Gwendolyn M. Ranquist

Aug 09, 2019
Gwendolyn Ranquist

Thomaston — Gwendolyn M. Ranquist died Aug. 3, 2019, at the age of 96 at Sussman House in Rockport, surrounded by her family. Gwen was born in Rockland Jan. 10, 1923.

One of 11 children, she was the second child and first daughter of Charles and Myrtle Robinson. She attended schools in Rockland.

In 1952, Gwen married the love of her life Charles Ranquist. Together they raised seven children. She loved to garden and cook; preserving food and making jams and pickles were a favorite occupation. She enjoyed sewing and quilting, making clothes and quilts for her family and friends. Gwen had a lifelong passion for reading and instilled in her children, and especially her grandchildren, that education and learning were lifelong pursuits.

Gwen was a member of the Thomaston Baptist Church. She served at various times and for many years as a Sunday School teacher, superintendent of the Sunday School, and as a deaconess of the church. She also served as the head volunteer at the Thomaston Interfaith Churches Food Pantry. She ran the program from its beginning until she was 89 years young. She especially enjoyed putting together the Thanksgiving and Christmas food baskets, always making sure that there was a little something extra to help make the holidays more festive.

Gwen was a Girl Scout leader in the 1960s and almost all of her children participated in scouting. Gwen was very patriotic. Five of her brothers served in World War II, while she did her bit at home by working at the Bath Ironworks Shipyard and in Civil Defense. Her husband, Charles, served in the Army during the Korean War, and their oldest son, Donald, served in Vietnam during that war.

For this reason and for a great appreciation of the service of all the men and women who serve our country, Gwen never forgot our veterans. For decades she sewed and shopped, making lap quilts, and “ditty bags” for Togus VA Medical Center. Gwen also made hundreds of baby quilts for the Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital. For the hours and service Gwen gave to her volunteer work, she received letters of recognition from two presidents and from the governor of Maine.

Gwen was a member of the Weymouth and Penobscot View Granges. She was also a member of Pomona State Grange. For many years she had served as master of the Weymouth Grange. In her free time, Gwen collected, mittens and winter hats for the children attending schools in Cushing, Thomaston and St. George.

She also clipped and collected box tops and soup labels for the schools, and did so until her last month. She worked with the Grange to donate dictionaries to each student in grade five in those schools. Gwen was the backbone of her family and her community. People like Gwen are a large part of what makes living in a small town so special.

Gwen was predeceased by her husband, Charles Ranquist; her son Donald Sturks; both parents, Charles and Myrtle Robinson; her sister Celia Baron; her brothers, Everett Robinson, Condon Robinson, Wilbert Robinson, Joseph Robinson, George Robinson, Charles Robinson Jr., Malcolm Robinson and Ralph Robinson.

Gwen is survived by her brother Edgar Robinson and wife Cynthia of Rockland; her deceased son Donald’s wife, Norene, of Thomaston, and their children, James, Randy, Kelly and Tracey and their spouses, children and grandchildren; daughter Beverly Robinson and husband William of Thomaston, and their sons, Richard, William and Scott and their wives, children and grandchildren; daughter Diane Bartlett of Thomaston and her children, Marie, Dane and Diane (Dee), their spouses and grandchildren; daughter Donna Ranquist of Thomaston and her children, Rebecca and Roberta, their spouses, children and grandchildren; daughter Sharon Cockrell and husband JW of Florida;  daughter Rosalee Berglund of Tenants Harbor and her husband, John, and their children, Katie and Quincy, and their spouse and grandchild; and son Charles Ranquist Jr of Florida and wife Denise and his children, Micah, Ezra and Jacob, and their wives and grandchildren. She is also survived by many nephews, nieces, great-nephews and great-nieces, cousins and sisters-in- law, as well as few friends still standing.

A service was held Friday, Aug. 9t, at the Thomaston Baptist Church, with a private family Interment directly after the service at the Village Cemetery in Thomaston.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to Sussman House c/o Pen Bay Waldo Health Foundation, 22 White St., Rockport, ME 04841,or the Thomaston Interfaith Food Pantry. 124 Main St. Thomaston, ME. 04861.

Arrangements are with Hall’s of Thomaston.

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