Hilda Burow

Obituary of Hilda E. Burow

Sebec - Hilda Elizabeth Mannisto Burow passed away in her sleep, August 8, 2021, at Dexter Health Care, Dexter, Maine. Daughter of Venla Dagmar (Viinikka) and Adam Elias Mannisto, Hilda was born in Orneville, Maine on September 6, 1931. She is survived by two daughters, Romantha (Thea) Dagmar Burow, of Bowerbank and Pembroke, and Freida Lynn Burow of Sebec; her sister, Aune Marion (Mannisto) Hinton of Bowerbank; and numerous nieces and nephews. She was predeceased by her husband, Frederick Woodward Burow, to whom she was married for 61 years, her son, Frederick Steven Burow, and her four brothers, Carl, Reino, Lawrence, and Henry Mannisto. Hilda worked hard for all her remarkable life. Starting as an early graduate of Milo High School, she worked as a bookkeeper/clerk for Dowlin Lumber Company, Sears and Roebuck, Iandolli’s Supermarkets, and later, her own family “Mom n’ Pop” store (which featured antiques as a sideline), and her husband’s and son’s garage and construction businesses, Sebec Welding and F.S Burow Construction. In the 1970’s she started a greenhouse business and sold vegetable and flower seedlings and perennial flowers, for many years. When this became too much, she fell back on her sewing talents and became known for the quilts, dried floral wreaths, stuffed toys, and painted wooden crafts that she sold at community craft fairs or gave away as gifts. For the first 15 years of their marriage, Hilda followed, and provided a home for her family in New York and most of the New England states, as Fred traveled and worked as a member of the International Union of Operating Engineers. She considered Sebec Village home since 1957, when the family “home base” was purchased. When the family returned more permanently in 1964, she was active in the community, serving as a 4-H Group Advisor, a founding member of the Sebec Volunteer Fire Dept. Ladies Auxiliary (Anyone remember the annual smorgasbords she organized?), an active supporter, but not attendee (She always said the roof would come down) of the Sebec Village Community Church and the Sebec Grange. There was not much that Hilda couldn’t do well and generously. Whatever knowledge and ability she had, she willingly shared with others. Her contributions to community suppers and benefit sales were regularly sought out by those who appreciated her talents in cooking and sewing. Friends would often ask her husband what she was cooking that day and happen to drop in for coffee. Hilda was a sort of honorary aunt to many adults and teens who needed a place to stay for the night or something good to eat. In addition to people, she regularly hosted and nurtured injured or abandoned baby birds and animals. She had the courage of her convictions and would often speak out when she thought something wrong was happening in the community (to the chagrin of some of those teens). Of pure Finnish descent, Hilda faced personal, physical, and at times, financial hardship with great strength. Suffering the early loss of her mother, she learned to cook and keep house for her father and brothers while still attending high school. In the first 15 years of marriage, she moved her family 21 times. She sewed most of Thea’s and Freida’s clothes worn throughout their grade school and high school years. When faced with the accidental shooting death of her son, Freddy, she did not give up, but kept on, creating beautiful quilts and welcoming others into her home. Hilda was robbed of her ability to remain active during the last 8 years of her life by severe progessive dementia but was regularly remarked upon by staff members at Dexter Health Care for her mathematical ability and sense of humor. Hilda was a lung cancer and hard life survivor. She will be remembered by many for: being a truly beautiful woman in all phases of her life, her apple (and other fruit-based) cake, baked beans, potato salad, pickles, jams and jellies, pickled herring, Italian cooking, talent for fishing, dried flower wreaths, beautiful quilts, strong, well-seasoned plants, doing the quartermile from a dead stop at the old Sebec Village Bridge to her driveway at 60 mph, love of antiques (especially glassware – she said she was “part crow” ) and American history, playing penny poker with local teens, abilities in mathematics, stories of her travel to England and Wales (including teaching a couple of the Ramones “how to talk Maine”), love of taking rides exploring her home state with Fred, and willingness to help others. According to her wishes, there will be no funeral or other services. Those wishing to may make donations in Hilda’s honor to the Alzheimer’s Association or Maine Cancer Foundation. Arrangements are in the care of the Lary Funeral Home. Condolences and memories may be expressed at www.laryfuneralhome.com.
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