Elizabeth Palmer Soule, 78: Affable, unselfish and kind

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PORTLAND — Elizabeth “Lou” Palmer Soule, 78, died at Mercy Hospital on March 13.

The daughter of Hilda Libby Ives and John Emery Palmer, Soule was born August 9, 1933, in Portland where she spent a happy childhood cruising around the Western Prom with family and friends, riding her horse on the Portland Country Club greens and playing sports and singing in the chorus at Waynflete School.

After earning degrees from Bradford Junior College and McGill University, she returned to Portland and worked in the family business, J.E. Palmer Co. In 1957 she married Wallace G. Soule Jr. and they made their home in Yarmouth, raising four children together.

She was a familiar face in Yarmouth and was often spotted in her ten-seat Land Rover filled with kids, shuttling them to and from sporting events, Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, music lessons and the Yarmouth Boat Yard, the family gateway to one of her favorite summer spots, Lower Goose Island.

Her home was always open to her neighbors and friends and even the stray cat or two.

During these busy years, Soule cultivated her interest in gardening and houseplants at home and as an employee at Winslow’s Greenhouse in Yarmouth and Skillins Greenhouses in Falmouth. After moving to Freeport, she hung her own shingle on The Freeport Greenhouse in 1982 which she owned and operated as a full-service florist shop and greenhouse for 25 years. These were the happiest times for her: pinching and pruning her flora, delivering bouquets in the worst of weather or staying open after hours to help a customer brought her great personal satisfaction.

Beyond her business, she was a volunteer mentor in Freeport’s Jump Start program for 15 years and an active member and former director of the Coastal Humane Society in Brunswick.

Developing and sustaining relationships with people – family, lifelong friends, customers, employees or mentees – was simply natural and genuine for her. Affable, kind and unselfish, she was beloved by many. Her characteristic and sprightly humor kept both young and old on their toes.

Soule is survived by her four children, Alison S. Moser and her partner, James Porter, and their children, Emily and Jessica, of Poland, Wallace G. Soule III and his wife, Ann, and their children, Elizabeth and Nora, of Pownal, Winthrop P. Soule and Lucy of Freeport, and Jonathan P. Soule and his wife, Susan G. Martling, and their children, Painter and Charlotte, of Freeport; her wonderful canine companion, Tobias; sisters, Alice P. Hunneman, of Falmouth, and Susan P. Jones, of Brunswick; and brothers, John Emery Palmer Jr., of Yarmouth, and Frederick Palmer, of Freeport.

The family would like to thank the caring staff at Mercy for their help and support during this time.

A celebration of her life will be held on March 25 from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the Hilton Garden Inn, 5 Park St., Freeport.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to the “Lou Soule Scholarship Fund” c/o Seeds of Independence, P.O. Box 8, Freeport, ME 04032.