Mildred A. Santamaa, 93: World War II Liberty Ship builder
SCARBOROUGH — Mildred A. Santamaa, 93, formerly of South Portland, died March 29, after a long and happy life.
Born in South Portland, she was a daughter of James and Mary Elizabeth Towle Calderwood, one of nine children. She attended South Portland schools. During World War II, she and her sister, Josephine, joined the many women who worked in the South Portland Shipyard, helping to build Liberty ships that supported the war effort. In later years, she lived in Bridgeport, Conn., and Tampa, Fla., working as a nursing assistant and in retail.
She had been an active member of the Eastern Star. With her outgoing and direct personality, she was known for her quick wit and humorous commentary, which she kept right up until her last few weeks. She enjoyed reading, doing crafts, going out to lunch with family and friends, playing bingo, and collecting purple cows.
She was predeceased by her husband, Kaino Santamaa; a son, Larry LeDuc; brothers, Lawrence, Frank, Henry, Charles and Walter Calderwood; and sisters, Judy Samela, Josephine Snell and Olive Sangillo.
She is survived by her son, Charles LeDuc and wife, Marilyn; daughter-in-law, Kay LeDuc; four grandchildren; five great-grandchildren; two great-great grandchildren; two stepgrandchildren; and many nieces and nephews including Jean McDonald, of Gorham, who had taken care of her and of much of her affairs locally; Patricia Sangillo, who also assisted her in many ways, Mary Snell, of Gorham, and Vilda Flaherty, of Portland, who both cared for her, too.
A graveside service for the family will be held at Brooklawn Memorial Park, Portland at 12:30 p.m., April 25.