Annie Parkman, formerly of Belfast, passed away peacefully in her sleep at the Portland home she shared with her daughter Eve Sawyer on Memorial Day, three months short of her 95th birthday.

Born Elizabeth Anne Vernon in Reading, Pa., Annie was known to her friends across the country as an irrepressible force of nature. Married to Dr. Howard Sawyer, an anesthesiologist at Maine Medical Center, and then to Francis Parkman (“Parkie") of Boston and Seal Cove, she was the mother of 10 children, grandmother to 22, and great-grandmother to seven. She trained as a nurse during the World War II era at Mary Hitchcock Memorial Hospital School of Nursing at Dartmouth in Lebanon, N.H.

Annie planted astonishing gardens all her life at her homes in Putney and Saxtons River, Vt.; and in Portland, Belfast, West Athens, Raymond, and Seal Cove. She was particularly devoted to the propagation of raspberries, advising her daughters and sons, friends and neighbors on proper cultivation techniques.

She traveled widely, throughout Europe, and also to Russia, China and New Zealand. In the late 1960s, she lived in Beirut, Lebanon, working as a nurse at the American Community School. For many years, she spent the winter months at the home of her daughter Rebecca Sawyer and son-in-law Michael Ward in the West Indies on the island of Carriacou.

With so many descendants to gather, services will be held in August, on Annie’s birthday, the 24th, at St. Luke’s Cathedral, State Street, Portland. In addition to her daughters Eve and Rebecca, there are sons Howard Sawyer and daughter-in-law Marcia Ryan of Northport and Peter Sawyer of Portland; and daughters, Mary and son-in-law John Shepard of Saxtons River, Vt., Susan and son-in-law Robert Towne of Portland, Lydia and son-in-law Greg Simpson of Waterbury, Vt.

Annie's sons Jonathan, Stephen and David predeceased her, as did both her husbands and four of her five siblings. Her remaining sister is Laura Vernon Bury of Nokomis, Fla. Annie’s extensive family includes myriad beloved nieces and nephews. She was the stepmother to three Parkman children: Alex, Wendy and Chris.

Anne Vernon Sawyer Parkman leaves an indelible impression. Her energy is legendary. She is famous for her entertaining stories and postcards, bountiful harvests, unusual family recipes, and friendships that lasted a lifetime. In lieu of flowers, plant something in her honor. She’d love that.