PRESQUE ISLE - Aldene Eaton Gordon, age 97, formerly of Rowley, MA, died Wednesday, March 2, 2016, in Presque Isle, after a period of declining health. She was born January 18, 1919, in Peabody, to Raymond and Ruth Porter Eaton of Danvers. Aldene graduated from Holten High School in 1936. She married Arthur Kendall Gordon in 1943 and they resided in Rowley, Mass. Arthur predeceased her in 2001.
During the war, Aldene was employed by United Shoe Machinery Corp. Later she was a reporter for several Essex County newspapers, including the Newburyport Daily News, the Lawrence Eagle, Ipswich Chronicle and the Salem News. As a member of the press she championed the development of the first Massachusetts Open Meeting Law. She also was employed as a legal secretary with various lawyers in the area and retired as executive secretary of New England Water Pollution Control Association. She served two terms as a selectwoman in Rowley, was elected to the Municipal Light Board, served on the Rowley Library Board of Trustees and as a trustee of the David E. Smith Fund. In addition she was an accomplished cellist who belonged to several symphony orchestras and chamber groups including her own Starlight Trio and Kammermusik String Quartet. She continued to perform into her nineties. Her most notable musical achievement was as a member of the McDowell group directed by Arthur Fiedler in the 1940s. She was an active member of the Rowley Grange and held several offices there. Her other memberships included Chebacco Pomona, the Order of the Eastern Star, and the General Israel Putnam Chapter of the DAR. She took great pride in being one of the oldest members of Curves of Topsfield. After one elderly acquaintance confided that Sunday was the loneliest day of the week, Aldene began inviting five or six guests for Sunday dinners. Her gatherings made for many an enjoyable afternoon. She was famous for her lemon meringue pie and the excellent cookies she donated to the Grange raffle table. Nobody left her house without a bag of snickerdoodles, oatmeal chocolate chip or peanut butter cookies. All who knew her appreciated her generous heart, her passion for politics, and her love of animals, especially her two cats.
The family would like to thank the many friends and staff who enriched the remaining years of Aldene's life in Maine, including the Presque Isle Nursing Home, Leisure Gardens, The Aroostook Medical Center, Dr. Stephen Wood, E Victoria Grover PA-C, Richard Currier and Rev Maury Landry.
Aldene is survived by three daughters, Maralyn and John Doyle of Newbury, NH, Kendra and W. Bruce Cooper of Reading, MA, and Dale J. Gordon of Caribou, ME. In addition, she leaves seven grandchildren and five great-grandchildren; her sister, Merle Eaton Dustin of Contoocook, NH; brother, Bruce Porter Eaton of Danvers; and her dearest friend, Merle Phipps of Rowley.
In lieu of flowers, Aldene requested that donations be made either to the Salvation Army, 40 Water Street, Newburyport, MA 01950 or the Merrimack River Feline Rescue, 63 Elm Street, Salisbury, MA 01952. A memorial service will be held at the First Congregational Church of Rowley, MA, at a later date. The Duncan Graves Funeral Home of Presque Isle and the Roberts Funeral Home of Rowley are assisting with the arrangements. Memories may be shared with the family at www.duncan-graves.com.