Showing posts with label Ledgewood Manor. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Ledgewood Manor. Show all posts

Friday, December 15, 2023

Blind date leads to 65 years of marriage for local couple

By Ed Pierce

A blind date isn’t always terrible and for one local couple, it turned out to be the adventure of a lifetime, as they recently celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary.

Ronald and Alice Walker married on Dec. 6, 1958 in South
Portland and to celebrate their 65th wedding anniversary,
they were treated to a special lunch and party by the staff
at Ledgewood Manor in Windham, where they now reside.
Ronald and Alice Walker were married on Dec. 6, 1958 in South Portland, and they were treated to a special lunch on their anniversary by the staff at Ledgewood Manor in Windham where they now reside.

Alice is originally from Rumford and moved to Portland as a girl. She was working for a bank when friends set her up on a blind date in 1958.

“I had heard about this place called the Log Cabin Restaurant on Ocean Street in South Portland near the old Dyer &McLaughlin Grocery and we agreed to meet there for dinner,” she said. “Little did I know what would come of it.”

Growing up in Westbrook, Ronald was always mechanically inclined and had started a job working in piping and welding when he first was approached to meet Alice for a blind date at the restaurant in South Portland.

“I first thought that she was stuck up,” he said. “But then as I got to know her, she kind of grew on me.”

The couple started dating and eventually fell in love, got engaged and after their marriage then settled into life at their own home in South Portland. Soon two children came along, including a daughter, Lori, who now lives in Gray, and a son, Craig, who lives in Gorham.

Both Ronald and Alice continued to work and raise their family and by the time Alice’s career was finished, she had accumulated more than 46 years of service while working in the banking industry.

Like many other young parenting couples in Maine at the time, the Walkers devoted their free time to their children and their life together as a family.

“Ronald liked bowling and so did I, so we bowled a lot and we bowled together or on the same team,” Alice said.

The entire family were avid bowlers and Ronald’s twin brother, Roland, once served as president of the Greater Portland Bowling Association.

“We spent a lot of time at the bowling alley when the kids were little and as a family, we attended many ball games all over the place too,” Alice said.

The Walker family also spent many carefree summers swimming, camping, boating, and fishing on Crescent Lake at Kokatosi Campground in Raymond.

“Those sure were good times and truly unforgettable,” Ronald said. “It’s a beautiful spot for families.”

After a lifetime of eating Alice’s cooking, Ronald says one of her meals that she cooked for the family stands out above all the rest.

“Her meatloaf was really something to look forward to after a hard day at work,” he said. “It was very good and very tasty. It became my favorite of everything that she cooked for us.”

According to Alice, her husband has always been a typical man and although he’s rather rough around the edges, she learned to adapt to his cantankerous ways through the years.

“I’ve learned just to ignore him and to agree with everything he says and then do exactly the opposite,” she said. “It’s something that’s helped me over the years. He does have a heart of gold though.”

As time passed, the Walker family has grown to now include four grandchildren, including triplets.

Now in their 80s, Ronald and Alice Walker look back fondly at their life together and say that as their health declined, they are grateful to be able to be together at Ledgewood Manor in Windham.

They say they are blessed to have found each other back in 1958 and that their marriage has lasted so long.

For their anniversary lunch, the couple dined on macaroni and cheese, fruit salad, and sparkling juice at a table adorned with flower petals. Alice was presented with a beautiful assortment of roses to commemorate the special occasion and everyone attending the celebration was treated to a piece of chocolate cake.

Both Ronald and Alice say they are grateful that others have remembered their wedding anniversary and made such a fuss about it.

Their advice for couples contemplating getting married is simple.

“Save your money for retirement,” Ronald said. “You’ll really need it.” <

Friday, October 16, 2020

Windham resident reaches 100-year birthday milestone

Dorothy Fiske celebrated her 100th
birthday on Oct. 3 surrounded by
friends and family at Ledgewood
Manor in Windham. She was born
Oct. 3, 1920 in Westbrook and
moved to Windham with her
family at the age of 2 in 1922 and 
has lived here ever since.
By Ed Pierce

Longtime Windham resident Dorothy M. Fiske attributes her faith in God as the key to reaching a milestone very few attain as she celebrated her 100th birthday earlier this month.

Born Oct. 3, 1920 in Westbrook, Dorothy’s family gathered at Ledgewood Manor in Windham on her birthday to reminisce and honor a remarkable woman who has lived through some of the most memorable events in American history. She was just 9-years-old when the stock market crashed in 1929, was 21 when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor leading to America entering World War II, and was 48 when Neil Armstrong first set foot on the surface of the moon.  

For about 98 of her 100 years of life, Dorothy has called Windham home, moving here from Westbrook at the age of 2 as the only child of Harold A, and Velma M. Hooper. She revels in being called a “centurion” for living for more than a century but says the title that she prefers the most is “mom” or “grandma.”

After graduating from Windham High School in 1937, Dorothy attended the Maine School of Commerce in Portland and then performed secretarial duties for Beneficial Finance Company, the Rumford Falls Power Company and NT Fox Lumber Company.

While working for Beneficial Finance, she met fellow employee John H. Fiske, Sr. and that changed the direction of her life. In 1943, they married and were blessed with two children, Susan F. Attwood and John H. (Peter) Fiske, Jr. while setting up their home in Windham.

Over the years the couple’s daughter, Susan, and son Peter, both graduated from Windham High School and began raising families of their own. John, Sr. died in 2007 at the age of 87 but he and Dorothy’s family grew to eventually include five grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren.

Through the years, Dorothy has remained active and involved with Merchant’s Reporting Service of Maine, Inc., the family’s business. In fact, she still sits on that company’s board of directors.

Her son Peter said his mother is devoted to her family.

“My most vivid memory of mom is she was always there for me,” he said. “Mom is happiest hearing stories about the kids and grandkids Most friends and family are amazed to know a centurion.”

Peter Fiske said that his mother enjoyed spending time at a family cottage in Bristol, Maine and winters in Florida when she got older.

“She liked to interior decorate, work her flower beds, read, make the holidays festive and cooked a very yummy chocolate cake,” he said.

Dorothy said many of her cherished memories of growing up revolve around time spent with her


“I remember the simpler life, the patriotism, the courage of the men who fought in the wars,” she said. “People seemed to take time to interact more and help each other out more.”

She said to her the most significant event in her 100 years of life was her marriage and the birth of her two children.

As far as the best invention introduced during her lifetime, Dorothy mentioned the many space launches she and her husband watched in Florida which she thinks were wonderful.

She also remembers riding in the first car her family purchased, pointing out though that the automobile was an invention that came about prior to her birth.

Fiercely independent, Dorothy lived in the family home on Route 302 in Windham near the Westbook town line right up until February when her health prompted her to move to Ledgewood Manor in Windham for their excellent care.

The Ledgewood staff also celebrated her milestone birthday with Dorothy throwing her a special luncheon and birthday party for which she said she was very grateful.

A longtime Congregationalist, she says the secret of her longevity is really God’s doing.

“I believe my faith in God got me to my 100th birthday,” Dorothy said. <