- Lois Mary Ware Thurston, formerly of West Gardiner, Island Falls and Chelsea, Maine, passed away peacefully on December 30th, 2016, from complications of Alzheimer's Disease, at age 79.
She was born in Gardiner, Maine on May 2nd, 1937, third daughter of Paul Campion Ware and Ida Ethel Harriman Ware, of Spear's Corner Road, West Gardiner, Maine.
She was educated in local schools, and graduated from Gorham State Teachers College in 1958 with a degree in Elementary Education. Though she taught school in Edgecomb, Woolwich and Smyrna Mills, her true avocation was genealogy. A professional Certified Genealogist, Lois was a life-long member of the Maine Genealogical Society, becoming the Associate Editor of the of the Society's journal, "The Maine Genealogist". A member of the Mayflower Society, she was able to trace her lineage back to several of the Pilgrims. As a founding member of the Harriman Family Association, she researched and wrote "Harriman History: Feudalism to Freedom", along with Christine Craighill, a historian based in Uldale, England, where the family originated. In collaboration with Joseph Anderson of Texas, she wrote three research volumes: "Woodsome Family in America", "Vital Records of Kittery, Maine," and "Maine Families in 1790, Vol. 4". Alone, she wrote 'Some Descendants of Samuel and Elizabeth (Mariner) Staples" and "The Harriman Family: Research in Progress". Upon her retirement, she volunteered to find genealogies of people who donated artifacts to the Maine State Museum.
She married Ancyl Sterling Thurston on January 31st, 1958. They were active in the Old South Congregational Church in Hallowell. She was a Deaconess and a Covent member of the congregation, served on several search committees, and penned the history of the Church: "Hallowell's Granite Church: Old South Congregational Church, United Church of Christ". In their retirement, she and Ancyl traveled in the US and in Europe, with trips to Denmark, and throughout the UK, combining research and pleasure.
The last several years of Lois' life were spent under the care of the staff at MaineGeneral Rehabilitation & Long Term Care - Glenridge in Augusta. Her family is truly grateful for the staff there, and their courtesy, professionalism and love.
Lois was predeceased by her husband, her parents, and Joyce Willoughby, her next oldest sister. She is survived by her children; Scott Albert Thurston and his wife Odette, Linda Weston and her husband Phillip, and Timothy Paul Thurston and his wife Delani, her grandsons; Stephen and Nicholas Thurston, and Jonathan Allen, her eldest sister Jane Simpkins, and many nieces and nephews.
Funeral arrangements are made with Staples Funeral Home of Gardiner, Maine, and services will be held at Old South Congregational Church in the spring. The announcement will be made at a later date. Interment will take place at the family lot at Fairbanks Cemetery, West Gardiner. For those who desire, memorial contributions may be made to Old South Church, 135 Second St., Hallowell, Maine. (The Rev. Susan M. Reisert, pastor).