Gail Audrey Jones Richards, 81, died Nov. 26, 2017, surrounded by her loving family at Sussman House in Rockport. Born July 24, 1936, she was the youngest daughter of Dr. Richard P. and Priscilla Fortier Jones.
She was a 1956 graduate of Crosby High School in Belfast and was employed by Central Maine Power Co. before marrying Victor R. Richards of Camden. She descended from New England’s earliest settlers, including Gov. William Bradford and 26 other Mayflower passengers. Her ancestors were Revolutionary War patriots, legislators, educators, doctors, activists, and some even survived accusations of witchcraft in Salem, Mass. She was known to have a stoic Yankee resilience.
She was a cherished mother, known to all her grandchildren as “Nanny” and possessed of a childlike and generous spirit. A resourceful woman, she once worked on a carpentry crew. She loved collecting things and was known to rescue many a discarded item from the trash heap to give it a second chance or a new purpose. She owned her own resale shop in Union for a time and continued to collect items for resale with her friends in Warren. She put an artful hand to everything, especially her grandchildren.
Although she maintained a lifelong residence in Union, she also resided at times in Boca Grande, Fla., Cape Cod, Mass., Mobile, Ala., and Burton, Ohio. Her favorite place, however, remained her home on Crawford Pond, where she enjoyed the peace and wonder of the environment and her handmade life in Maine.
Surviving are her son and three daughters, Michael Richards of Ellsworth, Linda Richards of Union, Dawn Richards of Burton, Ohio, and Heidi Murray and her husband, Les, of Rockport; two sisters, Betty Brackett and her husband, Stewart “Junior,” of Hampden, Mary Brown of Northport; 10 grandchildren; seven great-grandchildren; and several nieces, nephews and cousins.
A celebration of her life will be announced later. The family would like to extend their gratitude to the staff and caregivers at Sussman House, where memorial donations may be made to Pen Bay Waldo Healthcare Foundation, 22 White St. Rockland, ME 04841.
To share a memory or story with Gail’s family, visit bchfh.com.
Arrangements are with Burpee, Carpenter & Hutchins Funeral Home, Rockland.