Helen F. Kilmartin, 97: Dedicated community volunteer

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PORTLAND — Helen Frances Kilmartin, 97, died April 6 at Mercy Hospital surrounded by her family.

On March 14, 1914, she was born in Portland, the only child of John J. “Direac” and Annie (Faherty) Flaherty, and graduated from Cathedral High School in 1933. After she graduated from the Northeastern School of Business in 1935, she accepted a position at the Federal Court House.

On Aug. 22, 1944, she married Stephen John Kilmartin, and they had nine children together.

After her children were grown she returned to work and taking a job at the New York Life Insurance Company, the Roman Catholic Diocese Chancery Office and at Cheverus High School.

After retiring in the early 1980s, she began volunteering three to four days a week, and continued to do so well into her 90s. She volunteered at the Portland Symphony Orchestra, the Good Cause Thrift Shop, McAuley High School, the Mercy Hospital Gift Shop and other organizations.

Her volunteer work was recognized by the community in 1999 when she received the Spirit of McAuley Award and again in 2005 when she received the Scanlon Award as Mercy Hospital’s outstanding volunteer for logging over 2,000 hours of volunteer service.

In addition to her busy volunteer schedule, she faithfully played Beano every Wednesday at St. Pius, and developed special friendships at the games over the years.

She also enjoyed watching youth sporting events, including her childrens’ and grandchildrens’ games and McAuley High School basketball games.

Every summer she returned to Peaks Island, where she had many happy memories with her children, grandchildren and lifelong friends.

She was a communicant of St. Patrick’s Church and a summer communicant of St. Christopher’s Church on Peaks Island.

An avid traveler, she enjoyed multiple trips throughout the country and to Europe.

With a zest for life, she never stopped developing her interests in people and places.

Her husband, Stephen J. Kilmartin, predeceased her in 1985; an infant daughter, Annie Kilmartin, in 1945; and a son, John M. Kilmartin, in 1978.

Surviving are her loving family of seven children, Sarah-Jo Barton and her husband Raymond of Minoa, N.Y., Julianne Kilmartin and her husband Gerald Teplitzsky of Sudbury, Mass., Helen McBrady and her husband James of Yarmouth, Stephanie Griffin and her husband Philip of Brewer, Patricia Kilmartin of Peaks Island, Mary Tanous and her husband David of Scarborough, and Joseph Kilmartin of Portland; 12 grandchildren, Sean and Julie Barton, Kristin Barton Kemak, James, Stephen and Matthew McBrady, Patrick, Joseph and Catherine Griffin; Stephanie, Chelsea and Rebecca Tanous; and 8 great-grandchildren.

The family would like to thank all the caregivers at Mercy Hospital, especially the nursing staff, for their professionalism, compassion and care.

Memorial services were held last week.

Arrangements are by Conroy-Tully Crawford Funeral Home, 172 State St., Portland.

Memorial donations may be made to Catherine McAuley High School, 631 Stevens Ave., Portland, ME 04103.

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