Rachel S. Dustin

November 19, 1916
- December 18, 2011

ROCKLAND - Rachel S. Dustin, 95, went quietly home to be with her Lord Dec. 18, 2011, in Rockland. Born Nov. 19, 1916, in Atkinson, she was the ninth and youngest child of Hartwell P. and Hattie Sweet Speed. After the death of her mother in 1923, Rachel was raised in Dover-Foxcroft by her grandparents Sweet. In the summer she returned to the farm and the home of her beloved papa. She loved being the cherished little sister to Helen (Kinney), Dorothy (Carsley) and Mary (Merrill); and brothers, Eastman, J. Curtis, Leon and Philip. Rachel was a proud graduate of Foxcroft Academy in 1934. She studied to become a registered nurse at Central Maine General School of Nursing, Lewiston. That was a wonderful time for her since she not only received an excellent education, but she also met Daniel, a freshman at Bates College, who needed her special care after surgery for acute appendicitis. Rachel and Daniel E. Dustin were married April 14, 1942, in Lewiston. They were married for 65 years until his death in December 2007. Rachel loved nothing more than being mom to her three daughters, Donna, Melissa and Cynthia. She signed letters to her girls as "mom," as though that was the abbreviation for the greater role of mother. How beautifully she mastered that role. She loved to cook, sew and knit for her family, and be with them, and they in turn loved being with her. Rachel and Dan lived in Lincoln, Mass., from 1954 to 2001, where she was a dear neighbor and friend to many. Rachel loved and applauded the accomplishments of her five grandchildren, Owen Daniel and Rachel Julie Strachan, Hannah Rachel, Esther Elizabeth and Phoebe Ann Boyd. They will always remember special visits to Lincoln, Grammie's fish chowder, sugar cookies and excursions to visit historic places. She was generous with her time and skills, and was knitting preemie and chemo caps into her 90s. Rachel loved the Lord and served him well. She was actively involved at Grace Chapel, Lexington, Mass., for many years. She coordinated the nursery, baked dozens of cookies for DVBS and served in whatever capacity requested. She was most recently a member of First Baptist Church, Rockland. Her gentle ways, sound advice and incredible sense of humor endeared her to everyone. Rachel and Dan moved to Bartlett Woods in 2001. She so appreciated the love and respect she was shown by fellow residents and staff. She also benefited from the kindness extended by her "PALS" from the Rockland Pal program. Rachel was predeceased by her dear brothers and sisters, their husbands and wives; and an infant son, Daniel Stephen Dustin. She is survived by her beloved daughters, Donna Strachan and her husband, Andrew, of Machias, Melissa Green of Portland, and Cynthia Boyd and her husband, Drick, of Broomall, Pa.; five grandchildren, Owen Strachan and his wife, Bethany, Rachel S. Burgess and her husband, Lester, Hannah Vargo and her husband, Bill, and Esther Boyd and Phoebe Boyd; three great-grandchildren, Ella and Gavin Strachan, and Carter Burgess; brother-in-law, Elden Dustin; sister-in-law, Merle Dustin; special nieces and nephews. A time of remembrance was held Dec. 29, 2011, at Bartlett Woods. Spring interment will be at North Atkinson Cemetery, Atkinson. In recognition of Rachel's love of reading and libraries, those who desire may give gifts in her memory to the Rockland Public Library, 80 Union St., Rockland, ME 04841. Arrangements are in the care of Burpee, Carpenter & Hutchins Funeral Home. To share a memory or condolence with Rachel's family, please visit her online book of memories at www.bchfh.com.

Published in BDN Maine on January 14, 2012

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