Lillian Dolloff had never heard of Waldoboro until she worked one summer at the Hotel Pemaquid. Three years later, she was living here. She and her husband, Ronald Dolloff, had just completed their studies, he from Bates, and she from business college. They were newly married and they had faith. He got the job he wanted, teaching math at Waldoboro High School.
The family settled in. Lillian gave birth to three children soon after while her husband did whatever he could to support the family, including playing for the minstrel shows. Lillian earned extra money taking care of other people’s children as well as her own. In her spare time, she assisted at Dr. Dorothy Waterman’s Well Baby Clinic.
Fifteen years later Ronald became the principal of Medomak Valley High School where he took every measure, even up to the last day, to ensure each of his students graduated. Lillian found work as a bookkeeper at the Meat Locker working for Edna Creamer.
They joined the Grange, something their parents had done, and it became a big part of their lives. Ronald served as selectman, was once town manager, even the assessor’s agent, and served as chairman of the Waldoboro Democratic Committee. They became key members of the Methodist Church in Waldoboro.
It has been a full life, with family always at its center. In 2016, Ronald died, but even with that loss, Lillian counts her blessings with her three children — Debora Dolloff Tanner, Linda Dolloff Pease, and Dr. Andrew Dolloff, who call her daily, five grandchildren, five step-grandchildren, and six great grandchildren.
“I was one of those early girls who got married at 19. We came down to Waldoboro because Ronnie interviewed to be the math teacher and liked the principal, the area, and the people, but we didn’t have a penny. We had only college bills and our wedding presents. So, we had to have a house that was furnished and do you know? The people in the office found a house for us on Depot Street.
“Everything we wanted was right in town. We had ballgames, plays, and singing groups. Our doctor, Dr. Richard Waterman, our work, and the Grange were here. Our church was here.
“Early on, Ronnie joined North Waldoboro Methodist, but because he played the organ, they invited him to play at Thomaston Federated Church. Then, Lois Bither Hall and Jeanne Begley asked him to play over here. For a while, he was playing for both churches on Sunday mornings, starting in Thomaston, then rushing over here.
“I hadn’t grown up Methodist. My family was Universalist. I started going to the Methodist church because of Ronnie’s ‘job’ playing the organ and directing the choir. At that time, our daughter was three and a half years old, and we wanted her to go to church school.
“Universalists believe that everybody goes to heaven. At the Methodist Church in Waldoboro, Rev. Charles Kinney taught me that you have to accept Christ in order to go to heaven. That means asking Him to come into our life and live the way we’re supposed to live. Christ died for us to forgive our sins because we are human beings and we make mistakes.
“So, I accepted Christ. I got to like going down front and kneeling at the altar for communion instead of sitting in our pews and having it brought to us. What I like most is the belief that when you die, you will stay with God in Paradise.
“Our children never fussed about going to church. They just got up and went and we loved the people there. I made a beautiful friend, Claire Forbes, there. We planned ladies’ retreats and Bible studies. Jean Lawrence led a lot of the Bible studies. I also sang in the choir as a soprano even though I wasn’t very good. “Sweet Hour of Prayer,” “In the Garden,” and “Amazing Grace” are some of my favorite hymns.
“I think it was around 1976 that I started a prayer chain with the help of Jean Begley and Janet Braley. We prayed for people, asking God to help anyone in the community, in the church or not, who was sick or needed strength. The prayer chain kept going all the years until the church closed in 2021. Now, Claire Forbes keeps it going.
“For a few years, I headed up the Sunday school and that was fun for a while. We had about 20 children at one time, but they didn’t come back. They went away to school. We started to see that, through the years, we weren’t getting the young people. We needed them, but we couldn’t get them. We had a few big givers, but they died and so, our money died off. Claire and I did a lot of work to keep the church going. We put on coffees and dinners: Sunday School. We had lay witnessing weekends and other things.
“We were able to pay the bills for a while, and then we were out of money and the building needed a lot of work. We just couldn’t keep the church going. We were sad to see it go. We miss our church. We miss the people, but they have died. Now Claire and I go down to Friendship Methodist Church. She drives.
“One thing I’ve been doing nearly every morning for the past six years is posting a spiritual message on Facebook for family and friends. I have a lot of books where I get the quotes from, like “Guidepost,” “Jesus Always,” and “Upper Room.” Sometimes I post a hymn and people write back and tell me what they got out of the message.
“I believe that people need to believe in a higher power. My higher power is the Trinity — God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit.”