Nancy Brackett

SOUTH PORTLAND – Nancy Brackett passed away at Gosnell Memorial Hospice House in Scarborough, on Mother’s Day, May 10, 2020 at dawn – her favorite time of day to write poetry and paint.Nancy was born in Mexico on March 18, 1934, the fifth of nine children born to Edwin Longley and Annie Levesque Longley. Nancy’s eight siblings predeceased her in death.After graduating from Mexico High School, she moved to Washington, D.C., to work as a government secretary. Nancy was a devoted mother, dedicated worker and faithful volunteer. She worked as a bookkeeper for the family lumber business in Leeds. In Portland, Nancy was employed at McLaughlin Group, Forest City Chevrolet and over 25 years at Maine Medical Center as a transcriptionist in Radiology and later Central Services packaging surgical instrument for operations. Nancy retired from MMC at nearly 80 years old – still unsure if it was “too early” to retire.Nancy volunteered as a Sunday School teacher for over 30 years, first at Leeds Community Church and later at Mid Coast Presbyterian Church where she was also a founding elder. She volunteered at the Root Cellar in Portland for 14 years and taught over 100 refugees and asylum seekers citizenship classes and assisted them in learning English and writing skills. She was very proud to attend their naturalized citizenship ceremonies and looked forward to their contributions to their new country!Under the mentorship of USM Senior College art professor and artist Michael Brown, Nancy grew from the beginning art classes to selling hundreds of her works in local art shows, and was a member of Maine Women in the Arts. Nancy began her painting career at the age of 73 and was often referred to as the “Grandma Moses of Maine”. At the age of 85 she decided that she should combine her lifetime of writing poetry with her illustrations of Maine life and family scenes and published her book, Reflections of Maine – Through Poetry and Art, shortly before her death. She gratefully acknowledged the literary skills and assistance of the staff at Cape Elizabeth library, the Falmouth Library, Yarmouth Library and Maine author Jeff Ryan. Nancy loved books and libraries. As a child, she was not allowed to bring library books home because her parents were too poor to replace a book should it become damaged. She was an avid reader of poetry and frequent visitor of art museums. Her accomplishment in writing her book of poetry was a glimmer of an impossible dream that became a reality in the last months of her life. Her final days were spent signing her books and she shed rare tears to realize she no longer had the strength to complete her painting of Leeds 1901 Centennial – the town of Leeds with farms, folks in the fields working and the little white church on the hill. Her daughter Mary observed “that’s a life well lived… using your gifts and talents God has given you until the very end … We are all unfinished and only complete in Jesus”.Nancy is survived by her three daughters, Mary Irace (Anthony Irace) of Cape Elizabeth, Elizabeth Zarecki (John Zarecki) of Riverside Calif. and Judith Brackett (William Smith), Narberth, Pa.; six grandchildren, Christina Irace, Michael Irace (Laura Hainline Irace), Dominic Zarecki (Dr.Esther Chu Zarecki ), Alexander Zarecki, Wyatt Smith and Riley Smith; two great- grandchildren, Eliora Zarecki and J.P. Zarecki with one great-grandson due in May. Nancy also held her nieces, nephews and their families in her heart and loved them dearly.Nancy’s family wishes to give special thanks and deepest gratitude to the medical staff who provided outstanding care and compassion for our mom during the last three months of her life especially the nurses and CNA’s of Maine Health Care in her home, Hospice of Southern Maine and Gosnell Memorial Hospice House. Heartfelt thanks to Nurses- Bernadette, Jackie, Nancy, Polly, John and CNA’s – Raylene, Joanne, Jill and Mary and oncologist Dr. Roger Inhorn and his staff and Nancy’s primary care physician Dr. John Reynolds. They all provided excellent care and support during the challenges of COVID-19, homecare and cancer.A funeral will be held at Peoples Methodist Church at a date to be determined, and a memorial art show at a later place and date. Arrangements are under the direction of the Conroy-Tully Walker Funeral Home, 1024 Broadway, South Portland. To view Nancy’s memorial page, or to leave an online condolence, please visit http://www.ConroyTullyWalker.comNancy was a member of People’s United Methodist Church. For those wishing to make memorial contributions in her name, please considerPeople’s United Methodist Church310 BroadwaySouth Portland, ME 04106

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