Elizabeth Gamage (Beth) Hodgkins

11 entries
  • "so sorry to hear of the passing of Beth. She was a..."
    - Thelma Allard Quimby
  • "Heartfelt sympathy for the loss of your wife."
    - Maurice Day
  • "John, So sorry to hear about the loss of your wife Beth...."
  • "John and family, so very sorry to hear about your loss. My..."
    - Rhonda Fletcher
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Service Information
Lindquist Funeral Home
1 Mayberry Ln
Yarmouth, ME
Wednesday, May 15, 2019
4:00 PM - 7:00 PM
Lindquist Funeral Home
1 Mayberry Ln
Yarmouth, ME 04096
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Funeral service
Thursday, May 16, 2019
11:00 AM
First Parish Congregational Church
116 Main St.
Yarmouth, ME
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YARMOUTH - Elizabeth (Beth) Gamage Hodgkins of Yarmouth, who, following a long career as a public schoolteacher and homemaker, wrote the signature recipe book in Maine for using maple syrup in cooking, Maine Maple beyond Pancakes, died at home on May 7, 2019, of pancreatic cancer. Daughter of Vernon and Wilma Gamage of Augusta, Beth attended Augusta schools and graduated from Cony High School in 1959. She received a Bachelor of Science degree from Farmington State Teachers College in 1963. While attending FSTC she served on several committees and participated in many organizations. Upon graduation she was selected to appear in the 1962-1963 edition of Who's Who Among Students In American Universities and Colleges. She taught primary education in Wiscasset and Houlton schools before suspending her teaching career to raise a family.A music lover, she played trumpet in several bands and orchestras throughout her high school and college years. She also sang in several church choirs and community choruses, including Boothbay Harbor, Houlton, Cumberland, Farmington, and Yarmouth, throughout her life. In 1965 she married John Hodgkins, the love of her life. After a stint in Houlton, they moved to Yarmouth where she became a preeminent homemaker, always home when her children arrived there from school, insisting that the entire family be present for breakfast, dinner, and church on Sunday. During those years she served as a classroom volunteer, substitute teacher, a Cub Scout Den Mother, and a First Parish Congregational Church Sunday-school teacher, choir member, committee worker, deacon, and camp counselor at Pilgrim Lodge.  When the youngest left home for college, she returned to full-time teaching, this time at Yarmouth's Rowe School where she taught 1st grade until she retired in 1999. After retiring, she was active in the Yarmouth Health Council and the local Fortnightly Club.Beth (and John) produced Maine maple syrup in Temple, Maine, from the time of their marriage, which inspired the recipe book, a book of maple lore, education, and recipes. She received an Honorary Life Member award from the Maine Maple Producers Association in 2009. She spoke often to groups on sugaring, or about the old tumbledown farmhouse in Temple that she and John acquired as a project and so lovingly restored over the years, or "making something out of nothing." Frugal, Beth was well known for creating greeting cards or gifts or toys out of whatever was at hand. A common dinner floral arrangement was frequently gleaned from the woods and spaces surrounding her home in Yarmouth, the camp in Litchfield, or the farm in Temple. At John's MDOT retirement dinner, she told the "real story behind John's achievements," best talk of the evening, it was said.An outdoor lover also, she loved mountain climbs, long distance hikes, and canoe trips with John, family, and friends throughout her married life.In later years, she traveled with John many times to new and out-of-the-way places: Eastern Siberia, Newfoundland, Iceland, Zimbabwe, Death Valley, and for their 50th wedding anniversary, North Dakota, one of a very few states she hadn't visited. There she visited Amenia, ND, population 94, where an ancestor had moved in the 1800s, and Newman, ND, a namesake town, population 62 (her mother was a Newman). They, also traveled with church members to Safe Passage in Guatemala City, an organization that  provides school enrollment for poor children whose families scavenge the Guatemala City garbage dump to survive, to spend a week as classroom teachers.Beth was a strong family person, visiting relatives often. She loved her three children and seven grandchildren dearly, always present at sporting events, concerts, school activities, and holidays. And she would entertain them with animal stories of her childhood (and her adulthood) on a farm, always carrying to the grandchildren her "rice krispy squares," which they loved and yearned for, as well as her storied "outlaws" cookies.Beth is survived by her husband of 53 years, John; daughter Bethel Stephens and husband Bob of Brentwood, N.H., son Jack and wife Victoria of Park City, Utah, son  Bill and spouse Joey Wyspianski of Portland; and seven dear grandchildren. The family wishes also to extend much gratitude to Hospice of Southern Maine for the care and assistance provided to both Elizabeth and John, and to the First Parish Congregational Church, as well as the many friends and neighbors throughout Yarmouth, for their generous support. Friends and family are invited to share their memories and offer their condolences by visiting Beth's online guestbook at www.lindquistfuneralhome.comRelatives and friends are invited to attend a time of visitation on Wednesday, May 15, 2019 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Lindquist Funeral Home. A funeral service will be held on Thursday, May 16, 2019 at 11 a.m. at First Parish Congregational Church, 116 Main St., Yarmouth, Maine, 04096. Arrangements are under the care and direction of Lindquist Funeral Home, 1 Mayberry Lane, Yarmouth, Maine, 04096. Contributions may be made in Beth's memory to:Safe Passage, 49 Farm View Dr.New Gloucester, ME 04260 

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Published in Central Maine on May 13, 2019
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Funeral Home Details
Yarmouth, ME   (207) 846-4011
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