Adrienne Gregorio, 88

Adrienne Gregorio

Adrienne Gregorio

BIDDEFORD — Adrienne Gregorio, 88, a beloved wife and mother who survived a Dickensian childhood in Maine only to return in her later years, died Friday, Jan. 22, 2016 at Southern Maine Health Care after a brief illness.

Born in Effingham, N.H., on July 13, 1927, she was the daughter of John and Muriel (Graham) Crabtree. Abandoned and abused as a child, she was raised in a series of foster homes in Bridgton, leaving that small town as a young woman to pursue a romance and then a career in New York City.

She supported herself as an insurance claims examiner for nearly 40 years, bravely raising a son in an era when being a single mother carried a stigma. After a long courtship, she happily married Joseph Gregorio in 1979, and was widowed later that year.

In 1987, she married her devoted husband, Frederic DeGiovanni, who survives her. They moved from the Bronx, N.Y., to Saco in 1990 and later Biddeford, where they forged strong friendships in the community.

A skilled seamstress and knitter, she created quilts, dresses and sweaters for appreciative family and friends. She loved language, nature, her many cats and all things Irish.

In 2013, she moved to Biddeford Estates, an assisted living facility, where her gentle manner won her the affection of the staff and fellow residents. She was grateful for every small kindness.

Survivors include her husband, Frederic DeGiovanni of Biddeford; her son, Peter Crabtree of North Bennington, Vt.; a granddaughter; and a cousin, Allen Crabtree III of Sebago.

A memorial service will be held at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Saco and Biddeford on Monday, Feb. 1, 2016 at 11 a.m., with a burial in the South Effingham Cemetery in the spring.

To view Adrienne’s memorial page or leave an online condolence, please visit

In lieu of flowers the family requests memorial donations be made to the Animal Welfare Society Shelter, P.O. Box 43, West Kennebunk, ME 04043.

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