PORTLAND — Catherine D. Beach, 89, of Portland, died March 28 at Maine Medical Center, with her family by her side.
She was born in Conway, New Hampshire, on Feb. 24, 1926, the daughter of Hulda and Walter Lewis, and one of five children.
Catherine was raised on the family farm in Fryeburg, and attended a one-room schoolhouse. She then graduated from Fryeburg Academy and from Westbrook Junior College.
After college she was employed as a bookkeeper at Stearns Co. in Portland, and at First Portland Bank. Later, while raising her children, she worked part-time at Cronkite Insurance Agency.
As a member of Trinity Episcopal Church in Portland, Beach served tirelessly in nearly every volunteer capacity. She was active in the church’s Stewardship Committee, Altar Guild and St. Hilda’s Guild, and she chaired the annual church fair. She never missed a church supper, where she arrived early to work and was the last to leave. She and her husband, Ken, were recognized in 2012 for their lifelong service to the church as recipients of its Ruth Barnard Award.
Always happy in the service of others, she was also a member of the Woodfords Club. She volunteered at local nursing homes and soup kitchens. And when her children were young, she was active in the PTA and as a Girl Scout troop leader.
When not working or helping others, she took great joy from simple pleasures such as taking rides in the country, sitting by the ocean or watching the sunset. She loved to walk along Crescent Beach and Baxter Boulevard. A talented organist, she also loved music, as well as theater and playing weekly bridge games with her friends.
But her greatest joy was time spent with family, whether traveling with them in the mountains, attending her grandchildren’s performances and school events, or devoting her attention to make holidays and family events special.
Beach was predeceased by her siblings, Abigail, Charlotte, Charles and Richard.
She is survived by her husband of 59 years, Kenneth G. Beach, of Portland; her daughters, Pam Gilbert and husband, Marc, of Biddeford, and Robyn Dixon and husband, John, of Portland; and three grandchildren, Andrew Gilbert, Ryan Dixon and Nicole Dixon. She is also survived by her nieces and their families.
Beach’s family would like to extend thanks for the care provided her by the staff at Maine Medical Center, especially the nursing staff in CICU and R4 IMC; the pulmonary therapists; Drs. Kojo, Obrien and Gruarin; and especially Dr. Phyllidia Ku-Ruth.
A memorial service was held April 4 at Trinity Episcopal Church. Interment will be in the spring at Riverside Cemetery in Yarmouth.
In lieu of flowers, donations in Beach’s name may be made Trinity Episcopal Church or to a charity of one’s choice.