Rachel F. West

PORTLAND — Rachel “Rae” Foss West passed away on Friday, Feb. 18, 2011, at St. Joseph’s Manor.

She was born in Franklin on Aug. 24, 1910, the daughter of Maurice Colby Foss and Sarah (Seward) Foss. Rachel received her education at the schools of Monson, North Anson and Oakland. She graduated from Bangor High School, and attended Gorham Normal School.

She was a member of the Eunice Frye Board of Managers, honorary member of Women’s Auxiliary to the Salvation Army, honorary member of Women's Woodfords Club, and member of Portland Ladies of Kiwanis, Women’s Portland Club and Women’s Literary Union. She was also a member of the Woodfords Congregational Church, and the Maine Historical Society.

Rachel was a lifelong volunteer at the Day Care Center at Chestnut Street Methodist Church during WWII. With a partner and a friend, she did luncheons at Woman’s Woodfords Club, Woman’s Literary Union and Golden Age Group at Woodfords Church. She was a Brownie Troop leader in Biddeford and Portland, leader of a Girl Scout Troop in Portland for eight years.

Rachel had knitted several hundred pairs of slippers for school children at Riverton School, and knit bonnets and socks for the neonatal unit at Maine Medical Center.

At age 90 she wrote her life story, These Things I Remember. She always answered the call for help from family or friends — new baby, illness or if a cook or housekeeper was needed — she didn’t have time for a paid job!

Her hobbies included cooking, reading, and contract bridge and knitting.

She was predeceased by her husband, Fred M. West in 1988; and two sisters, Mabel Oakes of Veazie, and Elizabeth Spurr of Eliot.

Surviving are her daughter, Jean West Meserve of Portland; a grandson, John Arthur Meserve of Naples; and three sisters, Marice Foss Barzal of Eliot, Jean Foss Katsonis of Kittery and Plant City, Fla., and Fannie Ellen Davenport of Riverside, Calif.; and many nieces and nephews.

A graveside service will be held at Moss Side Cemetery, Cumberland Center, in the springtime. Please visit www.jonesrichandhutchins.com to share condolences, memories and tributes with Rae's family.

For those who desire, memorial contributions in her memory may be made to: Portland Public Library, Riverton Branch, 1600 Forest Ave., Portland, ME 04103 or St. Joseph’s Manor Activity Fund, 1133 Washington Ave., Portland, ME 04102.

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