Lorraine A. Saunders, 84, of Southwest Harbor passed away Jan. 13 from a serious head injury sustained in a recent fall. She was born Aug. 3, 1933, in Melrose, Mass., the only daughter of R. Thurston and Elizabeth (Cummings) Allen.
Lorraine’s family moved from Melrose back to Maine in 1934, and settled in Ellsworth, where she grew up in one of Ellsworth’s oldest remaining homes.
Lorraine graduated from Ellsworth H.S. in 1951 and the University of Maine in 1955 with a B.S. in elementary education. Shortly after graduating, she started her first teaching job in Wantaugh, N.Y.; she also married her high school sweetheart, Joe Saunders, that very same year. Lorraine was a pioneer, holding managerial positions and fighting for equal pay. She worked a variety of jobs including: restaurant manager, third grade teacher at Bar Harbor Elementary School for 10 years and Harbor View Motel proprietor for seven years. But the Southwest Harbor Library was her true passion. She became treasurer in 1980, volunteered for several years and eventually became director of the library for 10 years. The library flourished under Lorraine’s guidance, growing in size and circulation, but most importantly, she enjoyed serving the people who shared her love of books and visited her daily.
Lorraine was an avid reader, along with being a dedicated hiker and lover of nature and all it encompassed. She enjoyed hiking so much that she took her only son up every mountain in Acadia by the time he was 7. She never really retired, but during her twilight years Lorraine worked hard to restore her childhood house in Ellsworth, and relished every moment she got to spend with her grandchildren.
Lorraine consistently gave her time and energy to others, and she never showed any ill will toward anyone. She had a kind and strong heart, and although tiny in stature, she was as tough as they come. She survived a blood clot that went to her lung, numerous harrowing falls, along with rheumatoid arthritis. Despite many difficulties and living in pain, she never complained about it to anyone.
Lorraine is survived by her husband of 62 years, Joe Saunders, her son Sedge Saunders and daughter in-law Amy, and her four beloved grandchildren Tyler, Oscar, Owen and Gunnar of Fryeburg. In addition, Lorraine is survived by her younger brother Roy Allen and his wife, Ardis, along with her sister in-law Carol Allen and several nieces and nephews. She was predeceased by her brother George Allen and wife, Beverly, along with her brother Peter Allen.
A spring memorial service will be announced at a later date. Donations may be made in Lorraine’s memory to the Southwest Harbor Public Library, P.O. Box 157, Southwest Harbor ME 04679.
Arrangements by Jordan-Fernald, 1139 Main St., Mount Desert. Condolences may be expressed at www.jordanfernald.com.