Marilyn's Story

BANGOR AND PATTEN - Our mother, Marilyn Shaw McCourt, was a member of the Greatest Generation and a woman with incredible inner strength. She was born on June 30, 1927 in Limestone, Maine to Samuel and Blanche Shaw.

When her parents died, she spent her childhood living in an orphanage and with relatives. At age 19, she withdrew from studying interior design in Manhattan and married her high school sweetheart, Wallace, upon his return from serving in post WWII reconstruction of Germany. They started raising a brood of six children along with a herd of dairy cows and flock of chickens on a 165 acre farm in Patten, Maine. As a farmer's wife and thrifty mother, she taught her children how to pick fiddleheads from swollen spring riverbanks, wild strawberries from the pastures, and new potatoes from Aroostook County fields. Every Saturday night, the kitchen smelled of freshly baked bread and beans and every Sunday morning, freshly bathed and ironed children were inspected at the door before leaving for Mass. She had the uncanny ability to always know when her young children were up to something often making us wonder if she truly had "eyes in the back of her head."

When Wally died in 1978, shortly before his 52nd birthday, she moved to Bangor, worked for Etna Furniture Company and spent countless hours volunteering for St. Joseph Hospice. As a devoted parishioner of St. John' s Catholic Church, she attended daily mass, assisted the sick and visited the elderly. An avid gardener, Marilyn loved to tend her flower beds and visit botanical wonders.

She is survived by her children, son Michael and his wife Rose, son Joseph and his wife Linda, son Anthony and his wife Joni, daughter, Anne and her husband Jerry Mundy, daughter Maria and her husband Steve Middleton, and daughter Virginia and her husband Robert McCurdy, and bonus daughter Beth. She is survived by 23 grandchildren and 28 great-grandchildren. She is also survived by brother Bernard Shaw and his wife Norma, sister Ruth MacIlroy, sister-in-law Elizabeth and her husband George Bates and predeceased by brother Vaughan Shaw and sister Virginia Shaw.

Friends may call at the Greenlawn Funeral Home, 300 State St., Bangor 4-6 p.m. Sunday. A mass of Christian burial will be celebrated 11 a.m. Monday at St. John's Catholic Church. Burial will be in the family lot in Patten Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, please make a donation in her memory to New Hope Hospice, PO Box 70, Holden, ME 04428.
Published in Bangor Daily News
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