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Athlyn S. Titcomb

Athlyn's Story

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Houlton - Athlyn S.Titcomb passed away peacefully November 10, 2016, at Madigan Estates Nursing home. She was born August 18, 1922, in Amity, Maine, the tenth child of Effie Laurina Walton and Isaac W. Simpson. She grew up on a farm and learned the value of hard work at an early age. She used to stand on a stool at the age of five and mix bread dough for her mother. She helped with all aspects of family life on the farm - tending younger siblings, weeding the garden, milking cows, churning butter, canning, cleaning, washing endless piles of dishes - and all without the aid of electricity.
Along with all the hard work there were great times to be had among a rambunctious family of fourteen children. She would often recall such things as making a five gallon freezer of wild strawberry ice cream for the Fourth of July after picking berries all day, fishing at Jimmy Brook with mud on her face to deter the blackflies, and lighting real candles on a Christmas tree that had been decorated with popcorn strings and homemade ornaments.
Much of Athlyn's childhood was spent during the Great Depression, which trained her well in being resourceful and thrifty. She could make a meal out of anything, and often spent her summers and falls freezing, pickling, canning, and making jellies and jams. She was a wonderful cook and homemaker; she loved making her home a cozy, warm environment and serving wonderful meals to her family and friends.
After graduating from Hodgdon High School, Athlyn headed to Connecticut to work in factories producing goods for the war effort. In 1946 she married Vernon Titcomb from Houlton and headed to the University of Maine while he finished his degree in engineering. These were financially difficult times for them, and Athlyn's ability to can food and make a meal from anything were abundantly used.
Athlyn moved with her family to Lake Hayward, Connecticut, in the early fifties and lived there until 1963 at which time the family, now including three daughters moved to Perry, Maine, to begin the work of creating a campground that would come to be known as Sunrise Shores. Athlyn worked alongside Vern in building up a very successful business venture which lasted for the next twenty-five years. It was here that the Titcomb family made many lasting friendships with campers who became a permanent part of their lives. Athlyn was a great prankster with a lively sense of humor, and the tricks that she pulled on her campers along with the ones they played in return are the "stuff that of which legends are made."
Athlyn's family and friends were of utmost importance in her life. She cared for her husband, who suffered from dementia, at home until the very end - even though she was 90 years old at the time of his death. She was a person who took special care in calling and writing to those that mattered to her. She always remembered to send cards for birthdays and special occasions, and her Christmas card list was endless. In turn, she really appreciated the cards sent to her - especially in the last year of her physical decline - so thank you friends and family for being so thoughtful!
Athlyn's indomitable spirit and quick wit will be sadly missed by all those who had the honor of sharing a part of her life. Aside from her parents, she was predeceased by her husband of 66 years, Alton Vernon Titcomb; six brothers, Millard, Sterle, Fred, Hollis, Gerald, and Earl; five sisters, Evelyn Curtis, Rose Collins, Ellen Thompson, Olive Thompson, and Elaine Simpson. She is survived by one sister, Lily McQuarrie of Colchester and one sister-in-law, Ruth Simpson of Houlton, Maine. She is also survived by numerous cousins, nieces, and nephews whom she loved dearly, and who were faithful in visiting, writing, and calling her all through the years.
Athlyn leaves behind three daughters, Ellen Askren and her husband Bob of Houlton, Susan Beasley and her husband Joe of Houlton, and Rebecca Begin and her husband Greg of Norfolk, Mass; ten grandchildren, Kristen Askren Wood, David Vernon Askren, Mark Askren, Nancy Beasley, Joe Beasley IV, Julie Beasley De Grass, Vernon Beasley, Sarah Beasley, Jennifer Beasley Parlee, and Gregory Titcomb Begin; fourteen great grandchildren, Athlyn, Katherine, and David Wood II; Ava, Ella and Drew Askren; Barrett and Elizabeth Dunn; Lily, Wyatt, and Squire Degrass; and Layne, Payson, and Lyla Parlee.
The family would like to thank the staff at Madigan Estates Nursing Home for their kindness and care, and a sincere thanks to caregiver and friend, Vicki Yarema, niece Laurine Wilson and nephew Jim Thompson for their gentle assistance and compassionate hearts.
Friends may call 10:00 to 11:00 a.m., Saturday, Nov. 19, 2016, at the Church of the Good Shepherd. Service will begin at 11:00 a.m. with Rev. Ginny Urbanek officiating. Interment will be in the Littleton Cemetery. A time of fellowship will be held following the interment at Watson Hall. Gift may be made in Athlyn's memory payable to Houlton Fire & Rescue or the charity of one's choice c/o Dunn Funeral Home, 11 Park Street, Houlton, 04730. Online condolences and guest book: dunnfuneral.com
Published on  November 12, 2016
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