Mary Cousins, who turned 108 on Tuesday, examines her birthday cake featuring images from her life, at the Island Nursing Home and Care Center in Deer Isle. Photo courtesy of Island Nursing Home and Care Center.

Former Stonington librarian turns 108


DEER ISLE — Mary Cousins, who was the first Maine woman to operate a ham radio in 1933, celebrated her 108th birthday Tuesday, Sept. 20.

Mary, a resident of the Island Nursing Home and Care Center in Deer Isle, closely examined her birthday, decorated with images from the former Deer Isle Messenger newspaper from the week she was born and her 1933 ham radio license, at her birthday party attended by four generations of her family.

Mary’s birthday cake also bore images of her native Stonington in 1908. Teddy Roosevelt was president then and the American flag had 46 stars because Oklahoma, New Mexico, Hawaii and Alaska were not states yet.

At the celebration, enlivened with 108 balloons and featuring live piano music, Cousins read cards from many well-wishers including Senator Susan Collins.

Besides being a ham radio operator, Mary worked as the Stonington librarian, school bus driver and telephone operator. The 108-year-old said she never stops learning new things.




Letitia Baldwin

Arts Editor at The Ellsworth American
In addition to editing the Arts & Leisure section, Letitia edits special sections including Out & About, Overview, Health Quarterly, Your Maine Home, House & Garden and Get Ready for Winter. She comes from Chicago, Ill, but has deep family ties to the Cranberry Isles. [email protected]

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