Katharine B. Gauffreau
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Exeter, NH. and Presque Isle, ME. - Katharine B. Gauffreau, 89, passed away on Saturday, November 2, 2019 in Exeter, NH with her daughter at her side.
Kay was born in Boston, on August 5, 1930, the daughter of Ronald and Velma (Moore) Brown. After graduating from Lexington High School in 1948, Kay earned a bachelor's degree in nursery school education in 1952. On June 28, 1952, she married Elliott F. Gauffreau in Lexington, Massachusetts, with the Rev. Henry Clark officiating.
Kay spent her life as an advocate for others, retiring in the early 1990s as a Licensed Social Worker with the Maine Adoption Placement Service (MAPS). While living in Presque Isle, she was an active member of Saint John's Episcopal Church. After moving to Exeter in 2010, she was an active member of Christ Church, serving on the Pastoral Care Team.
Kay is survived by her daughter, Elizabeth Gauffreau and husband Robert Elwood of Nottingham, NH; her daughter-in-law, Barbara Gauffreau; three grandchildren, Sonia Elwood-Bejar, Amanda (Gauffreau) Pastor, and Andrew Gauffreau; two great-grandchildren, James and Liam Pastor; nieces Anne Christie and Jean (Christie) Mejia; nephew James Christie; and great-nephew Tana Mejia.
In addition to her parents, she was predeceased by her husband, the Rev. Elliott F. Gauffreau; her twin sister Margaret B. Christie; and her son, George L. Gauffreau.
A graveside service will be held on Wednesday, November 6, 2019, 10am at Fairmont Cemetery in Presque Isle.
Memories and condolences may be shared with the family at
Published on November 4, 2019


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Liz Gauffreau
Nov 07, 2019
When I think of the childhood my mother gave me, I think of Cape Elizabeth, me with my little plastic bucket collecting sea glass on the beach, she working at a distance from me to increase my yield. When her hand was full, she would empty the sea glass into my bucket. The red, purple, and blue pieces were the rarest, and whenever I would spy one of these as the glass cascaded from her hand, I would pluck it out, and hold it up to her. Don’t you want to keep this one for yourself? She always said no, and I couldn’t understand it, why she wouldn’t want to keep the most precious pieces for herself. The day would end with her tucking me into bed in the room under the eaves, facing the lig...hthouse.

Cape Elizabeth: 1962

My mother tucks my into bed
In the smell of warm wood
Under the eaves.
Keep the quilt on, she says;
It will get cold later.

Easily choosing to disbelieve her,
I kick off the quilt
And admire this year’s sunburn
A six-year-old’s defiance
Of right reason and good sense.

I wait for the room to grow dark
In the smell of warm wood
Under the eaves.

A cool smell
Of juniper bushes and slate
Drifts through the open window.

When darkness is complete,
I listen for the human of the lighthouse.

Sliding out of bed,
I crouch in front of the window,
Looking for myself
In the sweep of light.

Fifty years after those days on the beach at Hannaford Cove, my mother moved to New Hampshire to be closer to me as she aged, and once again we shared intimate walks together in the bright sunshine. One of those times, as we walked up Riverwoods Drive on a late September afternoon, I felt such a sense of peace and love and happiness, I wanted to capture the feeling in a poem. I could only come up one sentence, but after I’d sat with it for a while, I realized that one sentence really was enough.

Walking with My Mother

We walk along the roadway,
You and I,
Two osteoporotic women,
Falling into Indian summer. . .

The month before my mother’s final illness, my husband and I went back to Cape Elizabeth to see Portland Head Light, the first time I had ever been there when it wasn’t summer. I wrote a tanka about the scene, which I think speaks to my mother’s final days and what they meant to me.

Portland Head Autumnal

gray waters roiling
under a lowering sky
childhood waves bright blue
gold autumnal perspective
a pink rose blooms still open
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