Dorothy (Ripley) Sainio died in Bangor, Maine, on November 14, 2020, with her family surrounding her. She was born on April 3, 1932, in Washington, Maine to Myrtle (nee: Grinnell, later Kirkpatrick) and George Ripley. She is survived by her husband of almost 70 years, Henry Sainio, a daughter, Susan Edwards and two grandchildren: Hilary Clark and Gregory Edwards, a sister, Evon Letourneau, three brothers, Terence Kirkpatrick, Eugene Kirkpatrick and Kevin Kirkpatrick and many other close family members.
Dorothy, a retired teacher, taught in one room schools, including South Liberty and Burkettville, the Palermo Grade School and served as acting principal at Prescott Memorial School in Washington. Dorothy served as first select person of Washington for over ten years and was instrumental in developing the first tax maps and full assessment of town property. Until recently, she was on the appeals board.
She was an avid volunteer and leader throughout her life. She taught Sunday School at the South Liberty Baptist Church and was the first woman deacon at the Washington Village Church. She served as master of the Evening Star Grange for many years and was instrumental in raising the funds and renovations to preserve the Grange Hall. Under her competitive leadership, the Grange took numerous Blue Ribbons at the Union and Windsor Fairs for their agricultural displays. Dorothy was active in the Ladies Guild, the PTA, the Washington Volunteer Fire Department Auxiliary, and was leader of the Washington 4-H Club for many years. The 4-H club restored the Nelson-Butterfield Cemetery and opened the town park on Crystal Lake under her guidance.
Dorothy was also instrumental in the founding of the Gibbs Library and was an active board member for many years. She helped to establish the Minnie Weaver Scholarship Fund and was still writing letters to raise funds the week before her death. She was always willing to help, including planning retirement parties, special events, such as the Washington Sesquicentennial, catering weddings for special friends and food and toy baskets.
She could tame any animal and calm any baby, but she was fearless. Dorothy shot a deer from her back door, drove a tractor, and helped manage a farm. She was the seventh teacher in a year when she took over the 7th and 8th grade at Prescott-Memorial, (the immediate previous teacher suffered a mental breakdown from the difficult students). She not only stayed, students from that class came up to her (until her death) thanking her for her work. Dorothy led a teacher’s strike when the teachers went without pay for months and quit her job in a coffeeshop in Alabama when she was scolded for serving a black gentleman. She had her idea of what was right and was willing to fight for it. She won her battle against Wegener’s Granulomatosis in the 80s and spent the last ten years fighting and winning her battle against kidney disease. For the past year, she self-administered home dialysis on a daily basis. DaVita Dialysis, Winterberry Heights, Northern Lights Hospice and her niece, Karen Boynton, are to be commended for their wonderful assistance.
Dorothy will be missed by her family and her town. A memorial service will be held at a later date (after COVID). Donations may be made to the Minnie Weaver Scholarship Fund, att: Hazel Kopishke, 471 Liberty Rd. Washington, ME 04574 or Gibbs Library, PO Box 348, Washington, ME 04574, in her honor.
Condolences to the family may be expressed at BrookingsSmith.com.