Hope Elizabeth (Sterling) Henderson Earley, 100, formerly of Brownville Junction and Moose River, ME died October 15, 2021. She was born on July 31, 1921, 101 years after her great-great grandfather, Samuel Holden settled Moose River on the cattle trail later called Old Canada Road/Route 201. Versed in heritage and genealogy from her birth, Hope was proud of the survivability of her blood line.
From three to thirteen Hope lived in New Canaan, Connecticut, on the estate of AT&T’s president where her father was the head caretaker. When the Depression came, the family moved back to Moose River where the creature comforts were few and far between, no running water or flush toilets. Despite these challenges, she graduated from Jackman High School as salutatorian.
World War II brought marriage, birth of a son and divorce. As a single mother, Hope worked as postmistress in the home of her father in Moose River. In 1953 the house burned and Hope lost everything while saving the mail and postal records. In 1955, the post office was discontinued. She got her teaching certificate and taught for several years.
Throughout her life, she was active in the community teaching Sunday School, acting in plays, playing the piano for church services, singing in the choir and helping to finish a history of Moose River Valley her mother had started.
In 1960, Hope remarried and lived a more tranquil life. When her husband couldn’t drive anymore, she got her license in her fifties. In her seventies, she survived two mastectomies while taking care of her ailing husband. After his death, Hope lived alone into her nineties. In her eighties, she developed macular degeneration which prevented her from reading, crocheting, knitting, gardening, and television. Though she experienced short-term memory loss, Hope was still spry and able to reminisce about her past while living the second half of her nineties at Somerset Rehab in Bingham before very recently moving to Maplecrest Rehab Center in Madison.
She was predeceased by her son, Robert Leon Henderson, her husband, Archibald Earley, her parents, John and Grace Sterling, sister Ruth Reed and husband Ed, sister Margaret Sterling Field and husband Douglas, brother Robert Sterling, stepchildren Jimmy Earley and Carlista Paine and many other relatives and friends. She leaves behind her daughter-in-law, Rose Marie Henderson of Bingham, granddaughter Karen Henderson Flagg and her husband Greg of Wells, grandson Jason Henderson of Bowdoinham, stepchildren Reginald Earley and his wife Margaret of Alton, Judith Tate and husband Raymond of Valrico, FL, Charles Earley and his wife Avis of Front Royal, VA, her special niece Sally Hughey, a granddaughter, step-grandchildren, great-grandchildren, step-great-grandchildren, many other relatives and friends.
The service will be at Moose River Congregational Church in Jackman on October 30th at 1 PM with a burial at Whipple Cemetery immediately following the service. There will be a luncheon in the basement of the church after the burial.
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