Florence's Story

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BAR HARBOR - Florence Adelaide (Harriman) Ames, 98, passed away peacefully on July 26, 2015, with loving family members by her side in Bar Harbor, Maine. She was born on October 29, 1916, the youngest of six children of LeRoy and Rebecca (Pray) Harriman, a descendent of the first family to settle in Pretty Marsh. All were born and brought up in Bar Harbor. She was proud to accept the Bar Harbor Historical Society Oldest Resident Cane in 2013.

Florence graduated from Bar Harbor High School in 1935 and worked as a night telephone operator for nearly 20 years until the Bar Harbor office closed. She was one of the key operators during the fire of 1947 and was among the local New England Telephone and Telegraph Company operators to receive the Theodore N. Vail medal in recognition for her skill, courage, fortitude, devotion to duty and performing acts of noteworthy public service during the Fire of 1947. She was employed at the Jackson Laboratory for 11 years. She retired from the Bar Harbor Water Company in 1981 as Bookkeeper and Office Manager.

Florence was married to Fred F. Ames, Sr. for 65 years, and they had four children, Fred, Jr., Robert, Dorothy and Peter. They also raised Molly Frost and considered her their daughter.

She grew up in a very close musical family. They loved to get together and harmonize, as a soprano, tenor and base, plus an orchestra consisting of the piano, banjo, violin, cello and saxophone. Her father (a local barber) played many instruments and her mother was musical as well. Florence also enjoyed dancing. She grew up to love and appreciate music. It has been stated that you could always hear music coming from the family home.

Florence was a member of the Bar Harbor Congregational Church, UCC for over 50 years and sang in the choir for many years. She was a member of the Eastern Star, Irene Chapter, Y.W.C.A., Mount Desert Island Hospital Auxiliary, a Den Mother, Girl Scout Leader, Board Member, Treasurer and Honorary Director of the Bar Harbor Historical Society. She held Chairmanship and was Chaplin of the Mount Desert Island Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution. Florence and her sisters organized the Bar Harbor High School Reunion for many years and after her sisters passed away, she continued to organize it until the 50th class took over that responsibility. She was awarded the new BHHS banner in 1992 for her dedication and hard work to keep the reunion continuing for all of the graduates.

Florence and Fred lost their home and all of their belongings in the Bar Harbor Fire of 1947. After starting over and buying another home in 1948, their doors were always open to extended family members and friends (providing a home for nine) plus any stray cat or dog that needed a home. She always found time to be involved in her children's activities such as dance recitals, sports events, school programs and projects, and to play all types of games with her children.

There were many other activities that she enjoyed such as completing the daily crossword puzzles, knitting, sewing, reading, TV game shows and above all her weekly bridge and card games with her very special friends. She took several cruises and traveled to Europe, a cross country trip and visited almost all of the 50 states with her sisters, nieces and daughter. She always loved to attend the Wayback Balls, was an exercise instructor at The Malvern Belmont in her early 80s and took line dancing with her daughter. Florence enjoyed breakfast and/or lunch at Jordan's, dinner at Galyns, weekly lunches with her sisters and brother. She never forgot to send birthday cards, so we all knew we were thought of and loved.

Florence was a devoted and proud mother, grandmother and great grandmother. She is survived by her sons, Fred, Jr. and wife, Dorothy, of Bath, New York, Robert and wife, Judith of The Villages, Florida, a daughter, Dorothy Robins, of Bar Harbor and Molly Frost and husband, Donald of Bar Harbor. Grandchildren, Patricia Ames, of Phoenix AZ, Nadine Roseblum of Towson, MD, Amy Marien of Baltimore, MD, Paul Ames, Parkland, FL, Karen Johnson, Alhambra, CA and Seth Robins of Town Hill, ME. She had eight great-grandchildren and several nieces, nephews and cousins.

She was predeceased by her parents and husband Fred, Sr. in 2002, son, Peter in 1995, son-in-law Stan Robins, 1994, and four sisters Kathleen Higginbotham, 1989, Margaret Dyer, 1994, Mildred Allan, 2000, Mary Carroll, 2003 and her brother, John Harriman in 1993, her nephews, Major Richard S. Foster, Lieutenant Col. Donald E. Dyer, Jr., nieces, Geraldine Hodgkins Thurston, Marilyn Carroll LaHaye and Jeanne Foster Adams.

Services will be announced at a later date in August.

Contributions in Florence's memory may be made to the Bar Harbor Congregational Church, 29 Mt. Desert St., Bar Harbor, ME 04609 and/or the S.P.C.A. of Hancock County, 141 Bar Harbor Road, Trenton, ME 04605.

Arrangements by Jordan-Fernald, 1139 Main St., Mt. Desert. Kind words, fond memories, and condolences may be shared at www.jordanfernald.com
Published on  July 29, 2015
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