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Cora Leach SkillingJune 20, 1933 ~ April 28, 2017 (age 83)
Cora Leach Skilling 83
Gray-Cora L. Skilling, or as she was known to all of us who loved her Mom, Mum, Gram or Meme passed away peacefully at Maine Medical Center on April 28, while surrounded by her loving family due to complications of a broken heart. Always inseparable in life she rejoined Bobby, her husband of 62 years, (almost 63), in Heaven, three days after his passing.
Cora was born on June 20, 1933 to Victor and Hortense Leach. She proudly resided in Gray her entire life. Cora graduated from Pennell Institute in 1951. She worked for Canal Bank, Casco Bank, the Gray Superintendent’s Office, and as a book keeper for her husband‘s business, R. A. Skilling & Sons Excavation. She also volunteered tirelessly for her kids teams and schools, and at other local causes true to her heart, like the Dry Mills One Room School House and the Gray Congregational Women’s Fellowship. Her greatest accomplishment in life and what she was most proud of was that she was a wonderful wife, the world’s best mother to her five boys and a loving, nurturing grandmother and great-grandmother.
Where mom loved to be the most was at her home on Skilling Road. She raised her family along with Bobby at her home which we all referred to as “the Farm”. To her, it was so much more; it was her mansion. There she ruled the roost. Her house was always immaculately cleaned, not an easy task considering she worked full-time and was raising her five boys.
Somehow, every day she made everyone’s beds, fed the family three full meals, made sure all the dishes and windows were washed and always had one of her several vacuums running, not to mention a load in the washer and one headed for the clothesline. Her boys and any other child present never left the house without a thoroughly scrubbed face.
Cora was also the person responsible for making sure all the boys never missed a practice, game or school event. She proudly attended all of her grandchildren’s sporting events, no matter the distance from home. She was the first one in the car, often traveling throughout New England to see their soccer and basketball games. If you were lucky enough to be to her son or grandchild, you always knew she was there, because you could hear her voice in your corner, above the rest of the crowd. Being a woman of many talents, Cora was also the barber for Bobby and her boys. There was never a time that you would enter her house and not be able to find a glass container of homemade cookies or a cake or pie. “The Farm” was always the favorite hangout for the neighborhood kids. Cora was very unselfish and everyone else’s needs always came first. Cora had the worlds most beautiful skin, so she never needed to wear makeup, and didn’t often buy clothes for herself, that way her boys always had what they needed. After her kids were grown, Mum let Pop begin to spoil her by buying her some jewelry, which she has planned to pass down to her daughter in laws and her grandchildren. She enjoyed her daily outings with Bobby to the Gray Market Place, the Post Office, grabbing coffee and a muffin with Ann Cobb and going to the local banks. In recent years, she eagerly looked forward to enjoying her coffee times with Judy O Brien, Bernie and the boys. They were regulars at bean suppers. She loved to dance and listen to music. Cora and Bobby were season ticket holders at the Maine State Music Theater and gave season tickets to all their sons and their spouses. Together Cora and Bobby enjoyed going on both bus and train trips, the occasional cruise or road adventure. They visited many places including Branson, The Grand Old Opry, the Canadian Rocky Mountains, the Caribbean, Panama Canal, Alaska and Hawaii, or just tooling around Gray on their Harley Tri-Motorcycle. Some of their favorite adventures were car trips to Florida with their best friends the Qualey’s or simply visiting with her lifelong friend Audrey Burns.
Cora will be greatly missed by her sons, their spouses and her children, grandchildren and her five great grandchildren. She will also be missed by her extended family, many friends and the Towns’ people of Gray. Mum always stressed the importance of being a family. Eating supper together nightly as a family, and big breakfasts and lunches together on Sundays. She regularly told her five boys that in the end, your brothers are the ones that will always be there to stand by your side to support you…. After we lost you Mom, we see just how important that lesson is. We will all miss you and love you forever!
The family would like to give special thanks to the Gray Rescue Service and the nurses at the Maine Medical for all their care over the years, and most recently the ER and fourth floor doctors, nurses and Chaplain for their compassion in this difficult time. They would also like to extend their thanks to Jason Wilson, a lifelong friend to the entire family, for his compassion and support.
Cora was predeceased by her father Victor, her mother Hortense and her brother Gene Leach. She is survived by her sons and spouses, Bruce and Kathi, Brad and Donna of Gray, Barry and Becky of Auburn, Brian and Bernie, Blaine and Peter, of Gray, and 11 grandchildren and 5 great grandchildren.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Gray Athletic Boosters, c/o Aaron Watson 10 Libby Hill Road, Gray Maine 04039 or Gray Fire-Rescue 125 Shaker Road, Gray, Maine 04039
A Celebration of Life for Cora and Bobby will be held at the Gray/New Gloucester High School Gymnasium on Sunday, May 7th. Visiting hours will be from 10:00 AM-1:00 PM followed by funeral services at 1:00 PM.