BUCKSPORT – Maida Caroline (Gray) Cunningham, 89, died peacefully Oct. 27, 2012, at her home. She was born July 20, 1923, to Emmons Paris Gray and Hilda B. White of Bucksport, and was lovingly raised by Burt and Stella Arey.
So many people have fond memories of Maida. She was an affectionate wife, mother, grandmother and friend. For much of her life, she was a devoted homemaker and caregiver. She was a member of Duck Cove Community Club and actively served for decades as a member of the Orland Victory Grange. At home, she and her husband, Richard, worked tirelessly to raise extensive vegetable gardens each year, and she was a master at preserving foods. Sharing was important to Richard and Maida, and they always spread the bounty among family, friends and the community. She was an excellent and resourceful cook, and nobody ever left the kitchen hungry. Her family will always remember her amazing molasses and raisin-filled cookies, her famous cheesy meatballs, and her homemade pizzas. Maida never took even the simplest things in life for granted, and she held enormous pride in providing for her family. Her generous heart was filled with a special love for children, and she never missed an opportunity to indulge her grandchildren. Maida’s favorite flowers were sweet peas, and she enjoyed collecting poetry, solving puzzles, and playing games. In recent years, she had opportunities to visit family in Boston and Florida. She spent the last eight years of her life in the comforts of her youngest daughter’s home, where she continued to live a happy, healthy and productive life. The entire family is grateful to Amber, Robert, Douglas and Daniel for opening their home and providing her with such a loving and comforting atmosphere. Her spirit was genuine, and her soul was gentle. She will be remembered for her spry wit and her great sense of humor. Words can barely say how special she was, and will always be, to us all. We are all so blessed and honored to have had her in our lives, and she will live on in each of our hearts forever.
Maida is survived by Ivan and partner, Clyda, Ronald and wife, Candy, Sheila and husband, Ken Gray, Stuart and fiancee, Ali, Amber and husband, Robert Burpee, and Brent and wife, Tina. She was a wonderful grandmother to her nine grandchildren, Vikki, Raelynn, Matthew, Heather, Sean, Jessie, Douglas and Daniel; and three great-grandchildren, Natasha, Shane and Ethan. Maida was predeceased by her cherished husband of 62 years, Richard L. Cunningham; son, Orrin; and grandson, Lloyd E. Cunningham.
A celebration of her life will be held 11 a.m. Nov. 17 at East Bucksport Methodist Church. Gifts in Maida’s memory can be made to Duck Cove Community Club, Peter Fairbanks, P.O. Box 158, Bucksport, ME 04416. Arrangements under the direction of Mitchell-Tweedie Funeral Home and Cremation Services, Bucksport.