Marilyn Ann Flannery Roelofs

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Marilyn Ann Flannery Roelofs, 84
SOUTH PORTLAND - Marilyn was born Oct. 2, 1933 in Bad Axe, Mich. When speaking of Bad Axe she would often add the phrase "proud navy bean capital of the world, at the tip of the thumb and right on the Lake Huron." At this point of the introduction she would also hold up her hand using her hand as a map of the mitten shaped state of Michigan - pointing at the thumb. Although she lived the last 20-plus years in Maine, she was always and will ever be "A Great Lakes Girl."
She was the second youngest of six children; her mother, Helen, was a single mom for most of Marilyn's life as her father, Patrick Flannery, died when she was 12.
Marilyn lost her oldest brother, Maurice, when she was in her teens and her closest sister, Corrine, when she was only 22. Her mother and brother, Del, passed on when she was in her 40s. Her remaining siblings, Patricia and Frank, passed away when she was in her 70s. Like many who have suffered so many traumatic family deaths, these events left her with an alternating anxiousness about the connections and safety of those around her - but also a tough resilience coupled with a fierce protection to those who were dear to her. When someone was down and out - Marilyn became titanium and did her best to help. And while it took a great deal to gain her trust - once you earned it - she was loyal to you forever.
Marilyn married Richard Q. Roelofs on Feb. 22, 1963. He was a calm spirit with a keen sense of humor who did not shy away from hard work. He was, however, shy when talking to new people … but Marilyn was not! They were very much a team, building not one, but two houses by themselves after retirement age, as well as extensively travelling across the country many times - making friends along the way because Marilyn reached out to strangers wherever she went. In between these adventures they managed to raise a daughter, put her through college, love a son-in-law and become supportive grandparents to their two grandchildren.
Their marriage lasted 51 years, and when Richard passed in 2014, Marilyn's usual strength and joy diminished significantly with each year. She often said she wished she could "hurry up and join Dick". A woman of extreme independence, pride and privacy who often refused help - she remained in her apartment until she was diagnosed with lung, liver, pancreas, bone and brain cancer on Aug. 22, 2018.
On the morning of Sept. 5, 2018 (only 14 days after her diagnosis) her daughter read the poem "God Dances With Us" aloud to her; a poem that was coincidently picked out by her granddaughter the night before. Marilyn passed that same morning at the Gosnell Hospice House - free of pain and with a peaceful last sigh.
Her family would like to express their deep heartfelt gratitude to all those who cared for Marilyn, and her daughter, Michelle Lesperance, son-in-law, Marc Lesperance, grandson, Jacob and granddaughter, Rosa. The staff at Maine Med P2C and Gosnell Hospice House, especially, provided such loving care - physically, emotionally and spiritually.
A small private family ceremony will be held before Marilyn's final resting place in Michigan along side her husband - facing the Bad Axe football field, and by their beloved Great Lakes. A mass will be held the last week of July 2019 at Saint Columbkille, in Bad Axe, Mich.
To leave the family an online condolence please visit,

Those wishing to honor Marilyn or her family can do so by either contributing to
The Gosnell Hospice House
11 Hunnewell Road
Scarborough, ME 04074, or
FLOW (Conservation group to protect the Great Lakes)

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Funeral Home
Coastal Cremation Services
471 Deering Avenue
Portland, ME 04103
(207) 699-6171
Published in Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram on Sept. 16, 2018
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