Rockland — Ercell M. Kenney, 90, died peacefully, surrounded by her family, following an extended illness, Monday, May 19, 2014, at Pen Bay Medical Center in Rockport.
Born in Rockland Feb. 20, 1924, she was the daughter of Joseph and Lena Tozier Widdecomb. Born into a very large family, Ercell spent a lot of time with her beloved ‘Aunt Nell’ in the Waterville and Unity area. After her aunt moved to Rockland, Ercell attended Rockland schools.
Ercell began working as a young girl to help support her family, and met the love of her life, Neal V. Kenney Jr., when she was just 14 years old. Ercell married the only man she ever dated on Sept. 27, 1942 in Rockland. Together they raised seven children. Over the years Ercell worked at several jobs to assist her growing family. She has been employed with local fish factories, laundromats, and also worked for several area families as a private housekeeper. Her daughter remembers many of those families became friends, not just employers.
Ercell had a huge heart and loved to share anything she could with anyone in need. She loved to cook, getting up at 2 a.m. to make hundreds of breads, cakes and pies for Christmas baskets, well into her 80s. She also volunteered her time and energy at the Salvation Army, often cooking for a crowd by herself.
She was best known for her baked beans, and they often found their way to many company parties, community barbecues and family get-togethers.
She was a caregiver at heart, and even after raising seven of her own children and caring for her husband during his illness, Ercell raised and cared for several of her grandchildren, friends and anyone who needed a helping hand or a place to stay.
She will be greatly missed by all who knew her.
Predeceased by her husband and infant son Neal Ruben Kenney; she is survived by her children Lucy Kenney of Rockland, Robert Royce and his wife Judy of Hope, David Kenney of Thomaston, Susan Kelly and her husband Kevin of Rockland, Neal V. Kenney, III of Thomaston, Dianna Trueman and her husband Lawrence of St. George; a granddaughter whom she raised as her own, Annie Kenney and her daughter Alexis Maiorino; her grandchildren Lisa Pendleton and her husband Donnie, Marcia Kenney, Robert Royce Jr., Neal V. Kenney IV, Michael Tripp, Jachin Black, Benjamin Tripp, Renee Grover; and many great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren.
A graveside celebration of her life will be held at 11 a.m., Friday, May 30, 2014, at Achorn Cemetery, Rockland.
To share a memory or condolence with Ercell’s family, please visit her Book of Memories at bchfh.com.
Arrangements are in the care of Burpee, Carpenter & Hutchins Funeral Home, 110 Limerock St., Rockland.