Ouida Wilkins, 90

Ouida Wilkins

Ouida Wilkins

PORTLAND — Ouida Wilkins, 90, died on Saturday, Feb. 14, 2015.

She was born Ouida Lucille Davis in Montego Bay, Jamaica, on Nov. 24, 1924, to Herminie Murray and Herbert Davis, a jeweler. She married Eugene Gideon, M.D., in 1941, and he died in 1946. They had two sons, Victor, born in 1942, and Herbert, born in 1944. In Montego Bay in 1948, she married Louis Wilkins of Portland, where she moved to and lived for the rest of her life. They visited friends and family in Jamaica and Nassau frequently. Louis died in 1993.

She often said of herself that when she first moved to the United States, she didn’t know how to boil water or how to cook an egg, an observation not entirely untrue. From an early age, however, she was an accomplished dressmaker and seamstress, having been taught by her Aunt Rose. Among her very wide circle of friends and family, she was known for her creative designs of clothing, curtains, dolls, and virtually anything that cloth could be used for. She and Louis were also widely admired for the beauty and sumptuousness of the many gatherings and feasts that they frequently hosted. She was happiest when entertaining friends and family in her lovely home on the West End, and she loved to work in her beautiful garden.

She will be fondly remembered by those who knew her as genteel and caring, respectful and curious, and invariably outspoken. Blessed with an unusual beauty that carried her well into her later years, she was known for her impeccable taste in fashion and manners and for a graceful generosity that welcomed friends and strangers alike.

She is survived by her sons, Victor Gideon of Raymond and Herb Gideon of Austin, Texas; nine grandchildren; and three great-granddaughters.

An informal memorial gathering was held on Sunday, Feb. 22. A Celebration of Ouida will be scheduled in May or June, the details of which will be announced as soon as possible.

To share memories and condolences with the family, please go to www.athutchins.com

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations may be made in Ouida’s name to: The Barron Center in Portland.

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