Anna E. Courson, 97: Proud of her Franco-American heritage, had a way with children

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BRUNSWICK — Anna E. Courson, 97, died in her sleep on Dec. 28, just days after celebrating what she called her “best Christmas ever” with family and friends.

Born in Soldier Pond on July 9, 1914, Courson was the 13th of 15 children born to Willie and Vitaline Levesque Bouchard.

A bright and ambitious child, she loved attending Soldier Pond School when possible, but family circumstances prevented attendance beyond fifth grade.

From an early age, she cared for her older siblings’ children and became an outstanding cook and childcare provider. She was always very fond of children and seemed to posses the “magic touch” when they became fussy.

She remained a hard worker all her life.

She was employed at Saco-Lowell in Biddeford while she married to her first husband. In 1944 she moved to Brunswick as a single mother and worked at the Harding Plant where she med Frank M. Courson Jr., whom she married in 1945.

After working at Verney Mills for 10 years, she became a custodian at Bowdoin College Library, retiring after 22 years. Following her retirement, her former boss said that it took two people to replace her.

Courson was widowed at the young age of 44, leaving her with a young son to support on her own, which she did with great love and pride. She managed to maintain her own home until 1994, when she moved to Pejepscot Terrace, where she made many new friends.

She was independent and feisty with a wonderful sense of humor. She loved watching football, especially the Patriots, Giants, Packers and Notre Dame teams.  She was very fond of traditional French-Canadian music and loved the songs of Daniel O’Donnell.

As a young woman she greatly enjoyed going to dances in northern Maine. One of her hobbies was walking, which she did for miles and miles until she was well into her late 80s, when her health prevented lengthy outings.

She loved animals, particularly cats, dogs and birds. Because her husband had been treasurer of the Maine Audubon Society, she became quite adept at identifying birds.

Most of all, Courson loved her family. She was extremely proud of her Franco-American heritage and remained close to her relatives all of her life. Besides her parents and her husband, she was predeceased by her 14 brothers and sisters, as well as several nieces and nephews.

She is survived by two sons William R. Perreault and his wife Ercil of Brunswick, and Wayne J. Courson and his wife Susan of Windam; five grandchildren Stephen Perreault of Caribou, Dale and John Perreault of Brunswick, Wendy Courson Cutter of Monte Vista, Colo. and Shelby Courson Larson of Pleasant Grove, Utah; 10 great-grandchildren; and many nephews, nieces, great-nephews and great-nieces.

At her request, there will be no memorial service. A graveside service at Varney Cemetery will be held in the spring. Arrangements are under the direction of Brackett Funeral Home, 29 Federal St., Brunswick.

Donations can be made in her name to the Animal Refuge League of Greater Portland, P.O. Box 336, Westbrook, ME 04098.

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