When Louise Paulin remembers her mother’s dedication as a nurse at Mercy Hospital, she thinks of one particular winter storm, which dumped almost 2 feet of snow.

The family was living on Central Street in Westbrook, and her mother, Eloise Paulin, hiked down to Main Street to catch a ride with police officers to the Portland city line.

From there, she hitchhiked to the hospital to do her job, said Louise Paulin of Windham.

Eloise Paulin died Saturday at the age of 81. She worked at Mercy for 38 years, retiring as vice president of nursing.

It was her persistence, caring and dedication to her profession that took her that far, her daughters said.

“She loved being a nurse, helping people,” said Ann Beane of Augusta. “That’s what she thrived on her whole life.”

Their mother was born and raised in Kezar Falls, Louise Paulin said, to parents who passed down the value of hard work.

“She comes from that kind of stock — the Maine country stock,” she said.

She recalled that when her high school teachers told her mother that she wasn’t college material, her mother didn’t accept that.

Mrs. Paulin asked her daughter what she wanted to do. She said she wanted to go to college, so her mother worked with her, helping her to study.

Louise Paulin wound up graduating from college with a degree in chemistry.

Through her mother, she said, she learned that life may not be easy, but hard work would pay off.

“I could have whatever I wanted if I worked for it,” said Paulin.

Beane said she learned from her mother to “always continue to do what you know is right.”

“Even if you don’t seem to be getting anywhere, you will eventually,” said Beane.

Even with her professional accomplishment, Mrs. Paulin was never one to look for recognition, said Beane.

Instead, she was always in the background, working hard and making things happen.

When she retired from Mercy in 1988, the hospital ran a newspaper advertisement extolling her as a person and a professional, and included a detailed list of Mrs. Paulin’s abilities and traits.

The ad concluded that the hospital was looking for someone like her, said Beane.

It was, she said, a very intimidating help-wanted ad.

 

Staff Writer Matt Wickenheiser can be contacted at 791-6316 or at:

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Each day the newsroom selects one obituary and seeks to learn more about the life of a person who has lived and worked in Maine. We look for a person who has made a mark on the community or the person’s family and friends in lasting ways.