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Marion (Vella) Lee Barrett Smith
April 29, 1923 - July 15, 2022

Marion (Vella) Lee Barrett Smith, passed away peacefully July 15, 2022, with her family by her side.

Vella was born April 29, 1923, in Mars Hill to Dennison E. and Edna A. Barrett, the third of five children. She grew up on a potato farm in northern Maine before moving to Warren during her junior year of high school in 1939. She graduated from Warren High School, Ballard Business School, and the University of Maine.

She married Russell (Casey) Smith on Nov. 28, 1942, in the Second Congregational Church of Warren. They established a home in Warren where they reared their three daughters and resided until their deaths. An avid reader, Vella also enjoyed gardening, and quilting, and was a member of the Tuesday Quilters and Good Intentions Quilt Clubs. With her husband, she enjoyed square-dancing with the Coastal Clippers.

Vella’s love of children and of learning was reflected in her 32-year career as a dedicated school teacher in School Administrative District No. 40, where she taught first in Waldoboro at the Miller Grade and A. D. Gray schools, and later in Warren at the Frank D. Rowe School. She deeply cared for her students and maintained life-long friendships with many former pupils. She was affiliated with Delta Kappa Gamma, a sorority of educators.

Mrs. Smith’s life was defined by her devotion to and love for her faith, her family, and her community. She was a member of St. John’s Episcopal Church in Thomaston and later became a member of the Second Congregational Church. She was past president of the Ladies’ Social Circle and of the Dorcas Circle of King’s Daughters, and served on the Pastoral Review Board, Board of Christian Education, and the Diaconate. She was a Sunday school teacher, and for many years sang in the choir and took part in the church’s variety shows. She was also a member of Ivy Chapter No. 16 of the Eastern Star.

Vella served her community as curator of the Warren Historical Society and as a member of the Warren Scholarship Committee. Her contributions to the community were recognized with the White Oak Grange Good Citizenship Award and by a plaque and commendation from the Warren Scholarship Committee thanking her for valuable input throughout her many years of service.

Above all else, Vella cherished her family, welcoming every family member into her home and into her heart. She understood love is not finite and divisible, but infinite and inclusive. Her petite frame housed a heart in which there was room for everyone, including the many friends who gave her life joy and meaning. Her parting greeting after a visit or a phone call was always, “Love you to no end.”

Vella was predeceased by her daughter Marion Mac Donnell and by her husband, Russell (Casey). She is survived by her two daughters, Carrie-Sue (Thomas) Stevenson of Jefferson, and Margie-Alice (Albert) Reyes of New York, and by John MacDonnell of Union; by six grandchildren, Christopher (Wendy) Stevenson of Palo Alto, Calif.; Michael Stevenson of Boston, Mass.; Peter (Carolyn) Reyes of Dewitt, N.Y.; John (Kathleen) Reyes of Charlton, N.Y.; Mary Jeanne MacDonnell of Plainville, Conn.; and John (Joanna) MacDonnell of Los Angeles, Calif.; many nieces and nephews; her beloved great-grandchildren, Andrew Stevenson, Ethan Reyes, Paige Reyes, Adam Reyes, Benjamin Reyes, Daniel Reyes, and Meredith Reyes.

At Vella’s request, a private graveside service will be held for family members at a later date.

Her family would like to thank the home hospice staff from Sussman House for their loving, expert care, and requests anyone wishing to make a memorial donation directs it to Sussman House, C/O Pen Bay / Waldo Health Care Foundation, 22 White Street, Rockland, Maine, 04841.

Also, in remembrance of Vella, do something kind today — smile at a stranger, hug a child, phone a loved one. Be the person who leaves the world a better place because you were here.

To share a memory or story with Vella’s family, visit her online Book of Memories at bchfh.com.

If you care to leave a condolence or share a brief story click the box to leave a message.

Reverend Wesley G. Woodman

March 21, 1925 - February 11, 2016

Wesley Gordon Woodman passed away peacefully after a brief decline in his health at Togus Veteran's Hospital Thursday, Feb. 11, 2016. His beloved children were at his side, with the most caring medical staff at his service.

 

Born March 21, 1925, in Portsmouth, N.H., he was the son of Earl and Pearl (Richards) Woodman. Wesley was born with a decisive mindset that would stay with him through his life. According to stories from his mom, he was focused on raising mischief when he was young.

 

When World War II broke out, that youthful energy became focused on entering the service. He left high school, secured his place as the fiancé of his one and only love, Virginia E. Bailey, and in 1942 joined the Navy. He served aboard the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Langley in the South Pacific. As with so many World War II veterans, his life was shaped by the tragic experiences of the war.

 

After three years of active duty -- and many love letters later -- his attention was then focused on marrying "his Jini." They married June 17, 1945, and had their honeymoon traveling cross-country to California to his last duty station. They loved each other for the next 67 and a half years.

 

Their civilian life together started in Rye, N.H., where with pride he built the first of two homes for his family. In Rye, he started his life in service to his Lord. He was a lay preacher, Sunday school superintendent and teacher at the Bethany Congregational Church. His focus to serve led him to interview for the position of minister of the Second Congregational Church in Warren in 1960.

 

In 1961 he moved his family to Warren, where he served as minister for 21 years. His love for that church, and the people who placed their faith in a young man with only a GED as starting credentials, lasted until his passing. After securing this position, he completed his education through the University of Maine and Bangor Theological Seminary. He served as trustee of Maine Congregational Christian Council and the Ministerial Committee of the National Association of Congregational Churches.

 

He was a Past Grand Masonic Chaplain of Maine, Past Worthy Grand Patron of Maine Order of the Eastern Star, and a Life Member and Worthy Patron of Ivy Chapter, OES. Many also remember him as their teacher and bus driver.

 

Upon retirement, he and Jini moved to their second home, "built with my own hands," in Union, to enjoy life on the pond.

 

His pride in serving his country lasted throughout his life. He wore his World War II hat proudly, was a life member of Disabled American Veterans and sang the praises of his routine and crisis care at the Veterans hospital. He was laid to rest beside his sweetheart, Jini, at the Mount Vernon Veterans Cemetery in Augusta.

Rest in Peace dear friend