BANGOR - Lorraine Pike Larkin, 89, our beloved mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother departed this earth on her own terms October 16, 2014. Proud, principled, and practical, mom lived an exemplary life for 89 years, treating everyone she encountered with kindness and respect.
Mom was born on July 28, 1925 in the family home at 14 Pratt Street in Providence, Rhode Island, to restauranteur John Akeley Pike and Geneva May (Howard) Pike. The youngest child of John and Geneva, mom spent her early years in Providence, where she enjoyed Italian ice cream on Federal Hill and chocolate donuts at her dad's restaurant. The stock market crash of 1929 forced the family to relocate to Hodgdon where mom's maternal grandparents lived. When a person was hungry during the hard economic times in Providence, he was often told, "Go to Pike's. He'll feed you."
Mom attended elementary school in Hodgdon and was a graduate of Hodgdon High School. Known as "Toots" to many of her friends, mom was a life long Hodgdon Hawk. In high school she participated in public speaking, drama, class and student council, and athletics. She was a starting guard on Coach Peabody's women's basketball team. Despite her diminutive stature, mom was a tough player although a bit challenged in rebounding. She always told us that she still could hear Coach Peabody's voice calling from the bench, "Jump, Pike! Jump!" Senior year mom's classmates named her in their senior superlatives, recognizing her as having the best legs and being the best dancer. Mom still had great legs at 89, and she danced at her grandson Adam's wedding in 2011.
Mom returned to Providence after high school to continue her education at Bryant Stratton College, now Bryant University. Education was a priority with mom, and she was extremely proud of the academic accomplishments of her family. First days of school and graduations held a special place in mom's heart, and she hoped that her great-granddaughters would always love learning.
After she graduated from Bryant-Stratton, mom flew across country and worked for a year and a half as an administrative assistant in Venice, California. Her stories were legendary. When she returned to Maine, she served as a judge's clerk and justice of the peace at the Aroostook County Court in Houlton. A hard worker her entire life, mom held many responsible positions. After moving to Bangor in 1959, mom worked in the dietary office at Eastern Maine Hospital. When her mother became ill, mom changed positions to allow her more time at home. For 15 years she managed the Bangor office of Howard A. Pearce Insurance Associates, the local branch of Mutual of Omaha. When the Pearce 'boys' retired and the office in Bangor closed, mom took a position in retail. Like her older brother Hal, mom was gifted at sales. She retired in the late 80's, and retirement provided her with more time to devote to her adored Red Sox.
A lifelong Red Sox fan, Mom enjoyed her many celebratory Sox conversations with her Broadway Hannaford family of whom she was very fond. Mom always said (as did so many others) that she would die happy if the Sox could win just one championship! Her belief in her team was rewarded with not one but three titles. Mom's allegiance to her team is commemorated with a memorial brick in her honor at Fenway Park.
Mom was as passionate about politics as she was about the Red Sox. When she was a young girl, she listened to FDR's fireside chats. She followed world happenings and was always well informed about contemporary issues and events. One of the highlights of mom's political life was meeting Margaret Chase Smith and riding home from Boston on the train with the senator. Mom was proud to have voted in every election (including the current one) and was extremely pleased that in her lifetime American attitudes changed enough that she could help elect President Obama.
In addition to her parents, John and Geneva, mom was predeceased by her brothers, Halston A. Pike, and Master Sergeant Quentin G. Pike, who gave his life in service to his country in World War II, her sister, Shirley Pike, and her best friend from childhood, Jeannette Tidd Beaulieu. She was also predeceased by her husband, Nicholas John Larkin, Navy veteran of the PT boat campaign in the Pacific. Mom is survived by her three daughters, Karen Sue Marley of Bangor, Terry Ann Marley-DeRosier and her partner, Jeff ("Jeffro") Cobb of Bangor and Lincoln, and Lori Jean Marley Kinney of Bangor. Three grandchildren, whom she watched over and mentored closely, Kari Lorraine DeRosier and her partner, Mark Lewis of Bangor, Dr. Robert Adam Kinney and his wife, Dr. Stacey Standridge of Arlington, Virginia, and Dr. Aaron Michael Kinney and his partner, Dr. Navi Singh of Sacramento, California. Three great-granddaughters, who brought her endless joy, Marley Mae Lewis and Mya Pike Lewis of Bangor and Charlotte Lorraine Kinney of Arlington, Virginia. Mom is also survived by her cousin, Trudy Howard Kinney of Las Vegas, Nevada and her three children, her nephew, James Pike, his wife Michelle of Bangor and their three children, many great-nieces and nephews, and three loyal and supportive friends, Leah Koritzky, Saabrina Mosher, and Sharon ("Cheryl") Smith-Belanger.
Friends are welcome to call from 1-3 pm Saturday, October 25th at Brookings-Smith, 133 Center Street, Bangor. Internment will be Sunday October 26th at noon in the family plot in the Hodgdon Cemetery, Hodgdon, Maine. Those who wish to remember mom in a special way may contribute to the scholarship being established in her name at Hodgdon High School. Mom's desire is that the scholarship be awarded to a student athlete who intends to pursue a teaching career. Donations to the Lorraine Pike Larkin Scholarship may be mailed to Karen S. Marley, P.O. Box 265, Orono, ME 04473. Condolences to the family may be expressed at www.BrookingsSmith.com.