Florence Bennett Wile-Hodsdon, 91: Active volunteer, loved music

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YARMOUTH — Florence Bennett Wile-Hodsdon, 91, longtime resident of Yarmouth, died April 30 at Mid Coast Hospital, Brunswick.

She was born June 7, 1922, in Yarmouth to George T. and Harriette Bennett Cleaves. She graduated from North Yarmouth Academy in 1939, attended Northeastern Business College, and began working for the Union Mutual Insurance Company in 1940.

On Christmas day in 1941, she married Lester R. Wile. In 1943, she took maternity leave, returning to work in 1963. During those 20 years, she and her husband raised three children, she worked as a substitute teacher, an office assistant for two local doctors, and she was an active volunteer in the Yarmouth community.

She spotted planes in World War II, aided local Scout troops, helped establish Yarmouth’s first hot lunch program, served on the community health program, and delivered meals to seniors. She was a member of the First Parish Church and held several committee positions. After returning to work at Unum as an executive secretary, she continued to serve at the First Parish Church as chair of the board of deacons, and was a member of the Yarmouth Lions Club.

She loved music, and played the piano, sang in the church choir, and performed in many of Yarmouth’s local variety shows. She also enjoyed boating with her husband on Casco Bay.

She retired from Unum in 1984. Three years after Lester’s death in 1985, she married Richard H. Hodsdon. They traveled extensively, bought a winter home in Lake Wales, Florida and she learned to play golf.

Upon his death in 2003, she continued being active in the Lions’ Club, the AmVets Ladies Auxiliary, and the Yarmouth Historical Society. Her son, Roger Wile, became her caregiver until October 2013, when she moved to Cadigan Lodge in Topsham.

She was predeceased by her husbands and a grandchild, Laurie Wile.

She is survived by three children, Richard Wile and wife, Mary Lee, of Brunswick, Jaye Sewall and husband, Peter, of Brunswick and Roger Wile, of Cumberland;  grandson, Samuel Sewall and wife, Margaret, of Brunswick; four stepchildren, Lee Hodsdon and wife, Carol, David Hodsdon, Jill Holley and husband, Jereal, and John Hodsdon and wife, Caroline; their children, Micah Brown and wife, Amanda, and Jeremy Brown and wife, Daniele Lantagne; two great-grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews.

A memorial service was held May 7, at the First Parish Church in Yarmouth. 

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to CHANS Home Health Care, 60 Baribeau Drive, Brunswick, ME 04011.

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