Mary L. Teel, 82, known by many as Nanny Teel, died Dec. 15, 2009, at Penobscot Bay Medical Center in Rockport after an extended illness.

Born in Rockland, April 4, 1927, she was the daughter of Fremont J. and Gertrude E. Pettee Cotton. She attended local schools.

In 1943, she married Herbert W. Teel in Rockland. The couple made their home in Rockland all of their married lives until Herbert’s death in 1966.

On Dec. 31, 1970, she married Alfred H. Teel in Rockland. In 1973, the couple moved to a new home they built on South Shore Drive in Owls Head. At an early age she began working at Feylers Fish Factory in Rockland. For more than 40 years, she worked as a fish cutter with F.J. O’Hara and Sons Seafood in Rockland.

She retired from that business in 1989 in order to care for her husband in his declining health. Alfred died in 1991.

For many years, Mary was an active member of the Daughters of the American Revolution, Rockland Chapter and the Winslow-Holbrook-Merritt, American Legion Post 1 in Rockland. In more recent years, she was an active member of the Owls Head Baptist Church.

Never able to sit still, Mary enjoyed going on rides, whether it be traveling Downeast to visit friends, or riding to the dump with her good friend, John Walker. She was an ardent fan of gospel singer, Eddie Piper, and traveled far and wide to attend his concerts. She was always pleased when Piper often recognized Mary in the audience as his roadie.

For many years she faithfully visited residents at the former Shore Village Nursing Home, and always took her two granddaughters with her, instilling in them a love and concern for older people. For several years, Mary served as the “Card Lady” for the Owls Head Baptist Church, sending cards of all types to many people, the last of which she sent Dec. 13.

She was recognized for her quick wit, and the pleasure she derived from needling anyone she could. Despite the pain she was in during the past years, Mary was still an encouragement to many people. It was reported that the hospital staff were amazed at her warm and caring demeanor, even in the midst of her own pain and discomfort.

Above all else, Mary’s family was most important to her. In previous years, she looked forward to her granddaughters, Tena and Michelle, spending each weekend at her home, including them in her many trips and errands around town. After Tena and Michelle were married with their own families, their children became the delight of Mary’s life.

She attended any and all of her great-grandchildrens’ school and sporting events. She loved each with a love unequalled, beginning with her eldest great-grandson, Patrick C. Wallace and overflowing with pride when her twin great-grandsons, Alexander R. and Benjamin M. Wallace were born, and continuing with the next, Nathan M. Philbrook. Part of Nanny Teel’s annual ritual was spending Christmas Eve at her granddaughter’s house, to watch the boys on Christmas day, followed by a trip to her daughter’s house with other family members.

She has enjoyed special friendships with John Walker, Margaret Torforson, and Shirley Roch.

Besides her husbands, Mary was predeceased by one son, Herbert J. Teel, and two sisters, Pauline on Dec. 3, 2009, and Clara.

She is survived by one daughter, Mary E. Pratt and her husband, Malcolm of Lincolnville; three granddaughters, Tena M. Wallace and her husband, Peter of Spruce Head, Michelle L. Philbrook and her husband, Todd of Rockland and Wanda J. Peters and her husband, Eugene of Warren; her four great-grandsons; one uncle, William Pettee of Connecticut; and several nieces and nephews.

Relatives and friends are invited to visit Friday, Dec. 18 from 6 to 8 p.m. at Burpee, Carpenter & Hutchins Funeral Home, 110 Limerock St. in Rockland. A celebration of Nanny Teel’s life will be held Saturday, Dec. 19 at 10 a.m. at Owls Head Baptist Church in Owls Head. The Rev. Paul Munro will officiate. Private interment will be in Evergreen Cemetery. A reception will follow the service in the church fellowship hall.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Owls Head Baptist Church, Deacons Fund, P.O. Box 81, Owls Head, ME 04854.

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