Bangor - Catherine (Kay) Reilly Peckenham died at the age of 102 on July 2, 2020, surrounded by family members at her home in Bangor. She was born on October 27, 1917, in Gardiner, Maine, the daughter of Mattie Belle Eldridge and Maurice L. Reilly.
Catherine graduated from Deering High School in Portland. After earning a degree from Simmons College, she taught at Waterville High School where she volunteered as an Air Post Observer during WWII.
In 1950, she married Thomas F. Peckenham II and moved to Connecticut, where she lived for 25 years before returning to Maine to live in Hope, Head Tide, and Walpole. For 30 years she summered at China Lake and, later, in Owl’s Head. Her children and grandchildren were touched by her enthusiasm, whether swimming in the ocean in her 90s or hiking in the woods.
Catherine was proud of her Irish ancestors who settled in North Whitefield, and her mother’s ancestors who settled in Orrington, Dedham and Surry in the late 1700s. She was an active member of the Esther Eayres Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution.
Catherine loved people and belonged to many clubs and volunteered often. She was known for her beautiful flower gardens. In her late 90s she moved into Boyd Place-Phillips Strickland House, where she had many friends among the staff, residents and aides. In 2020, Catherine moved into her family’s home.
She will be remembered for her positive spirit. She woke every day to blue skies, eager to make new friends and enjoy the sunshine.
Her husband, Thomas F. Peckenham II, and son, Thomas F. Peckenham III, predeceased her. She is survived by her daughters, Nancy Peckenham and her husband, Mark Fleischman, of Bangor, and Mattie Peckenham and her husband, Ricardo Hernandez, of Concord, Ca., and one son, John Peckenham and his wife, Mary O’Shea, of Orland, and a daughter-in-law, Jane Peckenham, of Ossining, New York. She leaves 13 grandchildren and 7 great-grandchildren.
A private funeral Mass will be held at St. Denis Catholic Church in North Whitefield. A live stream will begin at 10:50 a.m., Tuesday, July 7, 2020 at BrookingsSmith.com/livestream for those wishing to attend the service remotely.