HELEN W. LONGLEY

Posted Sept. 25, 2008, at 11:20 p.m.

FALMOUTH – Helen Angela Walsh Longley, 83, formerly of Lewiston, died peacefully Sept. 13, 2005, at Mercy Hospital, after a brief illness surrounded by her family. She was born April 11, 1922, in Springfield, Ohio, a daughter of Frank B. and Mary (Leitscuh) Walsh. She attended Ohio schools and graduated from Catholic Central High School in 1940. Helen met Army Air Corps cadet, James Longley, at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in 1943. They were married Sept. 3, 1949, at St. Raphael’s Church, Springfield, Ohio. Mrs. Longley was first and foremost a wife and mother. Though reluctant to accept the spotlight, she was completely dedicated to her husband and their children in their various pursuits, including serving as first lady for the State of Maine during her husband’s term as independent governor (1975-1979). In addition to being a wife and mother and involvement in her husband’s business and political career, Mrs. Longley was especially supportive of the Special Olympics during her time as first lady. She was also a volunteer for 35 years for various local organizations, including Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston, the Maine Medical Center and Mercy Hospital in Portland. She also served on boards for the Margaret Chase Smith Library, the Spurwink Foundation and Maine Special Olympics. An avid bridge player, she was also a member of the Women’s Literary Union and a number of other social and civic groups. Her husband predeceased her Aug. 16, 1980. She was also predeceased by two sisters, Sr. Mary Francelyn Walsh and Annamae Simonton; and three brothers, John Walsh, Joseph Walsh and Frank Walsh. Surviving are three daughters, Kathryn M. Longley-Leahy and her husband, Thomas, of Yarmouth, Susan W. Longley of Liberty, Nancy E. Moore and her husband, John, of Winnetka, Ill.; two sons, James B. Longley Jr., of Yarmouth and Stephen J. Longley of The Forks; sisters, Alyce Marie Wourms and her husband, Leo Edward, of Houston, Texas, Rosemary Foley and her husband, Donald, of Dayton, Ohio; 10 grandchildren, Matthew and Sarah Longley of Yarmouth, Daniel and Kevin Leahy of Yarmouth, Tara Leahy Seidel of Ellicott City, Md., and Benjamin Leahy of San Francisco, Calif., and Margaret, Caroline, John and Robert Moore, all of Winnetka, Ill.; and many nieces and nephews. Visiting hours will be held from 4 -9 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 15, at Conroy-Tully Crawford Funeral Home, 172 State St., Portland. A concelebrated Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated 9:30 a.m. Friday, Sept. 16, at Holy Martyrs Church, at the corner of Johnson Road and Route 88, in Falmouth. Private burial will follow later at Mount Hope Cemetery, Lewiston. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Governor and Mrs. James B. Longley Scholarship Foundation, care of Maine Bank & Trust (Trust Dept.), P.O. Box 17510 Portland, ME 04112-8510. For more information, please contact Chris Crawford at Conroy-Tully Cra-wford Funeral Home, Portland.

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