Ruth's Story

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BEALS - Ruth Verlyn (Lenfestey) Carver, 86, passed peacefully at Down East Community Hospital in Machias, Maine, on March 4, 2015. She was born on July 27, 1928, at Beals, Maine, to Chester A. Lenfestey, and Delcena N. (Beal) Lenfestey.

She was predeceased by her childhood sweetheart and husband of 68-plus years, Guy H. Carver, Jr., whom she adored. She was sacrificially devoted to her family and fiercely loyal to her island roots.

She is survived by their six children, Herrick L. Carver and his life partner, deceased, Daleywah Jabulani, of San Francisco, California; Duane C. Carver and his wife, Dorrene; Dwight H. Carver and his wife, Patti; Teresa F. Carver Beal; Mark R. Carver and his wife, Debbie; and Suzanne D. Carver and her husband, Richard "Buzz" Carver - all of Beals, Maine.

She is also survived by grandchildren, Cary E. Carver and his wife, Ruby; Tammy A. Carver; Nicole V. Carver - all of Beals; a predeceased grandson, Toby J. Carver; Sandi L. Carver and wife, Suzanne, of Hampden; Kristi E. Carver-Kenney and her husband, Michael, of Beals; Tricia A. Carver-Watson and her husband, Brock, of Hampden; Guy Alan Beal and partner, Shannon, and her son Luke of Addison, Maine; Robbi Lee Carver and her partner, Chris; and Noah Tobias Carver - both of Beals.

Great-grandchildren include Paiden R. Carver; Cary E. Carver, Jr.; RoseMarie R. Carver; Marcus L. Smith; Leon E. Smith III; predeceased great-granddaughter, Elizabeth S. "Lizzie" Smith - all of Beals; Gabriella I. Carver; Maya A. Carver, of Hampden, Maine; Brevan M. Kenney and Makenna B. Kenney, of Beals.

She was predeceased by her parents, Chester A. and Delcena N. (Beal) Lenfestey of Beals; her sister, L. Eileen Lenfestey Peabody Beal of Beals; brother, Frederick G. Lenfestey of Jonesport, Maine; and sisters, Marguerite "Ardite" Lenfestey Wilson of Stonington, Maine; Gracia W. Lenfestey McGahagin of Tallahassee, Florida; and Leta F. Lenfestey Beal of Beals.

Ruth spent a lifetime in service of God, family, and community. A devout member of Beals Community of Christ, she lived her religious faith exemplifying Christ's message of service. She reared her six children and maintained a welcoming home, where people of all ages gathered for entertainment and to enjoy her culinary delights. Whether it was children running out the door with a freshly made doughnut on every finger or visitors gathering around the kitchen table for an entire meal, her home was open and inviting. As well, Ruth and Guy's property was widely regarded as the community playground. In many instances, her home became a safe-house for anyone seeking refuge and at one time served as a boarding home for the Beals Island Bridge construction crew. Having lost her father at the age of three, she was acutely aware of others' loss and became a first responder, offering consolation and meals to the bereaved.

She was an ardent supporter, activist, and formidable fundraiser for church, school, and community. If the school had a function or the church doors were open, Ruth was present. Ruth was a founding member and executive board director of the Beals Historical Society to the day of her passing. During that time, her responsibilities included committee chair, providing refreshments for programs and events. She was a woman ahead of her time: in the absence of a professional, she became the ad hoc community doctor. In her younger years with 2 children in tow, equipped with 20/10 vision and a .22 caliber rifle, she shot and bled two deer and later at home, cleaned and butchered them. Had she been born a generation later, and followed her dreams, she would likely have become a test pilot.

In 1954, while her husband, Guy, was co-founding the Maine Lobstermen's Association, which today has burgeoned to represent fully 1,200 members, comprising the entire Maine coastline, Ruth, with her children tugging at her coattails, was fundraising $1 donations door to door to help launch the MLA. She, along with her husband, Guy, and sister and brother-in-law, Leta L. and Earlon O. Beal, founded Long Point Lobster Co., a family wholesale lobster dealership and currently thriving business located on Beals. She established a restaurant/takeout, The Islander, that became a magnet within Washington and Hancock Counties and maintained it for two decades.

From 1990 to 2012, she and her husband, Guy, wintered in Zephyrhills, Florida, where she golfed and stayed active throughout her later years. It was there she sunk her 3rd hole-in-one at the BetMar Golf Club. Over that time, she and Guy formed many wonderful friendships in BetMar Park.

Special thanks go to her family and extended caregivers, foremost among them her daughter-in-law, Dorrene (Beal) Carver, with the assistance of Ruth's granddaughter, Tammy Carver. They sacrificially dedicated themselves to Ruth's home healthcare, especially after Guy's passing, permitting Ruth and Guy to remain in their ancestral home until their final days.

She is survived by many nieces, nephews, cousins, and sole-surviving brother-in-law, Earlon O. Beal.

To honor her love for her home congregation and church family, donations may be made to Beals Community of Christ, c/o Pastor Donna Bunker, PO Box 269, Beals, ME 04611.

Visiting hours are Saturday, March 7, from 5 to 8 pm, and the funeral will be held Sunday, March 8, at 2:00 pm, both at Beals Community of Christ, 50 Bay View Drive, Beals, Maine. Arrangements were made by Bragdon-Kelley Funeral Home in Machias, ME.
Published on  March 6, 2015
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