Gretchen Ellen Pierce, 47, of Nobleboro went to be with the angels April 29, 2011, after a 15-month battle with cancer at the Bodwell Unit in Brunswick, where she resided the last month of her life.

She was born in a Naval hospital in Pensacola, Fla., on Jan. 5, 1964, the daughter of Sally Strout and Philip Carl Pierce.

Being a military brat she was able to travel around the south with her parents and older brother, Scott, who was also born in Florida. Her sister, Vanessa, was born in Cuba. Her baby brother, Sean, was born in Texas. As a family, she also lived in Mississippi and Maine where she made her home on the coast with Marc St. Pierre and her two children, Crystalynn, 19, and Joshua, 18, her children with Robert Johnson. She went to local schools in Brunswick and graduated from Brunswick High School in 1982. As an adult she went to Kennebec Valley Technical School and was pursuing a degree in business management. While she worked her way through school she worked at Dunkin’ Donuts where she was known as Mama Bear. She then got her dream job at Lane Construction in the fall of 2009. Gretchen was diagnosed with cancer five months later and given only six to eight weeks to live so she made the decision to quit her job so she could travel with her children, Marc, and family. Gretchen was able to show her family her joy of traveling. As part of Gretchen’s “bucket list,” she and her loved ones took a week traveling to the Poconos, Ohio, Put and Bay, and then to Niagara Falls, which was her favorite part of the trip. Her final adventure was a trip to Colorado with her sister and her son, Josh. This was his early graduation gift, a chance for Gretchen to watch him snowboard down Vail, Breckenridge and Beaver Creek. Crystalynn’s graduation gift two years earlier was to Virginia.

Gretchen enjoyed reading, camping at Duck Puddle, animals, and gardening. She had a small garden she cherished on her lot at Duck Puddle. The children from camp and from Lincoln Academy, her children’s school, knew Gretchen well and called her Mooma for her love of cows. Gretchen was loved by many and everyone looked at her as a mother figure. She was close to everyone at the campground and the friends she made growing up continued to be close. Though traveling and moving across the different states her true friends remained there for her through thick and thin as close friends Lori Clough Sabins and Cheryl (Hummel) LoPiccolo. Lori was able to come and visit twice and Gretchen never went to the mailbox without something in it from Lori. Gretchen looked forward to her cards and compared to see if she duplicated any. She cherished the little packages she received. She shared her cards and gifts with family and friends and when she was no longer able to read them, her sister, Vanessa would read the cards to her and the little note that Lori wrote.

She was predeceased by her maternal grandparents, Henry and Virginia Strout; her paternal grandparents, Guy and Lucy Pierce; and Aunt Carol, Uncle Wayne, Uncle Bill and his son, Kevin.

Gretchen is survived by her fiancée, Marc St. Pierre; her beautiful daughter, Crystalynn; her handsome son, Joshua; her brother, Scott and wife, Betty, of Westbrook; her sister, Vanessa and fiancée Doug of Turner; her brother, Sean and girlfriend Heidi of Saco; her mother, Sally of Brunswick and her father, Philip and wife, Karen, of Hollis; her nieces, Kylah and Brandy; her nephews, Sean, Scott, Dan and Scott; and a close family friend, Amanda.

Special thanks go out to her family for never letting her be alone and also to Dr. Connolly and the staff at MCCM.

Friends are invited to join the family for a service to celebrate Gretchen’s life at the Strong-Hancock Funeral Home, 612 Main St. in Damariscotta, on Friday, May 6 at noon. The Rev. Rick Newell, pastor of Alna-Newcastle Baptist Church, will officiate. Interment will follow in the Hall Cemetery. There will be a reception at Duck Puddle campground, Nobleboro.

Should friends so desire, donations may be made in Gretchen’s memory to the American Cancer Society, One Bowdoin Mill Island, Suite 300, Topsham, ME 04086.

Arrangements are with Smeltzer Family Cremation and Funeral Service in Waldoboro.