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Her childhood was spent living in Stamford, Conn., Scotland, Plainfield, N.J., and at Bay View Farm in Belfast where she moved with her family as a teenager. Lila graduated from Crosby High School in the class of 1950 where she played basketball and was in the orchestra. Lila was a talented pianist and she, along with her younger brother Gordon, who played the accordian, once entertained passengers on the Queen Mary while they travelled with the family to Scotland. She completed her studies at Westbrook College in 1952 and went to work as a hospital dietitian in Norwalk, Conn. Around that time, she met the love of her life, John W. Coombs of Belfast, whom she married in 1954. During the next several years, Lila and John moved to Bangor and welcomed their children, Pamela and John "Jock." Once Pam and Jock were in school, Lila decided to return to college to complete an English degree with an eye toward becoming an English teacher. She put herself through school by teaching piano lessons to dozens of Bangor children, putting on a piano recital each June for their families. Graduating from the University of Maine in 1969, Lila became an English teacher at Brewer High School where she taught for 18 years, retiring in 1987. While at Brewer High, she was particularly proud of her work on a Maine Authors map that was published and distributed around the state. John passed away in 1983. Lila was also married to Denis Fortin. With Denis, she moved to Searsport, which allowed her to reconnect with old friends from her high school years.
Lila had many interests and belonged to several organizations during her lifetime, including Jaycee Wives, Lionettes, and Se Beowulf at Brewer High. Lila and John travelled extensively with the Lions Club. For years she was actively involved in planning for the annual Crosby High School reunions. A special interest for Lila was her involvement in Literacy Volunteers in both Bangor and later in Belfast, where she took on a leadership role. She created beautiful cross-stitch work, winning a blue ribbon at the Blue Hill Fair for a lighthouse afghan she cross-stitched. She collected books by Maine authors, amassing a sizable library of Maine books. She was a fantastic cook and loved preparing dishes from the herbs that she harvested from her gardens. Lila also did extensive research in preparation for a family history of the Belfast Coombs family.
Lila was enormously proud of her family. She is survived by her daughter, Pam and her husband, Tom of Monmouth, Maine; her son, John and his wife, Lorie of Newburgh, N.Y.; grandsons, Jacob Turcotte and Scott Turcotte, granddaughter, Michelle Coombs, and twin grandsons, John Ryan Coombs and Kenneth Justin Coombs, her sisters-in-law, Shirlene Coombs and Pat McCue, as well as several cousins, nieces and nephews. She was predeceased by her parents, her brothers, William and Gordon, her brother-in-law, Frank Coombs, her sisters-in-law, Rae McCue and Elaine McCue, and by her beloved husband, John Coombs. The family would like to thank the wonderful staff at Glenridge Long-Term Care for their love and support of Lila during the last two years. We are grateful for everything they did for our family.
A celebration of Lila's life will be at 3:30 p.m. Friday, May 16th at Roberts Funeral Home and Cremation Service, 62 Bowdoin St., Winthrop. For those who wish, donations in Lila's memory may be made to The Alzheimer's Association, Maine Chapter, 383 US Route One, Suite 2C, Scarborough, ME 04074. Memories, condolences, photos and videos may be shared with the family on the obituary page of our website at www.khrfuneralhomes.com
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