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Leona Sylvester Gray

Brooksville—Leona Sylvester Gray, 69, passed away peacefully at her home on February 15, 2017, after a courageous battle with dementia. Leona was born on November 9, 1947, at Blue Hill Memorial Hospital. She was the eldest daughter of the late Paul E. and Helen H. Sylvester.

Leona grew up in South Blue Hill helping with her family’s egg business and spending cherished time with her dear grandparents Leon and Prudence Sylvester. She graduated from George Stevens Academy in 1965 and attended Northern Maine Vocational School where she obtained her license as an LPN. She worked at Blue Hill Memorial Hospital and later as a dental assistant at a local dentist’s office. She eventually worked alongside her husband, John, as the bookkeeper for their family business.

She was married to John Hunnewell Gray on August 16, 1969. Leona was a truly devoted wife and mother who made sure her three children received college degrees from the schools of their choice. At the same time, she decided to return to school herself and achieved her Associate Degree in Library Science from the University of Maine at Augusta in 2000. She served on the Brooksville School Board for three years, volunteered at the Brooksville Elementary School library, and was very active in the Brooksville United Methodist Church for many years.

With her Library Science degree Leona became the head librarian at the Brooksville Free Public Library where she enjoyed meeting and talking with all sorts of people, but she especially enjoyed working with children and sharing her love of reading with them. She was never so happy as when she was reading to the children of the community during story time, particularly when reading one of her favorite children’s books, Miss Rumphius, written by Barbara Cooney. Sadly, it was during this time when the early signs of dementia began to set in and she withdrew from her very active life.

Leona is survived by her devoted husband of 47 years, John H. Gray; her three children, Lydia Garrant and husband Steve of Mont Vernon, N.H., Gerald Gray and wife Rebecca of Brooksville, and Liza Saturley and husband Galen of Fairfield, Iowa; her six beloved grandchildren, Lily, Alex, John “Jack”, Tony, Gray, and Leo; her three sisters, Linda Sylvester of Vero Beach, Fla., Louise Holyoke and husband Billy of Orrington, Laverne Redding and husband Dana of Calais; her sister-in-law, Jane Bowden and husband Bob of Pleasant Ridge Plantation; her many nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.

The family would like to thank hospice volunteers Mike and Elaine Belinsky for their years of assistance. The family would especially like to thank our special friend Carol Skoglund for the countless hours of help that enabled us to keep Leona at home during her illness.

There will be a gathering to celebrate Leona’s life on March 25, 2017, at 11 a.m. at the Brooksville United Methodist Church, followed by a reception at the Brooksville Townhouse.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in Leona’s memory to the Brooksville United Methodist Church, P.O. Box 34, Brooksville 04617, The Friendship Cottage, P.O. Box 1107, Blue Hill 04614, Hancock County Home Care and Hospice, P.O. Box 655, Ellsworth 04605 or the charity of your choice.

Arrangements by Jordan-Fernald, 49 Main St. Blue Hill.

Condolences may be expressed at

Barbara Anne Haynes Cousins

Barbara Anne Haynes Cousins of East Blue Hill, Maine, died peacefully at Eastern Maine Medical Center, Bangor, Maine, on February 15, 2017.

Barbara was born on May 30, 1938, at the Hurley Hospital in Ellsworth, Maine. She was the first daughter of Newell P. and Lillian (Haley) Haynes. The same day as her birth, her father was hatching baby geese in the wood stove oven. At the time of her death, she was the family matriarch.

Barbara graduated from Ellsworth High School in 1956 and Mount Ida Junior College, Newton, Mass., in 1958.

After college she worked in Forida as a dental assistant, returning to Maine to marry John D. Cousins in 1961. When her three boys were mostly grown, she worked in the family business, Webbers Cove Boatyard in East Blue Hill, Maine.

At 52 years old she began to substitute teach and tried downhill skiing for the first time! For many more years she was on the board of the Blue Hill Society for Aid to Children and the board of Four Town Nursing. She greatly enjoyed her time as a charter member of The Red Hat Society of Blue Hill.

Barbara loved her family, her gardens, and she loved to travel around the world. She spent many happy days on Patten Pond and Blue Hill Bay.

She is survived by her three beloved sons and daughters-in-law: J. Gregory Cousins and Katie Burnett of Fort Pierce, Fla.; J. David Cousins and Gail Cousins of Blue Hill, Maine; and Matthew Haynes Cousins and Anneliese Riggall of Blue Hill, Maine. Seven grandchildren: Todd and Reilly (Gregory), Haley, Adam and Lillian (David), Tyler and Lybra (Matthew). Five great-grandchildren: Macie, Molly, Cassidy, Lucas and Colton. One sister, Judy Baernstein of Seattle, Wash. Sister-in-law, Jean Kelley of Pittsfield, Maine. Many nieces, nephews and several cousins. As well as dear lifelong friends Jane Gashlin, Joyce Bissett and Irene Rachinski.

She was predeceased by her husband of 35 years, John D. Cousins Sr., her parents, and her mother- and father-in-law, Maurice and Leatha Cousins of East Blue Hill, Maine.

To my sons and grandchildren and great-grandchildren:

“May you each have love, happiness and peace of mind. Everything else goes by the way.”

Mother and Pama

Those who are planning an expression of sympathy are asked to consider the charity of their choice.

A church service and reception is planned for 3 p.m., on Friday, February 24, 2017, at St. Francis by the Sea Episcopal Church in Blue Hill. A graveside memorial and celebration of life party will be held in Blue Hill this summer.