PORTLAND – Andrea Anton was a lively woman who could whip together a gourmet meal, split and stack eight cords of firewood, scare away a porcupine with a shotgun, but also put on a princess dress and play with her nieces.

“She was the most energetic person you could imagine,” said Deborah Armstrong, a lifelong friend from Newburyport, Mass. “She was that total New Englander that could do everything for herself. … She worked so hard and was so driven, yet she always had time for her friends and family.”

Anton, who was known as “Drea,” died Dec. 12 after a battle with cervical cancer. She was 63.

She grew up in Cape Elizabeth, the second of four children. She attended Cape Elizabeth High School, but graduated from The MacDuffie School in Springfield, Mass.

Anton was remembered on Friday as a strong, beautiful and independent woman who lived life to its fullest.

She held numerous jobs throughout her life, including a stint selling pottery for Syracuse Pottery Inc. She worked as a dental assistant, a veterinary assistant, a paralegal and a medical transcriptionist.

Most recently, she was a supervisor’s assistant at Synernet in Portland for the past three years. Anton was the point of contact for 150 medical transcriptionists.

“She could do anything she set her mind to,” said another longtime friend, Sandy Elliott of Cape Elizabeth. “She amazed me, always.”

Kathy Fawcett of Portland said Anton was a “wonderful friend,” who was always supportive, positive and encouraging.

“She lit up a room,” Fawcett said. “I don’t know what it was about Drea. … She was a down-to-earth Mainer. She was one of those people that always made you feel better.”

Anton had an apartment on Deering Street in Portland, but spent most weekends at her farmhouse at the base of Mount Abram in Greenwood.

She bought the house around 1988 and renovated it through the years. She enjoyed kayaking and fishing on the lakes in the area. She also had a passion for gardening and decorating her home.

Her brother, Eric Anton of Falmouth, noted the barn she renovated now has a chandelier.

“Drea was sort of like Martha Stewart before Martha became famous,” he said. “She was a terrific cook. She would cook with style and flash, and the presentation was something out of a magazine. She had a natural flair for cooking and decorating.”

Anton is survived by her longtime companion, Larry Hogan, her beloved dog, Chili, and many nieces and nephews.

“She was the aunt that every kid wanted,” her brother said. “She just loved those kids like they were her own. My daughter is 12 and my son is 15 and they are heartbroken. … I’ll miss having her around. I’ll miss her smile. It’s a real hole, I got to tell you. I couldn’t imagine this course of events. It’s unbelievable.”

A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Friday at Hobbs Funeral Home, 230 Cottage Road in South Portland. Her obituary will appear in Sunday’s newspaper.

 

Staff Writer Melanie Creamer can be contacted at 791-6361 or at:

mcreamer@pressherald.com