Avis's Story

SHERMAN - Avis Mary Unterreiner passed from this life on Dec. 10, 2015 after a brief illness while visiting family in Florida. Of those several daughters who were with her in those final moments, the youngest Vicky exclaimed, "I never realized Mom was so brave and so strong!" Certainly all who knew her would agree. Daughter Susan, her caretaker in the past few years, added that "although Mom was physically strong, she suffered in sorrow and loneliness for missing her husband of over 60 years and longed more than anything to be with her Bill."

Born on April 22, 1929, in Perth Andover, Canada, to Velma (Green) & George Gallagher, she was the eldest of 6 children. Of those, George Jr., Damey Robinson, Julia McLellan and Clifford, all live in Northern Maine. She was predeceased by her youngest sister Agnes Michaud.

Shortly after World War II, Avis met the man who would become her husband for the next 61 years. After leaving the Navy, Bernard William Unterreiner of Stanford, Connecticut, arrived in Northern Maine seeking work and there he met a young Avis when a potato she tossed at someone else as a joke, struck her future husband instead. History reveals that the youngsters soon fell in love and married shortly after on May 24, 1947. After spending time in both Northern and Southern Maine, the couple eventually settled in the small town of Sherman. Although finding steady income to care for a growing family was a constant challenge, Bill and Avis persevered. Avis was a gifted homemaker and valued the opportunity of gainful employment when available outside the home. Eventually, their determination paid off when Bill became the local mail carrier and several years later was appointed the district postmaster until he retired. Meanwhile they were a busy couple raising ten healthy children who all survive them; William, Margie and husband Gary Colby, Walter and life partner Gregory Willis, Stephen and wife Pam, Gary and wife Renee, Susan recently widowed of James Holland, Janice and husband Eric Carr, Kathy, Lori, Vicky and fiance Peter Fitzpatrick. Avis became grandmother to many grandchildren and great grandchildren. Also she is survived by dozens of nephews and nieces and a beloved widowed sister-in-law Audrey Unterreiner of Oklahoma. While Avis worked outside the home as her children grew older and less dependent, much of her life was devoted to being a mother who provided her children with all the warmth and richness a secure home could offer. No one would argue she was the mother few children can only dream about and when it come to mothers God was good to the Unterreiner children. A memorial service for Avis will be held on December 27th at 1:00 pm at the Sherman Rec Department with a luncheon following the service.
Bangor Daily News
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