Lorraine B. Pennington

SOUTH PORTLAND — Lorraine Brown Diffin Pennington, 70, passed away on Feb. 25, 2011 after a 14-month courageous battle with ovarian cancer.

Lorraine was born in Berlin, N.H. on July 3, 1940, the daughter of Martha (Howard) Newcomb and Solomon Brown. The family moved to the Portland area when she was six years old. Lorraine attended Portland area schools. While at Portland High School, she participated in various activities including basketball and gymnastics. She would leave Portland High in her senior year to marry Allie D. Diffin. Allie and Lorraine had seven children, and she wanted to instill in them the importance of a high school education, so at the age of 32, she enrolled in Portland Adult Education where she received her high school diploma.

Although they already had a house full, over the years, Lorraine and Allie would welcome several other children into their home, making them a part of their family.

Although she loved being a homemaker, Lorrain worked many different jobs to help with the family finances. Some of these include working at Brown’s Wharf in Portland, as a housekeeper for the Holiday Inn By the Bay, for Upstairs Downstairs, and for the Maine Medical Center. She was a lunchroom aide for Reiche School and during the last of her working years at the Redbank School.

Lorrain had a love of life and people. She enjoyed dancing to the oldies, playing cards and spending time with her family and friends. Most of all she loved Christmas! She was a woman who gave much, but asked for nothing in return. Under her senior class picture was written “a friend to all,” and that is what she was.

Lorraine was predeceased by her first husband Allie D. Diffin Sr. in December of 1979; a sister, Hilda Holt; her mother, Martha; stepfather, Ellsworth Newcomb; and father, Solomon Brown.

She leaves behind her second husband of 27 years, Ora E. Pennington Jr.; four daughters, Verna Nguyen of Casco, Terry Bisson of Biddeford, Tammy Diffin of Biddeford and Carolyn Diffin of Westbrook; three sons, Allie Diffin Jr. of Biddeford, Robert Diffin of Yarmouth and Michael Diffin of Portland; a foster daughter, Mary Cardona of Portland; three stepsons, Ora (Eddie) Pennington III of Lantana, Fla., Terry Pennington of Warren and Leonard Pennington of Warren; 33 grandchildren and 23 great-grandchildren; three sisters, Alois O’Clair and Viola Emery of Las Vegas, Nev. and Rev. Laura-Lee Bowden of Sanford; a brother, Robert Brown of South Portland; four half sisters; and many nieces, nephews and cousins.

A celebration of life will be held at 1 p.m. on Saturday, March 5, 2011, at Independent Death Care, 660 Brighton Avenue in Portland. Burial will be held in the spring at Forest City Cemetery in South Portland.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Ovarian Cancer Research Fund, 14 Pennsylvania Plaza, Suite 1400, New York, NY 10122, or Hospice of Southern Maine, Attn: Development, 180 US Route 1, #1, Scarborough, ME 04074.

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