Annie's Story

ORONO - Annie (Anne) Dowling Mawhinney, 93, passed away early Thanksgiving Day, November 27, at Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor. She was the wife of the late Eugene Mawhinney and, following his passing in 2006, spent her remaining years in their family home in Orono.

She was born on June 16, 1921 in East Machias, Maine, the daughter of Frank and Jessie (Harmon) Dowling. She graduated from Washington Academy at the age of 16, from Washington State Normal School (now the University of Maine at Machias) in 1940, and from the University of Maine with a BA degree in 1943. Anne taught at Washington Academy for a year before being offered a teaching assistantship at Syracuse University. She loved her two years at Syracuse: teaching, taking graduate classes and also serving as head resident for a house of lively nursing students. In June of 1946 she received her MA in mathematics from Syracuse, and, two months later, she and Gene were married in Jacksonville. They began their life together in South Apts on the Orono campus, and Anne taught at the University. Three years later they moved "halfway across the country" to the University of Illinois for Gene to pursue graduate work. Their daughter, Meredith, was born in Urbana, IL. The family moved to Kirksville, MO in 1951 and after four years relocated to Elmira, NY, where Gene continued his academic career.

In 1959 Anne and Gene were very excited to be able to return to Maine, and Orono became their home for the next five and a half decades. Son Mark joined the family in the fall of 1959, and as Anne always said, gave her the strength to push through some very tough physical challenges. She had true grit and never complained about what life had dealt her. Her life was continually filled with special times with family and friends. There was no place that Anne would rather be than at their camp on Gardner Lake, and how she looked forward to the gathering of grandchildren and cousins each and every summer. She was an active member of the Church of Universal Fellowship, the Woman's Club and the Orono Health Association. She volunteered at Eastern Maine Medical Center. She was a beautiful seamstress and an avid bridge player. But most importantly, she was a loving parent, grandparent and friend. She was an amazing correspondent who never forgot a birthday and was looking forward to being in touch with so many family and friends at the holidays. Her family will greatly miss her frequent and often very amusing iPad texts. Her wit, candor, and zest for life (and conversation!) will be a part of us always.

Anne is survived by her daughter Meredith Anson and her husband Philip of Scarborough; son Mark and his wife Judith of South Portland; five granddaughters: Courtney and her husband James Garrett, Elisabeth, Hayley and Caroline Anson and Molly Mawhinney; two great-grandsons: Rowan and Oliver Garrett; brother and sister-in-law Vincent and Evelyn Dowling and their children: Marilyn, Steve, Phil, and Gary and their families; and many first cousins.

The family wishes to express their gratitude to the many friends who have been so devoted to Anne, and in particular to her dear friend, Sue Gleason, whose kindness and unwavering support enabled Anne to remain in her home for these last years. We also extend our heartfelt thanks to Judy Cyr for all her years of supporting Anne's ability to live independently. Lastly, we express our deep appreciation to Loving Touch whose caregivers have provided exceptional care since August.

A memorial service will be held at 11am on Friday, December 12, at the Church of Universal Fellowship, 82 Main St., Orono. Lunch and continued fellowship will follow in the vestry. Memorial contributions can be made to the Eugene A. Mawhinney Scholarship, University of Maine Foundation, Two Alumni Place, Orono, ME 04469-5792. If preferred, donations may be made online at

Condolences to the family may be expressed at
Published in Bangor Daily News
Services by

Brookings-Smith Funeral Home

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