marguerite’s dismay they purchased a farm in Waldoboro. Victor continued to work full time at the Algin Corporation in Rockland, so the day-to-day management of the farm fell to Marguerite who quickly took to caring for thousands of laying hens, a flock of sheep, cattle, pigs, geese, rabbits, cats, dogs, and Pancho the donkey. As sons Laurence, Gregory, and Kevin grew older, they assisted with farm chores, but Marguerite continued to manage the farm that she came to love.
Marguerite worked all her life. Her first job was at the woolen mill in Warren. Then came the years of farm life followed by a brief stint at the canning factory in Waldoboro. Her final job was at Reed’s Gift Shop in Warren where she worked for her lifelong friends, Phyllis and Kenneth Reed. She loved meeting local people and people “from away.” She worked for Reed’s for 35 years until she retired at age 87.
Marguerite was always open to new ideas. At age 93 when many people find their world growing smaller, Marguerite embraced technology as a way of enlarging her world. At the time of her death she was on her third iPad with which she read two or three books per week and maintained a lively presence on Facebook. She logged on every morning just after breakfast to check up on the adventures of family and friends, while posting likes and comments.
Marguerite leaves the following family for whom she was mom, mother-in-law and Nana: Laurence who had the great privilege of living with her for the final 16 years of her life and being present at her journey’s end; Gregory and his wife Adele, their daughters Marcy O’Donnell and Tracie McLain, Tracie’s husband Gavin, and their sons Taylor and Alden McLain; and Kevin and his wife Kathie, their sons Kyle and Richard, and Richard’s daughters Skylar and Lilly. With a husband and three sons, Marguerite was surrounded by a family of men until daughters-in-law Adele and Kathie entered her life. Marguerite loved them dearly and appreciated all they did for her.
In addition to family there were special friends who brought great joy to Marguerite’s final years: Roy and Maxine Philbrook, Ginny Kennedy and Jane Kennedy Swett, Paul Fuller, Joyce Cooley, Ellen Winchenbach, Rev. Nancy Duncan, Dena Coughlin, and the members of Broad Bay Congregational United Church of Christ. Finally there is George Jones who became a special friend to Marguerite.
Marguerite will be remembered by her family and friends as a strong, intelligent, kind, and creative woman who loved her family and was a loyal friend to many.
A celebration of Marguerite’s life was held at Broad Bay Congregational United Church of Christ in Waldoboro on April 14 with Rev. Nancy Duncan officiating. Funeral arrangements were under the care of Hall Funeral Home of Waldoboro.
Marguerite loved animals of all kinds. Please consider a donation to the Pope Memorial Humane Society of Knox County, P.O. Box 1294, Rockland, ME 04841; or the charity of your choice.