Obituary of Patricia (Dow) Stewart
Sangerville - Patricia D. Stewart, 78, passed away unexpectedly on February 17, 2019 at her home. Pat was born August 5, 1940, in Milo to Dana and Laura (Kelley) Dow. During her life, she made her home in Guilford, Cambridge, MA, Dover-Foxcroft, Holyoke, MA, and she retired to Sangerville for her last twelve years.
She is survived by her brothers, Gary Dow and wife, Delilah, Guy Dow and wife, Heidi; her sisters, Ginny Jennings and husband, Tom, Diane Gilbert, Janet Stutzman and Brenda Gourley; children, Macy Gardner, Kelly Taylor, Marty Taylor and wife, Rhonda, Jackie Watt and fiancé, Tom, and their father Marvin Taylor, and Rod Willey and wife, Heather; her stepchildren and their partners; fourteen grandchildren and nineteen great grandchildren and their partners, extended family, and many friends. Her final years were spent finding every way she could to spend time with all of them, and to give them as many gifts as possible.
Pat was predeceased by her brothers, Jack Dow and Peter Dow; sister, Carolyn Hersey; son, Andrew Taylor; two stepchildren; partners, Ted Gardner and Rodney Willey; and her husband, James Stewart. She was forever dedicated to their memories and cherished the many good times with them all.
Pat completed her GED at age 30. She then attended the University of Maine, and later received her bachelor’s degree from Springfield College in Massachusetts. She was extremely devoted to a lifelong pursuit of education. Her work ethic while raising children, working several jobs, and putting herself through school at the same time was inspirational, and important to the family as a role model for following generations.
Pat’s work history and eventual career spanned many different types of work and professional fields, from being a Literacy Volunteer and assisting with Meals for ME, to working for Penquis CAP and helping start their weatherization program in the 1970s, various roles at Guilford Industries, data entry at Wang Laboratories, and a Director’s position at CSP in Holyoke, MA for many years, where she was extremely dedicated to working with people with co-occurring mental health disorders. The achievement she may have cherished most was being one of the original founders of Womancare in Dover Foxcroft (now Partners for Peace). She served tirelessly, using her own house as a safe place for victims of domestic violence if needed, and working with families to get them back on their feet after experiencing profound trauma. When looking at her life’s work, she was drawn most to the roles that allowed her to help build safety and support for others to thrive.
Pat was a prodigious lifelong poet, filling notebook upon notebook with deeply personal and beautiful lyrics of her life. She was an avid collector of teapots, spoons, chickens, eggs, and seemingly thousands of stuffed bears. She cherished Christmas with family, and started her Christmas shopping each year on December 26 (if not before). She also had an unabashed love of the television series Blue Bloods, and watched the Lord of the Rings movie trilogy until they wore out. Music mattered to her, and over time she developed an especially deep love of Celtic music.
She was extremely proud of her travels; Ireland, Korea, and the Pacific Northwest were among her favorite destinations. She made countless road trips later in life, telling no one where she was headed and leaving for weeks at a time if she felt the urge to drop in on family and friends. That spirit of fierce independence remained through her last days.
A celebration of Pat’s life will be held Saturday, April 27, 2019 at the Masonic Lodge in Guilford, ME from Noon to 2:00pm. Pat requested in writing that people come prepared to have fun and share stories if they desired, and in that spirit the event will be casual and held in a spirit of joy and remembrance, as she wished.
Those who would like can make contributions in her memory to Partners for Peace, continuing an important part of her legacy in healing the victims of domestic violence. Information to donate can be found at www.partnersforpeaceme.org.
A graveside memorial service will be private. Arrangements are in the care of the Lary Funeral Home. Condolences may be expressed at www.laryfuneralhome.com.
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