RANDOLPH – Lynne Orser Sparrow, 81, of Randolph, died peacefully at home on Sunday, August 22, 2021, after a period of declining health. While we were not ready for her to leave just yet, her beautiful spirit is soaring, and her mind is at peace. Lynne had an energy that could not be contained. She an infectious laugh and an adventurous soul. She was feisty, funny, and fearless. Her outgoing nature helped her gather friends from all walks of life and she will be sadly missed.

Lynne was born on Dec. 6, 1939, in Gardiner, the first child of Ralph and Charlotte Fogg Orser. She grew up on Highland Avenue and Willow Street, attended Highland Avenue School and Pray Street School, and described a childhood full of friends and mischief. Some of her fondest memories as a child were of taking the train by herself from Gardiner to Freeport to visit her Fogg grandparents’ farm at Mast Landing. Lynne was an only child for her first five years until her only sibling, Clare Louise, came along in 1945. They were partners in crime and had a close relationship, more Lucy and Ethel than Thelma and Louise.

Lynne graduated from Gardiner Area High School in the class of 1958. She was outgoing and fun and spoke fondly of her high school years. A favorite activity was borrowing her father’s car to ‘go to the store’ and somehow ending up at Luigi’s Pizza in Lewiston with a carful of girlfriends. She may or may not have been responsible for smoke occasionally billowing from the girls’ bathroom window at GAHS.

In August of 1958, at the age of 18, she married William Bradford Sparrow Sr., and after a cross-country honeymoon trip in the ’58 Ford Fairlane convertible, settled in Pittston with Billy to build their logging and trucking businesses and raise a family.

Motherhood was a role that Lynne embraced with enthusiasm and amused patience, and she was an amazing mother. Her first child, William Bradford, Jr. “Brad”, was born in 1960, when she was 20, followed by Patricia Anne in 1961, and Deborah Lynne the year after that. She was a young mom, full of energy and fun, and rarely said no to any childhood schemes and requests. She loved us fiercely and unconditionally and encouraged us to think for ourselves and follow our own paths. She didn’t worry about broken bones, report cards that needed improvement, or mysterious new dents in the car, and met daily stresses with grace and a grin because “tomorrow is always another day.” She thought her children were perfect (well, Brad, maybe), and it is too late to tell her any differently.

Lynne’s sense of humor and focused interest in others served her well and her children and their friends were the center of her world. She took great pride in her family and her home, and those years were full of laughter and love, big family holidays, and her constant home improvement projects and cleaning spells. She loved cars and for a time had a baby blue 1968 Lincoln with suicide, or rear-hinged, doors that carried the license plate LOS. It suited her perfectly.

She worked full-time out of the home office in Pittston, keeping the family trucking businesses, W.B. Sparrow, Inc. and Sparrow Leasing, operating smoothly. She was responsible for hiring wood cutters, mechanics, and truck drivers, keeping the books, and dispatching loads of logs, and later, potatoes from Aroostook County to Florida and citrus fruit and other freight from Florida to destinations along the eastern United States. She could drive a truck if needed and held a Class 1 license. Eventually the fleet of trucks was leased to Refrigerated Food Express out of Boston. She enjoyed that opportunity and her frequent trips to the city.

No matter how busy the days were, she could watch the kids getting on and off the bus from her office window at the house on Route 126 while keeping an eye on the truck yard, and dinner was always on the table at the end of the day. Lynne was the type of person who insisted on setting the table with the Blue Danube china for everyday use, because beautiful things are meant to be enjoyed. We often grumbled about the place setting rituals and focus on manners, not caring about the difference between a salad fork and a dinner fork, and her standard response was, “You never know when the Queen might show up.” Little did we know that we were dining with the Queen every day.

Lynne was a dedicated volunteer in the community, serving the PTA, Community Chest, and the Rebekahs. She was a former trustee of Unity College. She was a long-time member of the hospital auxiliary, ultimately becoming the President of the Maine Association of Hospital Auxiliaries where she had many friends and proudly overcame her fear of public speaking with determined practice.

In the late ‘80s after the untimely and devastating death of her daughter, Trish, Lynne moved to New Harbor and the Pemaquid trail area. She was there for about 20 years, working at the Pemaquid Point Lighthouse Park, where she never met a stranger, and for the University of Maine as a courier, transporting students to and from the Darling Marine Center to the Orono campus. In her later years, Lynne returned to her mother’s home in Randolph to be closer to her family. While her later life was often a struggle, she faced obstacles with her trademark optimism and mirth, the occasional double martini and a smoke, and always expressed appreciation to those who cared for her.

Lynne loved a road trip and an adventure, enjoyed sports (Red Sox, Patriots), and never missed one of her children’s games from farm league to college basketball. She was well-read and kept up on current events, curious about everything, including the state of politics and society. She was a powerful woman in her own right and was encouraged by the growth of opportunities (“it’s about time”) for women and minorities. She was an inspiring lady.

Lynne is survived by her sister, Clare LaFlamme, of Gardiner; son, William Bradford Sparrow Jr. “Brad” and his wife, Nancy, of Pittston, daughter, Deborah L. Sparrow, and her favorite son-in-law, Marc Cone. She is also survived by grandchildren Elizabeth Chaisson (Travis), Emily Sparrow, Jacob Sparrow (Roxann), Isac Cone (Julie St. Jarre), Alec Cone, and Camden Cone; as well as eight great-grandchildren and another due in September.

She was predeceased by her daughter, Patricia Anne, who died in 1984 at the age of 22. She was always in her heart and never far from her thoughts.

At Lynne’s request, there will be no public service or visiting hours. She will be interred at the Putnam Cemetery in Pittston, near her daughter. Special thanks to her care teams from Maine General Medical Center, the Dorothea Dix Center, and Androscoggin Home Health Care, as well as her personal caregiver for the past few years, Tina Guimond. Thank you all for helping her be able to spend her last weeks at home.

In Lynne’s memory, raise a toast to the beauty of the human spirit, and in the words of Maya Angelou,

“Continue

To be who and how you are

To astonish a mean world

With your acts of kindness

Continue

To allow humor to lighten the burden

Of your tender heart”

Arrangements are under the care of Staples Funeral Home, 53 Brunswick Ave., Gardiner, where condolences, memories and photos may be shared with the family on the obituary page of the funeral home website familyfirstfuneralhomes.com.

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