Irene Laura Severance Hildreth

April 13, 1919
- February 28, 2008

ORONO - After a long and fulfilling life, Irene Laura Severance Hildreth died Thurs-day, Feb. 28, 2008, at home, comforted by her children. She was born April 19, 1913, in Milo Junction, Derby, the daughter of Howard L. Severance and Gertrude A. (Pooler) Severance. Shortly thereafter, the family moved to Old Town. In 1931 she graduated from Old Town High School and in 1935 she graduated as a registered nurse from Children's Hospital School of Nursing, Boston. In 1936 she moved to Kalamazoo, Mich., to practice neurosurgical nursing. There she met her future husband. Irene married Roscoe C. Hildreth, M.D., in June 1938, in Old Town. They made their home in Kalamazoo, Mich., for 65 years. Irene and her children spent three months of every summer, from the time her children were born, with her parents at the family camp on Pushaw Pond, raising her children and creating fond memories of Maine. She and Ros continued to sum-mer at Pushaw for their remaining years. Irene was very active in many community and charitable organizations, and received numerous awards for her dedicated service. Some of her volunteer activities included, 45 years with the American Red Cross, 70 years with Kalamazoo Medical Auxiliary and several years with Kalamazoo School Board, Parent Teachers Association, YMCA and Girl Scouts of America. She received the B'nai B'rith Interfaith Award in 1962, Kalamazoo Rotary Club's Rose Citation in 1969 and Kalamazoo Academy of Medicine Alliance's Caroline Bartlett Crane Award in 2000. Irene was a member of First Congregational Church, Kalamazoo, Mich., for 68 years and served as a volunteer in various positions. In her later years she returned to the Old Town area to live and spent many hours documenting the Pooler/Severance and Hildreth/ Mowbray genealogy. Friends and family will remember her as being gracious, loving, kind and caring. Many have said, "She was a special lady." She is survived by her children, Douglas H. Hildreth and his wife, Linda, of Medford, Ore., Susan Hildreth Cusato and her husband, Joseph, of Columbus, Ohio, Steven C. Hil-dreth of Parkman and Barbara Hildreth of Old Town, nine grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren; nieces, Rene Severance Collins and Jacqueline Hildreth Cocks; and cousins, Laura-jean Peabody Eckard, Selden Blethen and Jane Blethen Otis. She was predeceased by her husband; and her bro-ther, Laurance P. Severance. A visitation with family will be held 2-3 p.m. Wednesday, March 5, in the Kenduskeag Parlor, Dirigo Pines Inn, 9 Alumni Drive, Orono. A service in celebration of Irene's life will be held at a later date. Her cremains will be interred next to her husbands at Lawndale Cemetery, Old Town, after her body gift to Harvard Medical School. At Irene's request, in lieu of flowers, donations may be made to University of Nebraska Foundation, Roscoe C. Hildreth, M.D., and Irene S. Hildreth, R.N., Scholarship Fund No. 4708, 1010 Lincoln Mall, Suite 300, Lincoln, NE 68508. The scholarship was established in 1992 and provides tuition to University of Nebraska for students from Hildreth, Neb. Arrangements entrusted to the care of Birmingham Funeral Home, 438 Main St., Old Town.

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