Carolyn's Story

BREWER - Carolyn Lois Costain, 75, passed away unexpectedly but peacefully with her children at her side on April 6, 2016 at EMMC. She was born February 27, 1941, in Brewer, the daughter of Gerald N. and Helen (Brown) Costain of Holden, Maine.

Carolyn grew up in Holden and attended grade school at several of the Town's various one room schoolhouses before she graduated from Brewer High School, Class of 1959 and then obtained an undergraduate degree from The University of Maine, Orono, Class of 1963. She subsequently earned a Master of Education degree from The University of Maine, Orono, while working and raising a family. Upon initial college graduation in 1963, Carolyn began her lifelong career and passion of educating students first teaching a variety of grade levels at the Hebrew Day School in Bangor for several years before transitioning to a new role at Brewer High School where she taught sophomore English for over 15 years. In 1984 she shifted to a new career opportunity as the Principal at Mt Ararat High School in Topsham, where she served for 7 years followed by 10 years as Principal of Hampshire Regional High School in Westhampton, MA before she retired in 2001 to return to Maine to reside at her beloved family camp at Green Lake. Upon her return to Maine, she re-immersed herself as an active member of the Holden Congregational Church. Her many capacities at the Church included choir, Ladies Home Circle, Trustee, Deacon, etc. not to mention, she was one of the many culinary masters of Christmas peanut brittle and baked bean suppers, a wiz at knitting winter mittens and Church fair band leader. She took tremendous joy in the toils and bounties of gardening and also enjoyed the many hours of friendly, but competitive, card playing with her special group of local friends.

Notwithstanding Carolyn's passion for education, her commitment to church and her past times, it was her family who received the utmost of her love and attention; and even more so after she retired from teaching. Carolyn, Mom, Gar, Sister and Aunt Carolyn loved nothing more than a family gathering - whether it be for any good excuse to spend time at Green Lake, any family member's birthday, various holidays or a simple meal together - she relished the joy, laughter, rich conversations and hub-bub of being with family. She loved her children, grandchildren and Charlie all dearly and unequivocally as demonstrated by her tireless support, patient willingness to listen without judgment, enthusiasm for all our endeavors - athletic, academic or professional - and her wry humor. But, she took her greatest comfort from and was pleased by nothing more than seeing us get together, have fun and love and express love to one another with the simple hope that we do so as often as possible.

Above all Carolyn was an endless care giver and patient listener to not just family but everyone she loved and encountered; and, rare did she have an encounter where either love or patience were not present. With this thought in mind, the family wishes to extend our deepest appreciation and heartfelt gratitude to the nurses and medical staff at EMMC who comforted her, our family and her dear friends during her and our time of need. Thank you for all you did for us. It was above and beyond.

Carolyn was predeceased by her parents and is survived by her 20 year companion and love, Charles Mays, of Brewer; a sister, Janice Gray and her husband, Richard, of Dedham; her son, Bruce Nickerson and his wife, Sharon, of Holden; her daughter, Kris Summit, and her husband, Ron, of Newburyport, MA; her son, Andy and his wife, Julie, of Holden; seven loved and loving grandchildren, Mathew Summit, Holly Nickerson, Taylor Summit, Jordan Nickerson, Meg Nickerson, Hannah Nickerson and Gabby Nickerson; and several nephews, nieces and cousins.

Relatives and friends are welcome to join the family for visiting hours between 6 and 8 p.m. Friday, April 8, 2016, at the Brewer Chapel of Brookings-Smith, 55 South Main Street, Brewer. The church memorial service and celebration of Carolyn's life will be held 2 p.m. Saturday, April 9, 2016 at Holden Congregational Church, UCC, 9 Rider Bluff Road, Holden with Pastor Linette George officiating to be followed by conversation and refreshments at the Church.

Those who wish to remember Carolyn in a special way may make gifts in her memory to the Holden Congregational Church, UCC, P.O. Box 309, Holden, ME 04429. Condolences to the family may be expressed at www.BrookingsSmith.com
Published in Bangor Daily News
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