Carleen's Story

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HAMPDEN - Carleen (Towle) Coffin, 76, of Hampden, passed away at her home after a brief illness, May 3, 2016, surrounded by her loving family. Carleen was born in Presque Isle, April 25, 1940, the daughter of Everett L. Towle, Sr. and Molly (Thompson) Towle.

Carleen grew up on a potato farm in Fort Fairfield. She was the eldest of 9 (8 daughters and one son). In 1958 she attended college at the University of Maine at Orono for two years then transferred to the University of Maine in Presque Isle, where she received her Bachelor of Arts Degree. She married Terrence Coffin in March 1963. She continued her education after they were married and graduated from college at the University of Maine at Presque Isle and stared a career as an elementary school teacher in Portage Lake. After several years of teaching, she began working side-by-side with her husband, Terry, at Coffin's General Store in Portage Lake.

Together, Carleen and Terry raised 4 children. They enjoyed spending time with their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. They specially loved travelling to watch their daughter, Liz and the UMaine women play basketball. True "County folk"- they enjoyed going to the high school tournaments at the Bangor Auditorium and cheering on all the players and teams.

In 1987, they sold Coffin's General Store and moved to Hampden. Carleen began teaching again at Job Corps in Bangor. She became certified as an ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) teacher. She loved learning about the kids she taught and hearing stories of how their lives evolved as they left the world they knew and people they loved to come to the USA to start a new life.

Carleen and Terry were inseparable. After they sold the family business, they bought a camp on Moosehead Lake where they would fish, explore the wildlife and relax by the water's edge. She lost the love of her life in September of 2005. A few short months later, in December she lost her sister Patricia "Trish" to breast cancer and then in July 2006 her sister Christina "Christy" - also to breast cancer.

After retiring in 2006, Carleen became very active in her church - Hampden Congregational Church. She enjoyed attending Sunday services and weekly Bible Study. Carleen's volunteer work was fundraising for the Church. She would be found hulling strawberries in preparation for the annual fundraising sale of strawberry shortcake at the Folk Festival; assisting with the Chicken Pot Pie Suppers; Rummage Sales that drew crowds far and wide; and the Food Cupboard. Her Bible study group developed into a loving, long lasting, supportive family.

Carleen was a lifelong member of the Order of Eastern Star, Tillikum Chapter #99; Alpha Chi Omega Sorority and Hampden Congregational Church.

Carleen was predeceased by her parents, her husband of 42 years, Terrence Coffin Sr, and 4 sisters - Nancy Haines, Patricia McCue, Christina Fuller and Susan Oldenburg.

She leaves behind four children - Cynthia Lebel and her husband, Lester of Gorham; Terrence Coffin, Jr and his wife Myra, of Kingfield; Nathaniel Coffin of Brewer; and Elizabeth Coffin of Hampden; 5 grandchildren - Terrilyn Lebel of Saco; Kristina Lebel and partner Dana Dolham of Gorham; Taryn Coffin of Newmarket, NH, Bryce Coffin of Orono/Portland, and Mary Kathleen "Katy" Coffin of Bangor; two great-granddaughters, Gabriella Lebel of Saco, and Madeline Dolham-Lebel of Gorham; a special friend, Karen Bamford of Bangor; sisters, Jacqueline Anderson and her husband, Robert of Webster, NY; Mary (Towle) Levasseur and her fiancé, Michael Weiss of Vancouver, WA, Kathryn Towle of Presque Isle; brother, Everett L. Towle, Jr and his wife Linda of Othello, WA; sister-in-law, Judith Coffin Rattray of Gold Canyon, AZ; aunt, Clara Hussey of Mars Hill, ME; step-mother, Mavis Towle of Presque Isle; and many nieces, nephews and cousins. The family wishes to thank Loving Touch and their wonderful caregivers, as well as St Joseph's Home Care and Hospice team.

Relatives and friends are invited to call 5 - 7 pm, Friday, May 6, 2016 at the Hampden-Gilpatrick Chapel of Brookings-Smith, 45 Western Ave, Hampden. A celebration of life will be held 2pm, Saturday, May 7 at the Hampden Congregational Church, 101 Main Road North, Hampden, with Rev. William Walsh officiating. All are invited to share in conversation and refreshments at the church, immediately following the service. Interment will be at Ashland Cemetery at a later date.

Those who wish to remember Carleen in a special way may make gifts in her memory to the Hampden Congregational Church, PO Box 9, Hampden, ME 04444 or to a charity of your choice. Condolences to the family may be expressed at www.BrookingsSmith.com.
Published on  May 5, 2016
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