Eileen (Litton) Wyatt

CUMBERLAND – Eileen (Litton) Wyatt, a person who shined brightly in her community as an advocate for education, community service, and environmental stewardship, passed away peacefully in Falmouth on Sunday Sept. 10, 2023 at the age of 96. She was born on Feb. 19, 1927 to Capt. Hazel Wood Litton and Lenore Arnold Litton, growing up in Duncan Falls and Zanesville, Ohio.

Life was not easy for her as a child, which instilled the strong sense of responsibility and resourcefulness for which she was known.

With the encouragement of her mother to excel in schoolwork, Eileen completed high school as valedictorian at St. Nicholas High School in Zanesville, Ohio. She attended Muskingum College, and then Ohio State University, earning a biological sciences degree.

She raised 12 children with her husband, Dr. William E. Wyatt, whom she met while he was in medical school. The family moved from Kansas City, Mo. to Portland, then Buckfield, and finally to Cumberland in 1960, where she lived the rest of her life.

As if raising all those children wasn’t enough, Eileen busied herself by assisting her husband’s medical practice, working for the Red Cross as blood donor recruiter and working for Maine Medical Center as a laboratory technician.

Her unwavering commitment to community service was evidenced by service on the MSAD 51 school board, membership on the Portland Water District board for many years, the Board of Sewer appeals for Cumberland, the Comprehensive Plan Committee, the Cumberland Aging in Place Committee, the Cumberland Housing Authority, and an impressive 33-year tenure as the Health Officer for the Town of Cumberland, for which she was honored by the town council in 2012. As Health Officer, she conducted inspections of all the food service operations in the town, including food vendors at the Cumberland Fair, well into her 80s. She had a reputation of being tough, but fair. Her knowledge, passion, and compassion made her a trusted advocate for the health and well-being of her community. She also advocated for safety in the community by being the catalyst to the construction of a much-needed sidewalk between Main Street and the Mabel I. Wilson School.

Eileen set an example for environmental stewardship by the way she lived every day. Nothing was wasted. A plastic bag was never thrown away after its first use. She was known to extract every last drop from soup cans, ketchup bottles and the like. After her kids were grown, she lived for many years without a clothes dryer, instead preferring to use a clothesline in the backyard, as she appreciated how fresh the laundry smelled. She planted many tree seedlings at home and gave away many more to others to plant on their property.

Her faith was a cornerstone of her life, and she remained an active member of the Tuttle Road United Methodist Church from the time she moved to Cumberland until just a few years ago. She was a leader for the fundraising effort to build the church addition for the expanding congregation.

Eileen was a strong advocate for gender equality. She pushed financial institutions to approve credit for women based on their own creditworthiness. She supported her daughter and friend as they enrolled in a high school industrial arts class, which was not open to girls at the time.

Eileen had a mischievous sense of humor, especially on April Fool’s Day. For example, her children might be surprised by a sheet of wax paper or string hidden within their sandwiches, to the delight of their companions at the school lunch table.

Being a tireless advocate for education and lifelong learning, she initiated a scholarship at the University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine in memory of her husband, Dr. William E. Wyatt, to provide educational and career assistance for others pursuing osteopathic medicine.

Eileen was predeceased by her husband, William E. Wyatt, D.O.; her brother, Richard S. Litton; three of her children, Jeffrey L. Wyatt, David F. Wyatt, Erin L. Wyatt, and son-in-law, Rudy B. Swindell.

She is survived by nine of her 12 children, Gary S. Wyatt (Dianne), Martha W. Swindell, Kim E. Noonan (Daniel), William D. Wyatt (Jeanne), Amy L. Wyatt, Andrew R. Wyatt (Kathryn), Howard C. Wyatt, Dewey M. Wyatt (Tricia) and Beth A. Nelson (Christopher), daughter-in-law, Brenda N. Wyatt; 16 grandchildren; and 11 great-grandchildren.

The family would like to thank the wonderful staff at both Falmouth House and Legacy Memory Care for the gentle, loving care that was provided to her.

A family graveside service will be held at Buckfield Cemetery on a date to be determined.

To honor Eileen’s legacy, donations to

The American Red Cross,

The Salvation Army, or

The Tuttle Road

Community Church

would be appreciated by the family.

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