Luthera Dawson, surrounded by family, friends and fellow Federated Church parishioners, celebrated her 100th birthday. The Homestead family helped entertain along with lifelong friends who attended with much devotion and love.

“Luthera Burton Dawson was born on June 6, 1911, and raised with her twin brother Leroy, on the St. George River in Cushing, Maine. Her life is marked by deep connection to family and community, passionate love of literature, and, especially Maine. After undergraduate degrees at the University of Maine at Orono, Luthera, like so many who came of age in the Great Depression, followed jobs from Massachusetts to Ohio and finally to Washington, D.C., where she married William Dawson. Widowed, she raised their two sons, Roger and Keith, while working for the federal government and taking an active part in the town of Capital Heights, Md., where they lived. She was town treasurer and was also instrumental in establishing a library book mobile service. Luthera retired to Thomaston where she took up the Maine-centered life she had always wanted. She celebrated Maine in two books, “Saltwater Farm” and “Beside the St. George’s” Her third book gave a witty account of her years as a young career woman in Washington, “Life Begins at $1440.” She has lectured on Maine speech and appeared in “Luthera’s Lingo,” a feature on Maine Public Television. Luthera has also been a regular contributor to the Homestead Newsletter. Luthera’s enthusiastic and effective work in the Thomaston and Cushing libraries, the Historical Society and the Thomaston Federated Church where she wrote “The History of the Federated Church,” was recognized by the town when she was declared the town marshal of the Thomaston Fourth of July Parade.

“Generations of school children have visited her historic home — built in 1801 — and enjoyed homemade cookies and stories of her seafaring family and her Revolutionary War ancestor, Benjamin Burton. Ever devoted to the beauties of language she has been a reading tutor for children for inmates at the Thomaston Prison. She is both the valiant woman of scripture and a true daughter of Maine.”

This was edited from Luthera’s hand-written manuscript by her daughter-in-law and 30-year friend, Alice Dorothy Phalen, Impatiens Press, and submitted to VillageSoup by Mary McKeever.