Charlotte Louise LaCrosse loved children and loved Christmas, and she had a passion for helping the less fortunate.

Charlotte Louise LaCrosse

Now, the people who loved her are giving to the Press Herald Toy Fund in her memory, a fitting tribute that will bring joy to children in need at the holidays.

LaCrosse died Dec. 2 at the Gosnell Memorial Hospice House in Scarborough from complications after contracting COVID-19. She was 97.

An obituary prepared by her family tells the story of a woman with a generous spirit who was loved by many.

She grew up in Calais and graduated from high school in Thomaston. In 1942, she married Henry Melquist, who was killed in action in World War II.

In 1951, she married John LaCrosse and together they raised their five children in Rockland. He died in 2005.

In 2010, Charlotte moved to Portland to live with her daughter.

“Family was everything to Charlotte, known as Grammy to her grandchildren, and later as GG to her great grandchildren,” her family wrote.

She loved to bake and always had fresh goodies to share, and she made a famous spaghetti sauce using the tomatoes she grew and canned.

“Charlotte loved Christmas, and her children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren recall helping her get out all of her decorations and how much fun they were to play with,” the family wrote. “She so looked forward each year to the annual Christmas Eve day visits to family in Tenants Harbor, South Thomaston, and especially the annual Christmas Eve party at her daughter and son in-law’s house in Owls Head.”

She leaves five children, five grandchildren, eight grandchildren and many more family members and friends who will no doubt share memories about GG at this first Christmas without her physical presence. It’s a loss that hundreds of Maine families are feeling this holiday season after losing a loved one to the pandemic in recent weeks and months.

The family made a special request in the obituary.

“In lieu of flowers, and in the spirit of Christmas and her love for children, the family asks that donations be made in Charlotte’s memory” to programs that bring joy to children, including the Press Herald Toy Fund.

Numerous donations have already arrived “in memory of Charlotte Louise Lacrosse.” And children she never met will soon share the joys of the holiday season because of her.

THE PRESS HERALD TOY FUND in the Spirit of Bruce Roberts uses donations from readers to provide toys to thousands of Maine children who might otherwise not receive holiday gifts because of hardships faced by their parents. Now in its 71st year, the fund is accepting applications for toys from needy families in York, Cumberland, Sagadahoc, Androscoggin, Lincoln and Knox counties.

• DONATIONS to help buy the toys can be made at pressheraldtoyfund.org or by writing checks to the Portland Press Herald Toy Fund and mailing them to the fund at P.O. Box 7310, Portland, ME 04112.

• FOR MORE INFORMATION, call 791-6672 or go to: pressheraldtoyfund.org.

TODAY’S DONATIONS

Nancy & Larry $100
Remembering Kurt Kruger $50
Anonymous $25
Joyce & David Hennessey  $50
Anonymous $25
In memory of our parents, Anna & Domenico Floridino and Philis & Anthony Peverada $100
In memory of Hugh Everett La Rochelle  $100
In lieu of local Christmas cards – Merry Christmas! Carl & Rachel Akin $40
Lynn Russell-Johnson $45
Merry Christmas! Kathryn & Larry Malone $100
For Frances $60
In memory of my parents and grandmother – Geraldine Oliver $35
Elizabeth Goldsmith $50
From Millie & Gillie  $100
In loving memory of Uncle Bob, from the Miller family. Merry Christmas to all! $100
In memory of Karl and Georgia Sutherland, and Worth and Muriel Howard $200
Mojee and Pearl $25
In loving memory of Alan Argondizza $150
Hester Stuhlman $30
Paula & Louis Abbotoni  $100
To the memory of Deborah Paine, who loved Christmas $100
Merry Christmas! Everest & Mackenzie Freeman! $100
Merry Christmas! Sylvia Kraemer $30
In memory of Herbert H. Fricke $150
Charles & Ann Garland $200
In loving memory of Ruth A. Bennett and Elmer Constant $100
In loving memory of Eleanor Goodwin $40
Richard Culgin $40
George & Letty Ann Race $50
Judy Benoit $100
Joan Gogerty $50
Jill English $50
In memory of John E. Menario $100
In memory of the Reed, Conant & McAloney families from Dorothy & Ed McAloney $50
Patricia Frederick $100
In memory of Lou Nichols $100
In loving memory of my wonderful mother, Della Fogg, and my sweet son, Mitchell Kessler  $100
In loving memory of two wonderful mothers – Margaret and Mildred $50
Grammy, Love, Cathy, Chuck, Tori $25
Ed & Laurie Blain $100
Nanny & D. $100
Merry Christmas from Helen Peterson $20
In loving memory of Bob & Cora, and Ron & Rachelle $50
In memory of my sister, Mary Townsend Strout, who always loved giving – Phil Townsend $200
Merry Christmas from Bob & Sue Turkington $75
Shirlee Smith $100

Year to date total: $159,002.25

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