BRUNSWICK — Sherry Dian Robbins Thacker, 70, died unexpectedly Oct. 6 in Walterboro, S.C., while on an annual vacation trip to Florida. 

Thacker was born Sept. 23, 1942, in Memphis, Tenn., to Lonnie and Ruth Robbins. She was joined later by younger brother Eddie Robbins, and enjoyed a traditional Southern family upbringing. Much of her youth revolved around her love for St. Luke’s Methodist Church in Memphis, and its many programs and activities.  

After graduating from Messick High School in 1960, Thacker started college at Memphis State University and joined the Gamma Phi Beta sorority there. She married Richard Thacker on Sept. 1, 1962, and the couple then went on to finish their studies at Purdue University. Thacker graduated with a degree in elementary education, and pursued teaching for about 20 years. During her career she also earned a master’s degree in special education from Virginia Polytechnic Institute, focusing on reading development.

Because of her husband’s military career, Thacker lived throughout the United States, from California to Florida, and even for a time in Iceland. Despite her Southern upbringing, Maine drew Thacker and her husband to call it home. The couple established roots there in Brunswick’s First Parish Church. 

Thacker and her husband decided to become entrepreneurs, and opened several successful Arby’s franchises in Maine. Thacker also became involved in civic groups that were close to her heart, including the Arby’s Big Brothers/Big Sisters Scholarship Selection Committee, the board of the Friends of the Cobbosee Watershed,  the Purdue Alumni Association and the West Charlotte County Republican Club.

Thacker is survived by: her husband, Richard L. Thacker; her son, Richard Jr., his wife, Stephanie, and their children, Lauren and Adam; her son, Christopher E., his wife, Hailey, and their children, Harrison and Alden; her brother, L. Edward Robbins, his wife, Barbara, and their daughter, Laurie Susan.

There will be a funeral service Friday, Oct. 19, at 2 p.m. in the First Parish Church in Brunswick, and a reception will follow in the church vestry. Interment will take place at the Riverside Cemetery in Brunswick. In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to your local Big Brother/Big Sisters chapter.   

Condolences can be expressed to the family at

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Sherry Dian Robbins Thacker