Earlene Ahlquist "Kitty" Chadbourne(1949 - 2019)

CUMBERLAND - Earlene "Kitty" Ahlquist Chadbourne died May 17, 2019, at her home in Cumberland, Maine, after a courageous battle with ALS.

She was born April 8, 1949, the daughter of Earle and Winonah (Bowley) Ahlquist. She grew up in Scarborough and attended the University of Maine at Gorham, where she met Roland Cote. After marrying in 1968, they resided in Sanford and Alfred, and raised two sons, Guy and Adam Cote. They were divorced in 1985.

In 1988, she married Theodore "Ted" Chadbourne of Bethel. They were the love of each other's lives and remained married for over 30 years until the time of her death.

Petite and feminine, Kitty exhibited a deep religious faith and inner strength that guided her through the many adversities in her life. She delighted in a plaque given to her by Guy that quoted Shakespeare: "Though she be but little, she is fierce." It was an apt saying for Kitty, who retained an optimism and loving spirit despite the early loss of her mother, a life-threatening accident, a fatal illness, and many other challenges.

A poet, writer, historian, and artist, Kitty authored a poetry chapbook, the "Pearl Collection," contributed historic articles for "Scarborough at 350" and "Saco Churches," and wrote "A Child's Life 90 Years Ago: Recollections from 1923 to 1946, Scarborough Maine," based on her interviews with her aunt, Florence Ahlquist Link, and her father, Earle Ahlquist, and published in April 2019.

In 1990, Kitty suffered a serious bicycle accident, which resulted in brain injuries. She retaught herself skills she had lost as a result of the injuries and recorded her experiences in her book, "Parenting Myself: Recovery from Traumatic Brain Injury," published in 2009. During this time, she returned to college and graduated cum laude from Vermont College.

From an early age, Kitty devoted herself to community and church activities, volunteering many hours each week to charitable work and individual acts of kindness. The list of organizations benefiting from her talents and generosity include: Stonecroft's Christian Women's Club, Maine Poets Society (served as president), Chadbourne Family Association (president), Maine Nordmenn - Sons of Norway Chapter, Piscataquas Pioneers (president), Saco Bay Rotary (charter member and Paul Harris Fellow), and Dyer Library (board member). She held a number of posts with the Elizabeth Wadsworth, Daughters of the American Revolution - as Regent, State Curator, American History Chairman, State Chaplain, and as a speaker. She also served as Registrar of her local DAR chapter, the Elizabeth Wadsworth Chapter of Greater Portland.

Kitty's charitable efforts were well-known, but two of her "projects" were particularly notable. In 1998, she worked with Saco Bay Rotary to sponsor the son of her son's (Adam) Army interpreter in Bosnia to study at Thornton Academy and later at the University of Maine as a Mitchell Scholar. He later went on and to create a successful web business with offices in both Maine and Bosnia. Additionally, Kitty spent over a dozen years working with DAR to ship homemade cookies to U.S. servicemen in Iraq and Afghanistan. She was a kind soul who cared for many.

Her parents predeceased her as did her brother, Philip Ahlquist. Kitty is survived by her husband of 30 years, Ted; her sons, Guy Cote and his wife, Julie, and Adam Cote and his wife, Paulina; her stepmother, Betty Ahlquist; four stepdaughters, Deborah (David), Tania, Dori (Russ), and Teri; one stepson, Todd (Kathy) Posey; 11 grandchildren; a brother, Oren Ahlquist and a sister, Lorraine Ahlquist; an uncle, Edward Ahlquist, and many cousins.

A wake will be held Friday, May 24 from 4-7 p.m., at Dennett-Craig & Pate Funeral Home, 13 Portland Road, Buxton (Bar Mills). Funeral services will be held Saturday, May 25 at 11 a.m., at the North Saco Congregational Church, 133 Heath Road, Saco, with a graveside service at the South Gorham Cemetery on the Burnham Road after the funeral. After the graveside service, a reception for family and friends will be held at Dennett-Craig & Pate.

The family would like to thank the phenomenal caregivers at Home Instead and Northern Light Hospice for their compassioned care for Kitty.

She will be greatly missed by all who were fortunate enough to have known her.

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Funeral Home

Dennett, Craig & Pate Funeral Home Inc
13 Portland Road Buxton, ME 04093
(207) 929-8200

Published in Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram on May 21, 2019