Eleanor M. Willey, 96

Eleanor Willey

WATERFORD — Eleanor M. Willey, 96, of Waterford, passed away peacefully on Saturday, May 26, 2018, at her home, with her family by her side.

She was born in Waterford on April 25, 1922, the oldest daughter of Harry and Hazel Littlehale Allen. She attended and graduated from Bridgton Academy in 1940.

She married her first love Stephen Bigonski, and they shared three children. After his passing, she met and wed Roscoe Willey. They made their home in North Bridgton, where she lived for 50 years, and where she loved being a mother and a homemaker. She was often seen walking with her dog around the beautiful area of North Bridgton.

Eleanor loved camping trips up north, snowmobiling, and gardening — both vegetables and flowers. She enjoyed going for long rides on Sundays, usually with one of her grandchildren accompanying them. She often shared memories of her childhood, and she was so pleased when the Harrison Library opened. It was a favorite place of hers. In the winter her grandparents would pick the family up in a horse-drawn sleigh to spend the holidays together.

She had a very strong faith in the Lord, which she held onto in many challenging times throughout her life. She was very involved with her beloved North Bridgton Church until it was sold — this was a great loss for her. She was an avid reader, she did crossword puzzles up until she was 94, and she loved games with her children and grandchildren. Trouble was a favorite, where she earned the nickname “Grambo.” She also picked up cribbage in her later years, and was a fierce competitor, often winning. She also enjoyed putting puzzles together.

Eleanor enjoyed large family gatherings, picnics, holidays, birthdays, any reason to get together. She was given a surprise 90th birthday party and was so moved at how many family and friends came to celebrate with her, it was truly one of her favorite moments. When she was no longer able to do puzzles, she took up coloring, filling book after book of beautifully-colored pictures, never going outside the lines. She was always trying to keep her mind fresh and always giving everything she did 100%. Eleanor got her first tablet at age 90 and joined Facebook to keep up with her family on a daily basis. She was amazed by it and just loved the photos of her family and friends.

Eleanor was one of the first recipients in Maine to receive a porcine heart valve, which gave her heart a special beat, it served her very well for 20 plus years.

She is survived by her sons, Charles Bigonski and wife Brenda, and Stephen Bigonski and wife Dianne; daughters, Suzanna Willey and husband Dick, and Cheryl Willey Sanderson; her brother Phillip Allen and his wife Dail.

She had 18 grandchildren; 18 great-grandchildren; and four great-great-grandchildren; many nieces and nephews, all of whom loved her dearly.

She was predeceased by her first husband Stephen Bigonski; her daughter Donna Willey Dugas; her son David H. Willey; husband Roscoe Willey; her parents; her oldest brother John Allen; her sister Jeanette Allen; her little sister Judith Allen Wheaten; and a granddaughter, Deanna Willey.

Funeral services will be held at a future date at the Harrison church. In lieu of flowers donations may be made to Harvest Hills Animal Shelter, 1389 Bridgton Rd., Fryeburg, ME 04037. Arrangements are under the care of Chandler Funeral Homes & Cremation Service, 45 Main St., South Paris. Online condolences may be shared with her family at www.chandlerfunerals.com

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