Gardening 06

Annette Dumas Tibbetts

January 3, 1924 ~ June 25, 2020 (age 96)


Cumberland - Annette Dumas Tibbetts, born on January 3, 1924, passed away at her home in Cumberland on June 25, 2020 at age 96.  Annette had a full life and a loving family. The oldest of five sisters, she was born in Lisbon Falls, Maine, and grew up in Durham. After graduating high school Annette took a job at the Worumbo Mill. Always an adventurous spirit, she shocked her coworkers by climbing to the top of the smokestack.  She worked as a welder on Liberty Ships during WWII, and later took private pilot lessons.

She married Milton Tibbetts on August 25, 1946, and together they had six children. As a couple, they loved square dancing, visiting Popham Beach, and, most of all, gardening. Annette’s lily bed was a place of beauty, and she instilled in her children and grandchildren her own love of nature. A skilled floral designer, she coordinated arrangements for the Unitarian Universalist Church in Yarmouth and took pride in decorating the house seasonally.  She worked at Rines Department Store in Portland, where her grandchildren loved to visit her, and after retirement at Skillin’s Greenhouse and Gillespie Farms. In her later years, Annette enjoyed photography, creating artwork for her own stationery, and playing dominoes with friends at the Prince Memorial Library.

Annette and Milton always encouraged the value of education for her children and grandchildren. Annette, an avid reader, was endlessly curious about the world.  She took great pleasure in simply gazing at the sky, wondering aloud where all of those planes might be going and what the cloud formations meant. She achieved her dream of a college degree in 1987 when she graduated on the same day as her youngest daughter, Becky, with a B.A., Magna Cum Laude, in Philosophy from the University of Southern Maine.

Annette always loved it when her family took her out to cafes for “coffee and a little something,” but her own table was the heart of the family and the backdrop for countless holidays and birthdays.  There, Annette always had pots of hot coffee and tea at the ready, and always insisted there was room for dessert.  Her grandchildren fondly remember having their first grown-up cups of tea poured from her beautiful collection of teapots, and having long chats on the front porch as the sun went down, watching the clouds fade and listening to the sounds of the evening.

Annette is survived by her sisters Laurette Chapman of Lewiston and Mildred Alexander of Brunswick; daughters Donna Waddington and Elizabeth Tibbetts Larsen, both of South Portland, and Becky Tibbetts of Portland; son Randy Tibbetts of Cumberland; and daughter-in-law Cindy Tibbetts of Turner. She is pre-deceased by her husband Milton, son Brian, and daughter Lisa. She has many loving grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and great-great-grandchildren, the youngest of whom she got to meet last summer. She will be remembered as a loving woman who was fiercely intelligent, creative, and enjoyed the beauty of the world.

A graveside service will be held at the Blanchard Cemetery in Falmouth at a future date. Arrangements were under the direction of Cremation of Southern Maine, Portland, Maine.

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