Bertha's Story

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BANGOR - Mickey Graffam, of Bangor, passed into death on Friday, September 18, at her home in the presence of her family.

Mickey was born Bertha Marie Towle in Brewer, June 27, 1929, the daughter of Lewald and Carmen Foss Towle.

She lived in Bangor all her life, attending Fairmount Elementary School, Fifth Street Junior High School, and in 1947 she graduated from Bangor High School where she was a member of the Pi Sigma Psi sorority, the Queen City Club, and the Sub-Deb Club. She was a Bangor Cheerleader all through high school, and in her senior year she captained the team; in her junior year she was elected Prom Queen.

On March 9, 1950, she married Paul E. Graffam, also of Bangor, and in November of 1952 the two of them moved to Westland Street, which would be their home and center of loving adventures until her recent death. To all the kids in that neighborhood from 1952 on, she was like an extra mother. She and her family moved to Beech Hill Pond every summer, where she and her children would walk to meet Paul on his return from Bangor every working day.

For all her life, Mickey remained an avid fan of the Bangor Rams, attending football, basketball, and cheerleading games and competitions even at times when others stayed home due to the rain or the snow. She was also very active in community clubs and activities, playing a role in the Jaycee Wives, the Patawa Club, and the Junior League. Many years she was a member of the Penobscot Valley Country Club and Causeway Club of Southwest Harbor and those same summers Mickey and Paul could be found on the tennis courts and golf courses of the area, and in the winters they downhill skied at Squaw Mountain and Sugarloaf. For 50 years, on Wednesdays, she and the Bridge Girls met for a two-table game at a local Bangor Restaurant. She loved to play cribbage and checkers with Paul, and whenever she could, she would cook up a fish chowder for her family — a chowder that had no culinary match.

Mickey loved life, especially the adventures that she and Paul created for themselves and their family throughout Maine and around the world. She also loved her FOGS Travel Group, a group of friends who adventured together to Europe, the Caribbean, and other special places annually. Acadia National Park was one of her favorite places, and she was often found on the carriage trails, or hiking the rocks and mountains hand-and-hand with Paul. In recent years those adventures turned to long drives down the highways and bi-ways of her beloved state of Maine.

Mickey was predeceased by two sisters, Barbara (Hazelton) and Virginia (Colbath). She is survived by a large and loving family, including her husband, Paul; her daughter and son-in-law, Cindi and Wes Leighton; her son and daughter-in-law, Ben and Cheryl; her granddaughters and their husbands, Shelley and Dean, Jill and Nat, and Logan and Mark; and her nephew Michael Colbath. But, of course, the love of Mickey's last years were her seven great grandchildren, Colby, Max, Kamden, Landon, Avery, Brennan and Noah. To her grand and great-grand kids she was always Mickey Mame, and they knew she was capable of everything possible at any time. No time ever spent with her was boring.

Mickey's family is grateful to Westgate Center for Rehabilitation and Alzheimer's Care, Amedisys Home Health Care, and Beacon Hospice for their role in helping us through this significant life event.

The family invites relatives and friends to share in conversation and refreshments, 5-7 pm, Thursday, October 15 at the Family Reception Center of Brookings-Smith, 163 Center Street, Bangor. Those who wish to remember Mickey in a special way may make gifts to Westgate Center, 750 Union St. Bangor, ME 04401; or Beacon Hospice, 289 State St. Bangor, ME 04401.
Published on  September 21, 2015
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