Priscilla Withee

Apr 23, 2019

Belfast — Priscilla Helen Hayes Withee, age 90, passed away peacefully on April 15, 2019. Priscilla was born Sept. 15, 1928, in Bangor. She was a daughter of Malcolm and Helen Hayes and was the youngest of four children. The Gilbert White family grew up next door when she was a child and they were all a great part of her family. Gibby was like a brother and his wife Joyce, her dear friend.

Priscilla graduated from Bangor High School in 1947. She graduated from Augusta Hospital School of Nursing in 1950 and became an R.N. She was working at Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor when she joined the American Red Cross Nursing Plan and worked on the Bloodmobile taking blood for the Korean War. Nurses lived on the train and traveled from Bangor to Houlton. It was a fun memorable time for Priscilla and she became very close friends with the other nurses and staff. She got to meet great people and worked on the Bloodmobile until the war ended.

In 1953, Priscilla married her boyfriend, Carl L. Withee and they moved to Gorham until he graduated from Gorham State Teachers College. In 1955, they moved to Belfast where Carl worked as an industrial arts teacher at Belfast Area High School. Priscilla worked as a registered nurse at Waldo Country General Hospital, served as a Brownie and Girl Scout Leader, served on the advisory board of the Rainbow for Girls, raised three children including a son with Muscular Dystrophy, and always had a household full of the neighborhood kids. She was a great mom. During the school year of 1980-81, Priscilla hosted a Foreign Exchange student from Spain. Mari Carmen became another daughter and one of the family.

Priscilla was a charter member of Hampden assembly 4 Rainbow for Girls and a Past Worthy Advisor. She was past Matron of the Tuscan Chapter of the Eastern Star in Bangor and Past Noble Grand of Excelsior Rebekah Lodge (Changed to Norembega and now Knyvetta in Searsport). She was a 50-year member and a lifetime member of both organizations.

Priscilla was a volunteer at Waldo County Hospital and a member of the Garden Club. She was an active member of the First Baptist Church in Belfast for many years. She loved her Lord and her church family. She gave her time and love in many areas including the Sunday School, Women’s Fellowship and Missions.

Priscilla retired from Waldo Country General Hospital in October 1993. Priscilla didn’t last long in retirement and went to back to work in 1994 at the Deborah Lincoln Home in Belfast for 18 years. Priscilla eventually sold her home and moved into the Deborah Lincoln Home, where she was loved and cared for by the other residents and staff who became a second family.

Family and friends gave her a 90th birthday party at the Deborah Lincoln House in September 2018. She was delighted and said it was better than a funeral! More than 100 people attended and showered her with cards, photos and written memories. In her words it was “so lovely!”

Priscilla was predeceased by her sister Elaine Hayes, and two brothers with Muscular Dystrophy: Malcolm and Norman Hayes, all of Bangor. She also lost her own dear son, Malcolm Withee, who was 17, to Muscular Dystrophy; and her husband Carl L. Withee of Belfast in 1977. She was also predeceased by many dear friends and was looking forward to meeting them on “the other side.”

Priscilla is survived by two daughters; Linda Withee of Belfast and Carla Selberg and husband Ernie Selberg of Brunswick; her Spanish daughter, Mari Carmela Ribera Carpena of Madrid, Spain; four grandchildren and their families: Angela Abbott and husband Matthew Abbott, great-grandson Malcolm Abbott and great-granddaughter Caroline Abbott of Topsham, Erik Selberg and wife Stephanie Selberg of Nottingham, N.H., Shaun Selberg and wife Ariel Posey of Portland, Ore., and Ryan Selberg of Brunswick; a brother in her heart, Gilbert White, and two nieces, who always affectionately called her Aunt Priscilla, Laura Michaud and husband Bill of Dedham and Elaine Grant and husband Steve of Bangor, and their children and grandchildren.

The celebration of her life will be held Saturday, May 4, at 1 p.m. at the First Baptist Church in Belfast, with refreshments following hosted by the Women’s Fellowship. Donations in her memory may be given to Waldo Country General Hospital or to the Muscular Dystrophy Association.

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