Isabel Firuski Thacher, 91

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BRUNSWICK — Isabel “Betty” Firuski Thacher, 91, died May 27 at Thornton Oaks.

The daughter of Maurice and Isabel Jennings Firuski, she was born on Dec. 4, 1919, in Cambridge, Mass.

She attended The Buckingham School in Cambridge, spent a memorable year at La Villa Yema in Neuchatel, Switzerland, and graduated from the May School in Boston in 1937.  

After the May School, she attended The Child Walker Art School in Boston and the American School of Design in New York.

While volunteering as a Red Cross Nurse’s Aid at Massachusetts General Hospital during World War II, she met Lt. Henry C. Thacher, a pediatric resident, and they were married in August 1942.

They moved to Auburn in 1947 and raised two daughters, Sarah and Poppy.

For two years she ran the Bates College Art Gallery in Lewiston.

After her divorce in 1973, she moved to their former summer home at High Head in South Harpswell. She opened a business, Venture Antiques, and had a storefront in Brunswick for five years before she relocated the business to Exchange Street in Portland, where the store remained for 22 years. She was especially known for making beautiful lamps from antique vases.

All her life she strongly supported volunteer service, giving over 1,000 hours of service for the Red Cross, and was instrumental in establishing a coffee shop in the Central Maine General Hospital, now CMMC, in Lewiston. In Portland she served on the board of Greater Portland Landmarks for six years.

In 1999, she suffered a head injury, which led her to close her antique store and in 2000, she moved to Thornton Oaks Retirement Community in Brunswick.

Throughout her life her two favorite places were Wiscasset and Yarmouthport on Cape Cod.

Her sister, Marguerite Green of Nashua, N.H., predeceased her in 2009.

She is survived by her beloved daughters, Sarah Ann Thacher and her devoted friend, Heather Nering of Freeport, and Poppy Thacher Arford and her husband Lorin Arford of Brunswick; four grandchildren, Katie and Hannah Thacher and Libby and Jesse Arford; her half-sister, Orlena Firuski of Salisbury, Conn., and her two children, Samuel Gignoux of Hinesburg, Vt., and Elvia Gignoux of Lakeville, Conn.; and two dear friends, Anne J. Smith of Brunswick, and Michelle Seacord of Freeport.

A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday, June 18, at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Pleasant Street, Brunswick.  A reception will follow at 2 p.m. at Thornton Oaks.

In addition, a celebration of her life will be held at 3:05 p.m. on Saturday, July 30, at the Island Community Church on Bailey Island.  

Memorial donations can be made to the Maine Seacoast Mission, 127 Winter St., Bar Harbor, ME 04609.

Arrangements are by Brackett Funeral Home, Federal St., Brunswick.  

Condolences can be expressed at 

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