Sanford Springvale News

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December 20, 1938 – June 20, 2022

Eleanor Rebecca Carlson, of Springvale, ME passed away with her family by her side on Monday, June 20, 2022, in Biddeford, ME at the age of 83.

Rebecca was born on December 20, 1938 in Bar Harbor, ME to Gerald and Kathleen (Harriman) Hodgkins.  She grew up in Bar Harbor and Southwest Harbor.  Her parent’s career paths led her on many adventures as well to Florida, New Hampshire, New Jersey, and Cape Cod.  For high school, she settled in Southwest Harbor with her sister and brother-in-law Gerry and Les and attended Pemetic High School where she graduated as valedictorian of the Class of ‘56.  She went on to attend the University of Southern Maine/Gorham State Teachers’ College where she graduated with a B.S. in Education.  While in college, Rebecca met Bruce C. Carlson, Sr. of Springvale, ME  and they were married on April 22, 1961 at Notre Dame Church in Springvale.  In their 60 years of marriage they were blessed with three children and ten grandchildren.  

Following graduation, Rebecca worked at Lafayette School in Sanford as a 3rd grade teacher.  When she had her children she was a stay at home mom who continued to substitute teach at various Sanford schools. She was the Religious Education Coordinator for Notre Dame Parish for more than a decade.  She was also the Secretary of the Board for the Sanford-Springvale Historical Society.  Her loyalty to her husband, Bruce, was unwavering and thus she was always the wind in his sails keeping him afloat amidst his myriad of careers and larger than life ideas. She always supported him with her quiet strength; and not infrequently, a roll of her eyes.

Rebecca loved her family dearly, both immediate and extended, and enjoyed spending as much time as possible with them.  Sunday dinners, holidays, and vacations were favorite family times and she loved playing cards, board games, painting, and dancing.  Without question, Rebecca’s greatest role was as a wife, mother, grandmother, aunt, sister, cousin, and friend.

Rebecca was raised Protestant but later converted to Catholicism after marrying Bruce.  She was an active participant of Notre Dame Church in Springvale, and then a parishioner of St. Peter’s Church in Manset, and Holy Family Church in Sanford. 

Rebecca was predeceased by her husband Bruce Carlson Sr., mother Kathleen Higginbotham (Harriman), father Gerald Hodgkins, step-father David Higginbotham and sister Geraldine Thurston (Hodgkins) and her husband Les Thurston.   She is survived by her brother, Harrison Wendell Hogkins and his wife Claire of Kensington, MD, son Bruce Carlson Jr. and his wife Julie of West Chester, PA, daughter Kristin Carlson and her husband Jeff of Portland ME, and son Ross Carlson and his wife Sarah of Suwanee, GA.  She is also survived by ten grandchildren: Autumn, Audrey, Brian, Savanna, Eve, Julia, Jesse, Finn, Elliot, and Miles as well as several cousins, nieces and nephews to whom she was unconditionally devoted. She treasured her family beyond words and her bonds were steadfast and true.  She loved everyone and was loved by all. 

A time of visitation will be held on Wednesday, July 6th from 5:30 to 7 pm at Black Funeral Home, 580 Main Street in Springvale.  

A mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Thursday, July 7th at 1 pm at Notre Dame Church in Springvale with a reception following that at the Knights of Columbus Hall, 22 Bridge Street in Springvale. 

Arrangements are under the direction of Black Funeral Homes and Cremation Service, Sanford-Springvale. 

To leave a message of condolence, please visit www.blackfuneralhomes.com.

In lieu of flowers, please send donations to The Sanford/Springvale Historical Society, 505 Main Street, Springvale, ME  04083.

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