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Anna Verrill Chandler DeMunn

Date of Death: December 17, 2020

Date of Birth: August 11, 1918

Biography:

Cumberland Foreside - Anna Verrill Chandler DeMunn passed away on December 17 at age 102 after a long and wonderful life.   She was blessed with good health, close family and friends, gratitude and contentment right to the end.  She was a lifelong “Mainer.”  Smart, practical, self-sufficient and stylish, she would say, "When you’re from Maine, why would you go anywhere else?” “

Born on August 11, 1918, in Westbrook, Maine, Anna was the daughter of Albert and Mary Davis Verrill.  She held her own in an active and loving family:  Albert, the oldest, then Virginia, Tom, Anna, Herbert, and Jack.

After graduating from Westbrook High in 1936, she went on to University of Maine, majoring in Home Economics and enjoying merchandizing internships in Portland and at Macy’s in New York City.  At UM she met her dear Bill Chandler, a serious engineering student.  They married in 1941.

Their first home was in Ridgewood, New Jersey, where Bill worked on development of airplane engines during the war.  Anna said, “The first five years of our married life were both terrible and wonderful.”  Anna’s dear mother died two days after Pearl Harbor, followed by the arrival of their first daughter, Peggy, then Cally.

After the war, they moved back to Maine to raise their family, adding Jane and Barbara. They had fallen in love with a New England farmhouse in Cumberland Center and made the most of living in a small town.  Active in the schools and the four girls’ activities, they enjoyed the Maine outdoors with family ski weekends, camping and canoeing. They planted an apple orchard and large vegetable gardens. As the girls were leaving home, they fostered six-year-old Andy.

Bill and Anna were active in the community.  Anna was particularly proud of her volunteer involvement.  She helped start Girl Scouting in Cumberland.  She was head of the Cumberland/Falmouth Health Council, an officer of the Junior League of Portland and the Cumberland County United Way, and President of the Salvation Army Women’s Auxiliary.  Later, with the older girls in college, she took a job “holding down the fort” as secretary at Greely Institute.  She continued to enjoy University of Maine Portland Club activities into her eighties.

Bill and Anna found great pleasure in building a ski camp at Sugarloaf Mountain, and then discovered a wonderful cottage in South Harpswell.  These enabled them to stay active and to share their love of skiing and being on the water with their daughters and grandchildren.  Later, when Bill was diagnosed with cancer, they moved to a cozy house in Sun City, Arizona for winters, giving them new friends and activities.

Several years after Bill’s death (1985), Anna married a skiing friend of theirs, Bob DeMunn.   They enjoyed Sun City and Harpswell together for many years. When the trip to Arizona became difficult, they moved into a lovely condo in Falmouth.  Bob died in 2010.

Anna’s late years have been a wonderful model for staying engaged and active as we age. Her writing, which she began in Sun City, has been an on-going gift to us all.  We can’t remember a time when she wasn’t working on a chapter of “Anna’s Story,” lovely, detailed chronicles about her life.  As Anna’s friends declined in later years, she would read to them from her recorded memories of their shared experiences.

Friends over the years meant a great deal to Anna.  There was the Travel Club, in which Bill and Anna’s neighbors and friends gathered to talk about where they would like to go but probably never would.  Later, some of the women made annual trips to interesting historical and natural sites around New England, often camping.  And in recent years, Anna has invited their daughters to “Come for pie!”  As she lost her dear old friends, she made new ones in her Applegate neighborhood.  They provided love and support right to the end. 

Ledgeview Assisted Living in Cumberland Foreside was her home in the last few years,

and she couldn’t have been in a better place.  Owners David and Karen Landa and staff kept her safe, comfortable and engaged.  She especially enjoyed the exercise and music activities, and the wonderful food!   We will forever be grateful to our friends at Ledgeview for their loving care of Anna.

The family also appreciates the services provided by Northern Light Hospice, so important and helpful as Anna declined.

Anna will be dearly missed by her four daughters and their families: Margaret (Peg) Davey & Tom Zanzig, Carolyn (Cally) & Bob Moore, Jane & Owen Carney and Barbara & Ron Arsenault and her nine grandchildren and thirteen great grandchildren.

When the time seems safe and right, we will gather at the cottage to celebrate Anna’s life.  In the meantime, remembering Anna we invite you to make a contribution to an organization in your community that is providing food to those in great need during this pandemic.  We know that would have warmed her heart!

Arrangements are under the care of Funeral Alternatives, 46 Bath Rd. Brunswick, Me. Condolences may be expressed at www.funeralalternatives.net

 

Funeral Alternatives offers cremation services, burial and funeral services, pre-need packages, and memorial merchandise.

Offices in Lewiston, Brunswick, and Augusta Maine.
Serving Androscoggin County, Cumberland County, Kennebec County, and surrounding areas.

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