PORTLAND - Bertha Cadigan passed away peacefully May 31 at the Gosnell Memorial Hospice House surrounded by family and friends. Bertha was born on March 30, 1924, in Melrose, Mass. At the age of 9, her family moved to Portland. She resided in the same house for 81 years until her passing.
She was a proud graduate of Deering High School where she made many lifelong friends. She was very active in all Deering reunion celebrations.
Upon graduation from high school, she immediately went to work for the Union Mutual Life Insurance Company, where she held numerous positions over a 44-year career with the company, until her retirement. She also made many friends at Union Mutual and attended all of their retirement functions.
She was a member of the Woodfords Congregational Church for more than 80 years serving on numerous committees.
Her true passion, besides family, was her affiliation with the Order of the Eastern Star. She was a member for more than 60 years, making once again, numerous friendships. Through Eastern Star, she traveled throughout New England, as well as the United States and Canada. She was a past grand matron representing the state of Maine. She also was on the General Grand Chapter Committee for International Head Quarters OES in Washington, D.C., from 2009 through 2012. Her dedication to Eastern Star was without boundaries.
Her extended family was the joy of her life. She took great pride in her nieces and nephews and their children and their children. She was not one to miss a party. Her favorite holiday was Christmas, where she had the family over to decorate her 10-foot Christmas tree. While she could not "carry a tune," everyone who entered her home was greeted with "Deck the Halls with Boughs of Holly."
Hardly any relative or dear friend escaped a birthday without an early morning wake up phone call with her singing "Happy Birthday to You." Like her mother, she left the door unlocked while at home, to welcome family and friends. She recently celebrated her 90th birthday with family from the West Coast attending. She was fondly known as Aunt Bertha even to those who were not immediate family.
She never missed a Friday hair appointment and said if she did, she was not long for this world. Her last hair appointment was three weeks ago.
She was a self-described pack rat to the point where a portable dish washer gifted to her 25 years ago was recently opened and to the family's surprise was being used as a filing cabinet. Obviously, she was very creative. She had strong opinions on many subjects, but rarely would share them with people, unless you were foolish enough to ask her a question you might not like the answer to.
She will be dearly missed by all those whose lives she touched.
Bertha is predeceased by her parents, Kenneth and Pearl Cadigan; her brothers Arthur, Kenneth and George; her sisters, Hazel and Grace; and her "Gentleman Friend" Owen Taylor. She is survived by her sister-in-law, Jeralyn Cadigan; her niece, Nancy Lentz; and a very close friend, Cindy Adams; along with many other nieces and nephews of which there are too many to mention. She was also predeceased by a nephew, Patrick Cadigan.
Visiting hours are from 4 to 7 p.m. Thursday, June 5, at Jones, Rich and Hutchings Funeral Home, 199 Woodfords St., Portland. A funeral service will take place at 11 a.m. Friday. June 6, at Woodfords Congregational Church, 202 Woodfords St., in Portland.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the
, 1 Bowdoin Mill Island, Topsham, ME 04086; Woodfords Congregational Church, 202 Woodfords St., Portland, ME 04103; or the Grand Chapter Charity Permanent Fund.