Elinor A. Canders

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Elinor A. Canders

July 15, 1926 - February 08, 2019

Hampden - Elinor A. Canders, 92, passed away peacefully February 8, 2019. She was born July 15, 1926, the daughter of Eugene and Leola (Knowles) Nealley.
Elinor lived most of her life in Hampden. She grew up on the family's farm on the Kennebec Road with her parents and three brothers. Her first career was as medical secretary at the Osteopathic Hospital in Bangor. During that time, she was introduced to Graydon "Jim" Canders of Greenville. They fell in love and married in April 1951.
Elinor and Jim lived in Greenville for a short time before moving to Hampden to raise their two children, Susan and Gregory. At that stage, Jim worked for the Bangor and Aroostook Railroad and Elinor worked for a doctor in Bangor. While the kids were still quite young, they decided that she would attend the University of Maine at Orono on a part time basis with the aim of qualifying as a teacher. Despite the responsibilities of motherhood and a job, she made the honor roll multiple semesters and qualified with flying colors. It was a very proud day for the family when Elinor got her degree. She went on to teach in the Bangor school system for 20 years.
Elinor was always enthusiastic and full of energy. She and Jim enjoyed an active life while raising their children. They provided Susan and Greg with many experiences and adventures, often taking family trips to Moosehead Lake. As a couple, Jim and Elinor were involved in square dancing groups, playing cards with friends, traveling to visit family, and were members of the VFW.
Elinor was a natural leader and took on many roles at Whitcomb-Baker VFW post in Hampden. She served as treasurer, secretary, and president of the Women's Auxiliary, taking on positions of responsibility at local, state, and national levels. In 1991 she was elected to represent Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont on the National Council of Administration governing the VFW Women's Auxiliaries. She was installed at the National Convention in Las Vegas that year. She was also renowned for organizing hunter's breakfasts, electrician's suppers, Children's Day events, Voice of Democracy Speech competitions, Memorial Day commemorations and volunteering at the Maine Veterans Home in Bangor. She received several awards and public recognition for her service to the community.
After retiring from teaching, Elinor went on to her third career, as a florist. She always had a love of gardens and took great pleasure in creating floral arrangements.
In addition to her parents, Elinor was predeceased by her husband, Jim; and her siblings, Roger, Roland, and Donald.
Elinor is survived by her children, Susan Canders and her husband, Michael, of Australia; Gregory and wife, Cathy Canders, of Bangor; grandchildren, Zachary Canders, and Dr. Caleb Canders; and her step-grandchildren, Justin and Melanie, of Australia.
The last 14 months of Elinor's life were spent as a resident at the Maine Veterans' Home in Bangor, where she was well known from her time as a volunteer there. Her family would like to express their appreciation to all the staff who gave her such great care and assistance at that time. Sincere gratitude is also given to the nurses at Beacon Hospice.
A graveside service will be held at Lakeview Cemetery, Hampden, in the spring. Condolences to the family may be expressed at BrookingsSmith.com
Published on February 8, 2019
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17 posts

Joyce Turner
Feb 12, 2019
Greg and Sue,
I’m thinking of you and your families during this difficult time. Elinor was a wonderful friend to Aunt Lorna. She will be missed by many who knew and loved her.
Jack Barrows
Feb 11, 2019
Sue and Greg, My sincere condlonces . Your Mom was a fantastic Lady a wonderful friend to my mother for many years. The Hunters Breakfast at the VFW will never be the same. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your families. God Bless.
Joan Colmer
Feb 11, 2019
Cathy and Greg so sorry to hear of Elinors passing. My love to you both and the boys
Kissy Walker
Feb 10, 2019
Your mom was sweet to my mom in Winterberry. I’ve thought if you all often. My mom loved the pictures of the grandchildren. Thinking of you! Kissy Walker
Shirley Stormann Melancon
Feb 09, 2019
Greg and Cathy, Zach and Caleb...I am so very sorry to read of Elinor’s passing. My thoughts and prayers are with you all❤️
Elaine White
Feb 09, 2019
What a wonderful women! I am so glad I got to know her and her wonderful children! My deepest condolences.
Gloria Johnston
Feb 09, 2019
Sorry for the loss of your mom. She will be greatly missed by all that knew her. Prayers going out to all the family.
Patty Cochrane
Feb 09, 2019
Elinor was a great lady! We had many happy days teaching at Dow Lane School in Bangor. My condolences to the family.
Geraldine & Rodney Stanhope
Feb 09, 2019
Greg and Susanne Thinking of you at this time of sorry but know your mother is in a better place. I enjoyed being a friend to your family and working with your father on the Railroad. They will always be on my mind.
Cheryl Clukey
Feb 09, 2019
Elinor was a true friend and mentor to me. She was always helpful when I joined the VFW Ladies Aux. I first met Elinor when I was a hairdresser at Westgate Beauty Salon. We seemed to hit it off from the beginning. Later, we continued this friendship through our many VFW activities. She always believed in me. Another Aux. sister has passed but not forgotten. Rest well my friend.
Rodney & Karen Duplisea
Feb 09, 2019
Sue, Greg, and family,

I have such wonderful memories of Elinor. Sending our thoughts and condolences.

Rodney & Karen Winter Haven FL
Vicki Brookings
Feb 09, 2019
Thinking of you and your family during this difficult time. She was such a sweet person who loved life and made everyone she knew feel special. Heartfelt condolences to all of you. Vicki
Dyna_kaye Curtis
Feb 08, 2019
Elinor was a neighbor of ours. In Greenville. My dad and Kim were great friends. They would visit when they came to town. Just loved them both. They will be in my thoughts always.
Hugs to you Susan and Greg.
Shirley Shannon
Feb 08, 2019
Elinors determination and persistence in helping others...our Veterans at MVH.She was selfless in providing us with many floral bouquets to adorn our hallways and units up until she could no longer drive herself to our home. Many thoughts and prayers for the family.Sue and Greg, thank you for your support while Elinor resided with us. We will miss you all. Xo
Mary Lawless Nanney
Feb 08, 2019
I spent some time in her and Jim's home when I was a kid and they were always special. Jim was my 1st cousin. Prayers for the family.
Wesley Stubbs
Feb 08, 2019
Greg and Family
With heartfelt sympathy for your loss,
a blessing that she passed away peacefully.
Jane Faulkingham Preston
Feb 08, 2019
Thoughts and prayers are with Susan, Greg and families. Have many wonderful memories on Cottage Street.