Penboscot Bay Press Compass Logo

Penobscot Bay Press
Community Information Services

Remembrances

Norma Louise Boyer Shellenberger

BLUE HILL—For 98 years Norma Louise Boyer Shellenberger radiated love, hope, faith, and a positive spirit, inspiring all who met her and touching the lives of generations. She passed to the life eternal in the same manner on January 25, 2016, surrounded by her devoted family.

Norma was born to Norman Luther Boyer and Ruth Irene (Giehrl) Boyer in 1917 in the small town of Mt. Carmel, Pa., where she lived until embracing the dreams of adulthood.

One of her greatest prides was attending the School of Nursing at Geisinger Hospital in Danville, Pa., in the foundation years of what has become the renowned Geisinger Medical Center and the Geisinger System of Health Care in the U.S. After graduating as an RN in 1939, she briefly worked at Graduate Hospital in Philadelphia but quickly returned to the stimulating thought and research of Geisinger where she quickly rose to the position of Supervisor of Men’s Surgical. Influenced by the advanced medical ideology of her Geisinger education, she spent her life as an avid advocate of taking responsibility for one’s own health and mental well-being.

She married the love of her life, John P. Shellenberger, in 1941, never realizing as they danced to the big bands how the war would change their lives. As wife to a WWII military man, Norma is one of those quietly strong and dedicated women who shaped our nation during those war years and the dynamic years after the war—one of what we now call the Greatest Generation.

Settling in Columbia, S.C., with their two daughters, far from home, she devoted her new life to her family, her church, and her friends, touching the lives of all who met her, enjoying designing and fashioning girls’ clothing (a longstanding interest), and supporting her husband and children in all their endeavors daily. As a member of the Order of The Eastern Star, charter member of Lindenwood Garden Club and Bradley Community Council in Columbia, she advocated always leaving a place better than she found it.

Active in children’s development and the music program at Ebenezer Lutheran Church for over 50 years, her dedication, encouragement, wisdom, and positive thought influenced generations of young people who have gone on to become leaders in their communities.

Norma is survived by her daughters, Rona Gandy and husband, John; Roxanne Jansen and husband, Kevin Heerdegen; granddaughter Kim Rush, husband Casey and children Keiran, Alexander, and Julia; grandson Nathan Gandy, wife Tracy and children Rachael and Jack; grandson James Heerdegen, wife Christina and son Frederick; and grandson Simon Heerdegen. Her family has always been the core of her life. She moved to Maine to be with them in 2005. Here she has continued to lead her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren through their lives with inspiration, teaching them to always achieve their potential, take responsibility for their own actions, maintain cheerfulness, live their faith, and remain ever positive in spirit.

Even as her eyesight failed, this remarkable woman remained keenly interested in every activity her children and grandchildren were engaged in—maintaining their calendars in her mind—eager to hear about all they (and the outside world) were doing every day.

Her devotion to her family was unflagging, extending her caring and love to her nieces, nephews, cousins. Her goal of family harmony is one of this gracious lady’s many legacies to us all.

Norma will now be returning home to Mt. Carmel at last. A life come full circle. We will miss you, but you live on in each of us.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Ebenezer Lutheran Church, 1301 Richland Street, Columbia, SC 29201, tel. (803) 765-9430, ebenezerlutheran.org; Geisinger Medical Center School of Nursing Alumni Association, supporting its nurses through professional and educational programming and other services, Nancy Doran, Treasurer, 220 Welsh Road, Danville, PA 17821, geisinger.org/for-professionals/nursing/pages/nursingalumni.html; the IRIS Network, a nonprofit organization helping people who are visually impaired or blind and building a world where everyone is an advocate for eye health, 189 Park Avenue, Portland, ME 04102, tel. (800) 715-0097 or (207) 774-6273, theiris.org.


Ada S. Pelletier

Ada S. Pelletier, 91, passed away peacefully January 27, 2016, at the Island Nursing Home and Care Center, Deer Isle. Born in Deer Isle in 1924, the daughter of Paul W. and Mary ‘Mamie’ Scott. She returned to the 1863 Scott family homestead to retire in 1983. In 2002, she had a heart attack followed by a debilitative stroke.

Wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, homemaker. An avid knitter, seamstress, pianist, clarinetist, cook, Blue Bird leader, mountain climber, Christian, Pro-Life advocate, Sunday School teacher, junior choir director, VBS leader, photographer, poet, canoeist, camper, hostess, breast cancer survivor of 29 years, swimmer (first to hit 400 miles at the Down East YMCA), an active member of Westbrook First Baptist and Sunshine Advent Christian churches. Whatever task she took on she put her whole self into. She, along with Robert ‘Bob’ Haskell, was instrumental in starting the Community Band that we all enjoy on the 4th of July.

Ada is survived by a daughter, Ann and husband, George Curtis; sons Andrew and wife, Theresa; David and wife, Jacqueline; son-in-law, Leonard ‘Budd’ Russell Jr.; 12 grandchildren, their spouses and 15 great-grandchildren.

She was predeceased by her husband and love of her life of 67 years, Paul, daughters, M. Frances ‘Fran’ Russell and Suzanne (still birth) and brother Paul T. Scott.

Special THANK YOU to the staff of the Island Nursing Home and Care Center where for nearly 14 years they not only cared for her but loved her.

Funeral to be held at the Sunshine Advent Christian Church, 1155 Sunshine Road, Deer Isle, February 7 at 1 p.m., all are welcome. You may also join us for morning worship at 10:30 followed by a soup, salad and bread lunch before the funeral and fellowship and dessert after the funeral.

Interment at Veteran’s Cemetery, Augusta, at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in her memory to the Island Nursing Home, 587 N. Deer Isle Rd., Deer Isle ME 04627.


Lois Hooke Boenau

Lois Hooke Boenau of Gettysburg, Pa., died on January 24, 2016, at SpiriTrust Lutheran, Gettysburg. She was the wife of A. Bruce Boenau, to whom she had been married for 66 years.

Born on May 17, 1926, she was the daughter of the late Robert Gay Hooke of Castine, Maine, and the earlier deceased Florence Harris, Upper Montclair, N.J. She is survived by her husband A. Bruce Boenau of Gettysburg, Pa.; her brother Roger Leb. Hooke and wife Ann, Deer Isle; cousin Frances Bos, Castine; Marilyn Gay Boenau and Eric Albert; Martha Elizabeth Boenau and her husband Marc Weinberg; a son and daughter-in-law, Robert and Stephanie Boenau; three grandchildren, Katharine, Evan, and Austin Braswell.

She was predeceased by her sister Sylvia Larsson, Castine, and her brother Richard Hooke, Amherst, Mass.

She attended public schools in Montclair, N.J., and graduated from Smith College in 1948 with a degree in sociology. As a social case worker for the New Jersey Board of Child Welfare, she worked for four years in Newark, N.J. After moving to Gettysburg, she was a case worker for Adams County Children and Youth Services for 18 years.

She served on the boards of the Adams County Library and the YWCA and was a volunteer for the Friends of the Library, Hospice, the Red Cross, and the Holiday Bureau.

In lieu of flowers, gifts in memory of Lois Hooke Boenau may be made to the Adams County Library, the YWCA, and the Unitarian Universalists of Gettysburg.

A memorial service for Lois will be held at the Unitarian Universalists of Gettysburg after the winter at a date to be announced and later at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Castine, Maine. Burial will be in the cemetery in Castine.