April 07, 2020

Memories invited for Houlton teacher turning 90

Former Houlton residents reading The Standpipe with their morning coffee or, later, on the Internet, might get a chuckle out of this question: Remember Mrs. Vose’s class?

If you do, you are one of thousands of students Lois Vose taught at Longfellow, Pleasant Street and Fair Street elementary schools in that city years ago.

And guess what? Lois Vose still remembers every single one of you and, most assuredly, every single prank you pulled growing up in the Shiretown of Aroostook County!

Vose’s niece, Sara Douglas, wrote us recently with the following request. She told us her aunt is celebrating her 90th birthday on Saturday, Jan. 31.

“We are looking for her students and friends to remember her on her special day,” Douglas wrote.

“We are asking everyone who shares a memory of her as their teacher, or friend, to share it with her. She is legally blind and, if the note and cards can be sent to me, I will read them to her.”

We called Douglas and learned that other than Vose’s eyesight, the former educator is in excellent health.

“She remembers everyone’s names,” her niece said. “She remembers every student in her classes. She will tell me little details about classes 50 years ago, and I just know, if she starts getting mail, she is going to remember them as third-graders. If anyone wants to be remembered as a third-grader, this is how.”

Douglas believes it would be nice for Vose to know what her former students are doing today, and what they recall about their Houlton school days.

Vose started teaching at the age of 19, eventually became a principal, and retired in her 70s.

She was married to the late Thomas Vose and the couple had a daughter, Barbara, who lives with her husband, John Dombeck, in Utah. Vose has six grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren, and especially loves `talking books.’

“She didn’t want a party,” her niece said. “She said she didn’t want `a big fuss,’ so we just put something in the local paper and the church bulletin, but then I thought there are many former students who aren’t in Houlton,” which resulted in her letter to us.

Douglas will happily collect birthday wishes for her aunt, “and share a few with her every day. We thought it would be nice just to share some others’ memories of her. Someone else might remember something she’s forgotten. We thought this would give her some things, this winter, to think about that she hasn’t thought about in a while.”

For former members of Mrs. Vose’s class, here are two addresses to share memories of days gone by, and an update on your life after

Mrs. Vose.

You may send cards and letters to Sara Douglas, 76 Court St., Houlton, 04730, or e-mail Douglas at sarad517@aol.com.

The Doncaster Spring Presentation, a fund-raiser for the Bangor-Brewer YWCA, is now through Thursday at the Isaac Farrar Mansion on Union Street. Associate executive director Carol Colson told us hours of operation are by appointment, or during the open visit hours of 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesday, and 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. now through Thursday.

To make an appointment, call the YWCA, 941-2808, and ask to speak with a Doncaster consultant. Doncaster wardrobe consultants work with the customer to choose fabric, color and design to best express the customer’s taste and style.

The Doncaster Spring Presentation benefits two YWCA projects: Caring Connections and the Isaac Farrar Mansion restoration.

Caring Connections is a cooperative breast and cervical health program with the YWCA and Eastern Maine Medical Center.

The Isaac Farrar Mansion is a Bangor landmark completed in 1845. It has served the community as a private residence and home to the University Law School and the Northern Conservatory of Music.

In 1972 the building was deeded to the YWCA by the Curtis Hutchins family. Ongoing renovations continue to preserve this historic facility and make it available to the public.

Although the ice and subsequent storms have put a damper on fund-raising activities, Hermon Fire Department firefighter and “S.O.S. Campaign” committee member Kathy Robinson are pleased with the progress the group is making.

It needs to raise $5,000 to meet a requirement by an anonymous foundation to complete the purchase of a thermal imaging camera and accessories for its department.

S.O.S. stands for “Seeing Others Survive.” On Monday, Robinson reported more than $1,500 had been raised.

“We are doing very well,” she said. She particularly wanted to single out special contributors who have brought the fund to this point.

A major gift came from Hermon Corner Inc., doing business as CK Variety, which contributed $1,000 to the fund.

“At Wal-Mart in Bangor we raised $186 between our 50-50 tickets and donations,” she said, and a $100 contribution was received from Ralph Tozier and his wife of Carmel. Other contributors include Dorothy Wasson of Bangor and Tabitha Howard of Hampden.

Robinson said the committee is grateful for every donation. “We have lots of canisters out there that maybe people aren’t aware of but, considering what we’ve been hit with by Mother Nature, we’re very pleased with the campaign.”

The group has one year to raise the money. Donations can be sent to Hermon Fire S.O.S., P.O. Box 6106, Hermon, 04402. Information may be obtained from any member of the HFD at 848-5986.

The Standpipe, Bangor Daily News, P.O. Box 1329, Bangor 04402; 990-8288.

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