Elaine's Story

BANGOR & BUCKSPORT - Elaine M. Kelleher, 91, passed away on January 15, 2015 after a period of declining health. She was born Elaine Margaret Mitchell in Bucksport on June 11, 1923 to William M. and Julia (Newcomb) Mitchell. Elaine attended Bucksport and Brewer schools, graduating from Brewer High School in 1941. She went on to attend Bates College in Lewiston and Children's Hospital School of Nursing in Boston, Massachusetts, graduating as a Registered Nurse. She continued to work at Children's Hospital throughout the war effort, becoming a member of the Army Nurses' Cadet Corps. She was married for 29 years to the love of her life, J. Paul Kelleher. Together, they owned and operated funeral homes in Orono, Millinocket, Lewiston, Carmel and Bangor. In addition to her career at Children's Hospital, Elaine was employed at Eastern Maine General Hospital as the Nursery Charge Nurse and manager of Eastern Maine General Hospital's Blood Bank. She went on to become the Director of Volunteers at Eastern Maine Medical Center, later moving to St. Joseph Hospital to fill the same position until she was asked to be the establishing Administrator of the Sylvia Ross Home on Ohio Street in Bangor. Elaine ended her career in nursing, retiring from Eastern Maine Medical Center's Outpatient Surgery Recovery Room. Along with her daughter, Nancy, they opened and operated The Yarn Shop in Bangor until she fully retired in 1992 to play Bingo, knit Mimi Socks, and travel with her special friend Gladys.

In addition to her parents and husband, Elaine was predeceased by her four brothers: Bill, Bud, Herbie and Charlie; one son, Bobby; and a granddaughter, Julie Lary. She is survived by four daughters and sons-in-law: Peg and David Lary of Palmyra, Nancy and Billy Warren of Green Cove Springs, Florida, Paula and Terry Burgess of Faifield Glade, Tennessee, and Katie and Scott Reed of Marlborough, Connecticut; three sons and their wives: J. Paul, Jr. and Deb Kelleher of Bucksport, Peter and Robin Kelleher of Cavendish, Vermont, and Dan and Cindy Kelleher of Haverhill, Massachusetts; and several nieces and nephews. Elaine will always be lovingly remembered as Mimi to her 15 grandchildren and 17 great-grandchildren. She always felt like more than just Aunt Elaine to Betty Ann, Elaine, Martha, Wayne and Brian.

A service for family will be held at Kiley & Foley Funeral Service, 299 Union St, Bangor. A graveside service for friends and family will be announced in the spring. Donations in Elaine's memory may be made to the Philips Strickland House, 21 Boyd Street, Bangor, Maine 04401. Elaine's family would like to extend gratitude for the compassionate and professional care provided by all the staff and caregivers at both the Philips Strickland House and the Bangor Nursing & Rehab Center.
Published in Bangor Daily News
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