FORT KENT – Gale Lorenzen Flagg passed away at home on April 17, 2014 from respiratory failure due to ALS (a.k.a Lou Gehrig disease). She was the daughter of Frederick Lorenzen and Dorothy Walker Lorenzen and was born in Portland on September 14, 1936.
As youngsters, Gale and her sister, Cindy enjoyed sailing with their parents. Gale also enjoyed horseback riding. She even managed to take Saber (her morgan horse) with her when she went to Middlebury College by finding a nearby boarding place for him. In 1958, Gale graduated from Middlebury College in Middlebury, Vermont with a bachelor’s degree in sociology. For several years, she taught in elementary schools and kindergarten. While teaching kindergarten in Springfield, Vermont, she met her future husband, Stanley Flagg. They were married in 1970. In 1972, when Maine land prices were far lower than today, they bought a large tract of woodland in Fort Kent, which has been their permanent home ever since then. Gale immediately took advantage of their location by enjoying the opportunities for bird watching and botanizing. Her passion for identifying all the wild plants on the property soon changed her status from amateur botanist to expert botanist when she discovered a rare orchid which had not been recorded in Maine. She became a member of the Josselyn Botanical Society and the Maine Entomological Society. Gale became involved in many activities, mostly relating to Nature. For ten years, she and Stan were very involved in the breeding bird survey, then another ten years in the calling amphibian survey. She played the organ for services at the First Congregational Church in St.Francis, started a food co-op, developed a small business creating note cards and crafts from wildflowers and natural materials, and wrote nature columns for the St. John Valley Times. She participated in a dragonfly survey. She led field trips describing the flora and fauna of vernal pools to grade-school children. Her favorite places were vernal pools, cedar swamps, and her gardens. Gale volunteered for the Can-Am Crown sled dog races for many years as the checkpoint coordinator at Maibec logging camp, and as a member of the Can-Am board of directors, a position that she also talked Stan into accepting. Both continued to be active in the sled dog races in one way or another for more than 20 years. When Gale saw how helpful the ham radio operators were at Maibec, she decided to study for a ham radio license. She earned her license and became very involved with ham radio, soon becoming the president of the St. John Valley Amateur Radio Club, a position she held until the recent debilitating effects of her ALS disease. She is sorely missed by her ham radio friends from all over the world.
Gale is survived by her husband, Stanley Flagg of Fort Kent, her sister, Lucinda Wolff of Clinton, AR, her aunt, Sidney Walker of Peterborough, NH, her niece, Kristy Johnson of Citrus Heights, CA, and her nephews, Christopher Kegans of Washington state, and Jonathan Kegans of Denver, CO.
Gale had several favorite charities, including the American Radio Relay League (ARRL), the ASPCA, MPBN, NPR, the Nature Conservancy, and Heifer International. Donations in Gale’s memory may be made to one of these charities. Family and friends will be invited to attend a ceremony of remembrance in mid-July at the Flagg’s home. Arrangements are a service of Daigle Funeral Home, 14 East Main St., Fort Kent.