- Rebecca Anne Farley, 65, of Surry, passed away peacefully Dec. 11, 2016, at home surrounded by loving family after a long illness. She was born April 11, 1951, in Presque Isle to Earl T. Gross and Athena C. (Athas) Gross.
She graduated from Presque Isle High School in 1969 and attended the University of Maine in Orono, where she studied English Literature. During her summers in college, she worked on Mount Desert Island for the National Park Service. Her first summer on the Island she met her future husband Earle W. Farley. Earle and Rebecca were married in September of 1971 at St. Peter's Catholic Church in Manset.
Their first home together as newlyweds was in Great Works. Earle worked for New England Telephone Company and Rebecca continued her college studies. In 1973 they moved to Surry and welcomed a son, Paul. Rebecca began substitute teaching and eventually became a mainstay at Surry elementary as the school secretary, where for many years she was the smiling face that greeted students and parents alike. Many former students remember her as a caring supportive mentor who was invaluable to their school community.
Rebecca's commitment did not stop at her involvement with the school. She was an active member of the Surry Garden Club, and several town committees, most notably the Surry Community Improvement Association for which she served as both Director and President from 2006-2008. She was a Girl Scouts troop leader, foster parent, and sponsored many children in South America through the Christian Children's Fund. She volunteered at the local senior center through Friends in Action, a senior care organization that was very dear to her. In addition to the time Rebecca spent helping her community, she was a loving wife and mother who was completely devoted to her family. She was an avid reader and gardener who always sought to make the world beautiful around her.
Rebecca is survived by Earle, her husband of 45 years; her son, Paul of Gorham and his partner, Rachel Bell; grandson, Asa Farley of Gorham; sisters, Debbie Owen and her husband, Peter, and Jackie Broaddus and her husband, Andrew; brothers, Peter Gross and his wife, Sally, J. Nicholas Gross and his wife, Kristin, and Anthony and his wife, Xiao; mother-in-law, Merilyn Farley; numerous cousins, nieces, nephews and family friends that were all very special to her.
A service of remembrance will be held this spring at a date yet to be determined. Interment will be at East Surry Cemetery. Gifts in Rebecca's memory can be made to Friends in Action, 125 State St., P.O. Box 1446, Ellsworth, ME 04605. Arrangements in care of Jordan-Fernald, 113 Franklin Street, Ellsworth. Condolences may be expressed at www.jordanfernald.com.
Published on  December 20, 2016