HARTLAND - Rena Mae Lamson, 95, passed away on November 6, 2015 at Sanfield Rehabilitation Center. She was born in Burlington, ME on February 25, 1920 and was raised in Millinocket, ME where her father, John Russell McCauslin, worked as a millwright for the Great Northern Paper Company. Her mother, Hannah Eliza (Ballard), raised the family. Her fond memories of childhood included riding to school on Creen's horse drawn wagon, and bringing box lunches to her dad at the mill. She attended Stearns High School in Millinocket graduating in 1937. Her favorite memory from high school was riding the train to the annual basketball tournaments in Bangor where she proudly supported the Stearns Minutemen.
After graduation she worked as a sales clerk at the J.J. Newberry Store in Millinocket for 3 years. In 1940 she moved to South Portland where she worked for McLellan Stores, then for Porteous, Mitchell & Braun from 1941 to 1943. It was during this period she met her husband Lawrence Lamson. A friend had originally arranged a blind date with his brother Llewellyn but as fate would have it Llewellyn was unable to attend and Lawrence took his place. They married on June 8, 1941 and honeymooned on Cold Stream Lake.
Following the birth of her son Lawrence, Jr. in 1944 the family resided on Munjoy Hill before relocating to Cumberland in 1958. Though they resided in the Portland area, they visited relatives in the Millinocket area several times a year. They maintained a close relationship with the McCauslins, among whom Rena was affectionately known as "The Sarge" (as she was the family organizer). Rena was very dedicated to keeping in touch and maintaining relationships with her many relatives.
Throughout her life she enjoyed putting away memories in the form of photos and photobooks. She spent much time and care in organizing each album to show individual family members as well as family units. Rena was a lifelong member of the First Baptist Church in Portland (Jesus Never Fails). She was involved in many aspects of the church, including her time as a deaconess, her work with the pulpit committees, suppers, and the choir. The choir director Mr. Goff once told Rena, "There are black keys and white keys on a piano, but you sing in the cracks." The church sponsored Boy Scout Troop 5 of which Lawrence Sr. was the scoutmaster for 37 years. Lawrence and the troop received a lot of support from Rena and the troop would not have been the same without her.
In 1960 she began working part-time as a distribution clerk at the U.S. Post Office at Cumberland; she started working full-time in July 1972 and was made officer-in-charge. She was Postmaster at Cumberland from 1972-1980. Rena was involved with Cumberland's community programs such as The Garden Club and We Neighbors. Rena retired in 1980, after which she and Lawrence Sr. spent their winters as snowbirds in Zephyrhills, FL. Following Lawrence's passing in 2002, Rena kept the routine of residing in Maine but wintering in Florida. She later moved to Hartland, ME where she lived next door to her son Lawrence, Jr.
She is predeceased by her husband Lawrence Sr., brothers John and Robert, and sisters Genevieve, Regina and Nina. She is survived by her son Lawrence Lamson, Jr. of Hartland; her granddaughter Lynn and her husband James Amabile of Gorham; grandson Kevin of Portland; sisters Marguerite of Dade City, FL and Lois and her husband Earl of Camden; sisters-in-law Marjorie and Barbara, as well as numerous nephews and nieces. Rena is also survived by special friends Doris Barter of Portland, and Jack and Ellen Glatter of Cumberland.
A funeral service will be held on Thursday, November 19 at 10:00 at: Jones Rich and Hutchins Funeral Home, 199 Woodford Street, Portland, ME 04103. Burial will follow in Moss Side Cemetery, 335 Main Street, Cumberland, ME 04021. Please visit www.lindquistfuneralhome.com to view a video collage of Rena's life and to share condolences, memories and tributes with her family.