Northern Obituaries

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Constance ‘Connie’ Estabrook, 70: Birdwatching enthusiast with a big heart

YARMOUTH — Constance “Connie” Estabrook, 70, of Yarmouth died Sunday October 9 at Seaside Nursing Home in Portland after a period of declining health. 

She was born in Portland on July 26, 1941, the daughter of Pauline (Reynolds) and Raymond Chappell.

She was the mother of five children and stepmother of five children. She spent her free time as a volunteer member of Yarmouth Rescue and the Ladies Auxiliary of Yarmouth Fire Department. Before retiring from Bath Savings, she worked at Rich’s Department Store as the office manager.

She enjoyed trips to Forest Lake and spending time bird watching with family and friends. She will be remembered for her sincere love of others, her willingness to forgive no matter what and her readiness to lend a listen ear or a helping hand.

She is survived by her husband and companion of 25 years, Jim Estabrook of Yarmouth; her son Raymond Fochler and his wife Sue of Pownal; her daughter Pauline Davis and husband Herb of Standish; her son Scott Fochler of Gray; her son Dale Fochler and his wife Sandy of Yarmouth; her son Richard Fochler of Yarmouth; her five stepchildren: Joan Melvin, Jennifer Estabrook-McNeally, Jill Estabrook, Jane Estabrook, James M. Estabrook; her brother Joe Chappell and his wife Valerie; nine grandchildren, five great-grandchildren, five step-grandchildren, one niece, one nephew, one great-niece and one great-nephew.

Services were held last week. Please visit to view a video collage of Estabrook’s life and to share your condolences, memories and tributes with her family.

Donations may be made in her memory to: Yarmouth Fire & Rescue, 176 North Road, Yarmouth, ME 04096

Shirley May Michaelsen, 82

YARMOUTH — A memorial servie was held on Oct. 15 for Shirley May Michaelsen, who died on Aug. 26 at the age of 82.

She was born in Lynn, Mass. on Feb. 27, 1929. She graduated from Saugus High School in Mass. and later attended Fisher College in Boston, Mass.  

She married her high school sweetheart, Arthur Michaelsen moving to Yarmouth in 1985. They spent nearly 50 years with each other at the family cottage on the waters of Thompson Lake, teaching their children how to swim, water-ski and fish.

Next to her family, music was one of the most important parts of her life. She was a past President of the well-known Beethoven Musical Society in Melrose, Mass.; a long-time member of several local choirs: the Cliftondale Congregational Church Choir, the First Lutheran Church of Lynn, Mass.; as well as the First Parish Church in Yarmouth. Professionally, she was the secretary to the President of the American Medical Society.

In her later years she enjoyed walking with friends at the YMCA, activities at Bay Square and attending First Parish Church in Yarmouth.

She is survived by her son, Warren and his wife Brenda and their sons Trevor and Peter of Yarmouth; Clifton of St. Petersburg, Fla. and his daughter Emily.

Please visit to view a video collage of Michaelsen’s life and to share your condolences, memories and tributes with her family.

Donations in her memory may be made to: First Parish Church Congregational, UCC, 116 Main Street, Yarmouth, ME 04096.

Richard ‘Tim’ Browning, 75

FREEPORT — Richard L. “Tim” Browning, Jr. (Tim), 75, passed away on Oct. 8 from complications of prostate cancer.

He was born on May 29, 1936 in Euclid, Ohio, the son of the late Richard L. Browning and Charlotte Tracy Browning.

Browning was a graduate of the Case Institute of Technology with a major in electrical engineering. Upon graduation he served for three years in the Navy. He was a graduate of their officer’s candidate school in Newport, R.I. and was later stationed at the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, Calif.

After being honorably discharged from the Navy, he returned to Ohio and for more than 20 yrs. was the president of his family’s business, Victor R. Browning & Co., Inc. until they closed in 1990. After spending a year taking horticulture courses at Ohio State University, he moved to Freeport in 1996 and continued taking horticulture courses at Southern Maine Technical College with the idea of pursuing his true love: growing things.

He opened a greenhouse, Plants Plus, in the fall of 1997. Browning suffered a major stroke in November, 1999 but was able to participate in the business until it closed in the fall of 2005.

Browning is survived by his wife, Sally Savage; his children Christopher Browning, of Portland, Ore. and Victoria Browning of Seattle, Wash.; three step children, Beth Savage of Oakland, Calif., Jeff Savage of Plano, Texas, and Becky Savage and her husband, Sun Park of Essex, Vt.; his brother Ned Browning of Mystic, Conn.; cousins Hope Hungerford of Cleveland, Ohio, and Kit and Margaret Gibson of Solon, Ohio; as well as several nieces and nephews.

Burial will take place on Friday, Oct. 21 at 2 p.m. at the Burr Cemetery in Freeport. A remembrance gathering will take place at 11 am on Saturday, Oct. 22 in the Meeting Room of the Freeport Community Library.

Please visit to view a video collage of Browning’s life and to share your condolences, memories and tributes with his family.

Betty R. Stevens, 93

YARMOUTH — Betty R. Stevens, 93, of Yarmouth, formerly of Beverly Hills, Fla. and Springfield, Mass., died peacefully Oct. 9 with her family by her side.

She was born on March 1, 1918 in Springfield, Mass. the daughter of Florence (Sackett) and Herbert Thomas. She was educated in Springfield schools, graduating from Central High School and later marrying William Willard II. Willard left with the Army for Europe and was killed on the border of France and Germany in 1943. This would prove as the first of many challenges Stevens would face including a battle with breast cancer.

She worked in banking throughout her adult life, beginning with Union Trust and retiring as a bank officer with Bay Bank, after over 40 years of service. She was a member of Eastern Star, Corona Chapter 205, in East Longmeadow, Mass. and Dunnellon Presbyterian Church in Dunnellon, Fla.  She was an avid golfer and bridge player who also enjoyed reading mysteries. But her family was the most important part of her life.  

She is survived by her two sons: William W. Willard, III and his wife Jennifer of Yarmouth; Robert Tourville of Wilbraham, Mass.; her grandsons: Nathaniel Willard and Matthew Willard; her great-grandson Simon Willard and great-granddaughter Quianna Willard.

A memorial service will be held in the spring of 2012 with burial in Hillcrest Park Cemetery in Springfield, Mass.  In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the American Cancer Fund. Please visit to share your condolences, memories and tributes with Betty’s family.

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