CORINNA and AMHERST – Rema Fern (Watson) Bartlett, 94, died June 28, 2009, at a Brewer health care facility. She was born July 13, 1915, in Undine, New Brunswick, the daughter of Wheeler and Ethel (Hitchcock) Watson. Rema spent her childhood years living on a farm and helping her mother while attending school. She often talked about the many adventures she had as a young girl helping to make butter, pick strawberries and helping care for the animals. Her mother died when she was 13 and she was left to care for her two younger siblings. Despite her heavy workload of caring for children, housework and helping her father with various chores, she managed to complete her education in Undine, New Brunswick, and Edmunston, New Brunswick. Shortly after she completed her education, she decided to leave the farm and seek employment in the States. She managed to find work as a cook and housekeeper for various people while living in Fort Fairfield near her sister and other relatives. It was in Fort Fairfield that she met and married Philip Bartlett, November 1934, a marriage that lasted for 65 years. Rema was a loving, compassionate wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. She was beloved by her family for her spirit, perseverance, warm hospitality and sense of family. She received the greatest pleasure from the simple things in life, such as embroidery, reading, storytelling, singing, piano playing and cooking for her family. She was an excellent cook and was employed for several years in long term care facilities as a cook and nurses aide. Everyone remembers the wonderful bread and donuts she made and her desire to prepare the food to meet the needs of the residents. She enjoyed sewing and embroidery and made beautiful linens for her closest friends and family. She enjoyed meeting people, sharing stories and made many friends throughout the years, many who continue to correspond with her. Her ready smile was an invitation to all who met her to stop and chat and find blessings in each day. She was always able to maintain a positive attitude during times of adversity. Rema was a devout Christian who had a deep abiding faith in God that helped her through difficult times. Unselfishness and commitment to helping others earned her the love and respect of all her knew her. “Charm is deceptive and beauty disappears, but a woman who honors the Lord by being a good person and a friend should be praised.” – Proverbs In addition to her parents, Rema was predeceased by her husband of 65 years; a baby son, Robert; two sisters, Doris Everett and Pauline Bell; one brother, Donald Watson; and great-grandson, Shawn. She is survived by her daughter, Carole of Winterport; two sons, Gary and his wife, Bonnie, Wayne and his wife, Wendy, both of Plymouth; nine grandchildren, Vonnie and Bonnie, Randy, Gary Jr., Tina, Joey, Shanie, Heather and Wayne Jr.; 10 great-grandchildren; eight great-great-grandchildren; and a brother and his wife, Max and Annie Watson of Grand Falls, New Brunswick. Funeral services will be conducted 11 a.m. Wednesday, July 1, at Brown Funeral Home and Cremation Service Center, 34 High St., Newport. Friends may call an hour before service time 10-11 a.m. Wednesday. Burial will be at Amherst Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to Phillips-Strickland House, 21 Boyd St., Bangor, ME 04401. To sign an online guest book and leave written tributes, please visit: www.PhilipBrownFuneralHome.com. Rema describes the story of her life in this verse: “The Tapestry of My Life” My life is but a tapestry Between my Lord and me I cannot choose the colors He works so steadily Oft times he weaves in sorrow And I, in foolish pride Forgets he sees the upper And I the underside Not till the loom is silent And the shuttles to fly Will God unroll the tapestry And explain the reason why The dark treads are as needed
REMA FERN BARTLETT
Posted June 29, 2009, at 7:36 p.m.