MADISON – One hundred six daisies commemorated each year of the life of Mary Foss of East Madison at her graveside service Wednesday.

Foss, who may have been the oldest woman in Maine before she died on May 17, enjoyed her independence, walked four miles each way to work when she was young, and liked Chicken McNuggets as well as peanut butter and butter sandwiches, said her family and friends.

“How much history, how much history,” said the Rev. Mark Tanner at the beginning of the service at Forest Hill Cemetery. “She’s a legend.”

About 50 friends and family members stood or sat in lawn chairs before her casket, which was adorned with a cloth hand-embroidered by Foss, her old, open Bible and a ribbon of daisies.

The service was planned by Foss when she was 102, said her niece, Katie Ouilette of East Madison. It included poetry by Florence Burrill Jacobs of East Madison, who was friends with Foss’ father.

“All I ever wanted — a little, little house, with sunlight in the kitchen and chambers deep in boughs,” Tanner read from Jacobs’ poem “All I Ever Wanted.”

Ouilette described Foss as her best friend. “We shared everything. We had no secrets. We went and had fun together,” she said.

Foss grew up on a farm, taught in one-room schoolhouses starting when she was 16, loved playing beano and wrote a memoir. In her lifetime, she saw the disappearance of horses and buggies and the rise of automobiles, airplanes and spaceships. She lived through 19 U.S. presidencies.

Maine’s House Majority Leader Philip Curtis, R-Madison, gave a tribute to Foss as Maine’s oldest resident this spring, Ouilette said. First lady Ann LePage then presented Foss with a lifetime achievement award during a ceremony in the Hall of Flags at the State House.

Foss was recognized as Somerset County’s oldest resident at last year’s Somerset County bicentennial celebration. She was honored by the House of Representatives on her 104th birthday. The Madison Town Report was dedicated to her in 2009.

Though it’s possible that Foss was the oldest person in Maine, no agency can confirm it, said Brenda Corkum, director of statistical services for the state’s Office of Data, Research and Vital Statistics. If she wasn’t the oldest, at nearly 107, then she was one of the oldest, Corkum said.

Foss was born in East Madison on July 9, 1904, and married Henry Foss on June 27, 1931. They were married for 58 years and had no children. She died at the Maplecrest Living and Rehabilitation Center in Madison.

Ouilette visited her on the night she died. As she held her aunt’s hand, Foss took her hand away and reached up “as if someone was taking her hand,” Ouilette said. “It was a beautiful sight.”

When Ouilette said goodbye that night, she told Foss it was OK to go, too, she said. “‘If you don’t want to wait for me to come back,’ I said, ‘It’s OK, I’ll understand,’ so an hour later she was gone, silently.”