LITTLE DEER ISLE and Green Farms, Conn.
Evelyn ‘Lorraine’ Arenburg Billings, a longtime resident of Little Deer Isle and Greens Farms, Conn., passed away at the age of 91 on Monday, Feb. 17, at Northern Light Blue Hill Hospital.
Born in Malden, Mass., to Ruth Howard and Harry Arenburg Sr. on March 21, 1928, Lorraine joined her beloved brother, Harry Jr., with whom she held a special bond throughout their entire life. In their pre-teen years, Lorraine and Harry moved to Deer Isle to live with their grandmother Mary Blastow Gray. There, they found a “new home,” where they were accepted and cherished for who they were. Lorraine formed many friendships that lasted her entire life, including her best friend Madelyn Billings Eaton.
Shortly after WWII, she married Walter Billings Jr. They lived on Little Deer Isle, raising three children, where he was a scallop fisherman in winters and a yacht captain in Connecticut during the summers. Lorraine was the rock and foundation of the marriage providing support and exemplifying the traits of Christianity through her unconditional love. Lorraine was nurturing and considerate while selflessly giving; not only to her children, but also to the many people she and Walt visited doing the Lord’s work for the RLDS/Community of Christ Church in Maine and Connecticut. She knitted over 200 shawls for cancer and hospice patients in Fairfield County, Conn. She could often be found knitting or hooking a rug with a stack of books near her chair. During her last chapter here on Earth, while at Homeport in Deer Isle, she joyfully gave her handmade dishcloths to many friends and visitors.
She took great joy in preparing meals for her family and loved baking; her blueberry pies were legendary. She was a joy to be around, and, as her grandchildren can attest, quite competitive when playing Parcheesi or UNO! Warm, compassionate, easy to talk to and easy to love…she was as beautiful on the inside as she was on the outside.
She was thought to be an angel, a steadfast guiding light, not only by her family and close associates, but also by all she encountered. She is now at peace, reunited with her beloved husband and those who have passed on before.
Lorraine’s family wishes to extend their gratitude to the staff at the Island Nursing Home and Northern Light Blue Hill Hospital for their care and compassion in her final hours, and especially the prayer that was shared for her.
She will be tremendously missed by her family, her friends and remembered for her love of life, strength of character, faith and inspiration to all. Truly, all who knew her or came in contact with her were blessed by the experience.
Predeceased by her husband of nearly 67 years, Walter Billings Jr., brother, Harry Arenburg Jr., grandsons Matthew Brown, Jonathan Rugel, son-in-law Mac McVicar and best friend Madelyn; Lorraine is survived by her daughter, Mary Ruth Billings McVicar of Sun City, Ariz., son, Edward and his wife Diane of Monroe, Conn., and Little Deer Isle, and son, Walter III and his wife, Linda, of Bel Air, Md.; grandchildren, Hollybeth Brown, Robert (Griselle) Brown Jr., Lorraine Brown, Katelyn Billings, Jonathan Billings, Aubrey (Mick) McCulloh, Ashley Billings and Daniel Billings; great-grandchildren, Brandon, Autumn, Matthew and Jacob; and many beloved nieces, nephews and cousins.
A funeral service celebrating her life will be planned in June. In lieu of flowers, the family requests any donations in her memory be made to the all-volunteer Memorial Ambulance Corps, P.O. Box 387, Deer Isle, ME 04627.
Arrangements have been entrusted to the care of Bragdon-Kelley Funeral Home, Ellsworth, where condolences may be shared with the family at www.bragdonkelley.com.