CAMDEN — Norene Bartlett Laatz, 90, died peacefully in her sleep Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2022, at Windward Gardens in Camden.

Norene was born in Rockland on Jan. 25, 1932, to Evelyn Winslow Bartlett and Norris Crockett Bartlett, Sr. Norene attended Rockland schools, graduating from high school in 1950. She was very shy in school but when a teacher suggested that she take the lead in a play, Norene decided to try it. She had such a good experience that she went on to join the Glee Club and Thespians, acting in a number of plays during her high school years. In her senior year, she was one of the early princesses running for Sea Goddess in the Lobster Festival.

In 1949, Norene was baptized and confirmed in the St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Rockland where she was a member for many years. Later in her life, she joined the Nativity Lutheran Church in Rockport.

Over the years, Norene often reminisced fondly about growing up with her siblings and the many things they did together, especially with her sister Adelaide who was closest to her in age. She and Adelaide would sometimes take the train to Portland to visit their cousins; they were good times.

As a young woman, Norene worked for Crockett’s 5 & 10 in Rockland. She moved to Connecticut where she worked as a telephone operator for the Monhegan Hotel for a brief time. Several years later, she returned to Maine. For the remainder of her life, Norene was a homemaker. During the 60s and 70s, she enjoyed playing duplicate bridge. When her children were older, Norene volunteered in a number of community programs including C Cap (Coastal Community Action Program), Penquis and the Camden Health Care Center. Norene was presented with various recognition awards for her volunteerism.

Norene was predeceased by both parents; her three husbands, Richard Anthony Vargas, Francesco B. Whittemore and Herbert Laatz; two sisters, Joan Bartlett and Evelyn Bartlett Watrous; and three brothers, Frederick Sheridan Bartlett, Norris Bartlett Jr. and George Bartlett.

Norene is survived by her children, Sharon Vargas Hanley and her companion Butch Wall of Rockport; Richard Arthur Vargas and wife Joan of Thomaston; Tracie Whittemore Barter and her companion Duane Reed of Thomaston; and Susan Eileen Laatz of Kenduskeag; two sisters, Adelaide Bartlett Mckenney of Windham and Marion Bartlett Seidner of Camden; three brothers and their wives, Arthur and Priscilla Bartlett of St. George, Robert and Regina Bartlett of Dade City, Fla. and Donald and Bonnie Bartlett of Litchfield; grandchildren Nicole Hanley Bland of Camden, Rochelle Vargas Runge of Meridianville, Ala., Tony Vargas of Thomaston and Kyle Barter of Thomaston; four great-grandchildren, one great-great-grandchild and many nieces and nephews.

A memorial service will be held at 10 a.m., Monday, Jan. 2, 2023, at Nativity Lutheran Church, 179 Old County Road, Rockland. Reverend Wendy Anderson will officiate. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Pope Memorial Humane Society, P.O. Box 1294, Rockland, ME 04841.

To share a memory or story with Norene’s family, please visit their online Book of Memories at Arrangements are in the care of Burpee, Carpenter & Hutchins Funeral Home, 110 Limerock St., Rockland.