Bridgton-ANN CARSLEY DAVIS, 83, a lifelong resident of Harrison, died at the Bridgton Health and Residence Center on July 20, 2014, Surrounded by the love of her family and friends dating back to her childhood, following a long illness.
Born on May 15, 1931, Ann was the sixth generation of the Carsley family – founders of the Town of Harrison – to be born on Maple Ridge. Her parents were dairy farmers Ellis and Gertrude Abbott Carsley. She grew up as a “farm girl” on the Ridge in an extended-family compound that included both her maternal and paternal grandparents.
The Carsleys were also surrounded by a neighborhood of fellow farmers who swapped the food they raised and grew, and who relied on each other for support. Ann learned early the importance of Family and Friends, and her devotion to both helped to define her entire life.
Ann graduated from elementary school at the one-room schoolhouse on Maple Ridge (where her aunt Lida Carsley Trott taught grades K-8), and then from Bridgton High School (where she majored in Secretarial studies). In 1950, Ann was employed as a secretary at the Harrison Insurance Agency, owned by the Earl Davis family. In June 1951, Ann married insurance agent (and WW II US Navy veteran) Earl Davis, Jr. at the Carsley farm.
Following their wedding, Ann and “Junior” moved to Harrison village, living in a cabin on Dawes Hill before moving in 1954 to the 19th-Century Wheeler House (once a boarding house and tavern) at 13 Front Street on Long Lake.
For most of the next half-century, Ann and Junior resided there, making memories and raising their three children. While Junior rose to become head of the agency, Ann became a homemaker and volunteer for the community and her children’s schools and activities. When Junior was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s Disease in the early 1980’s, Ann became his caregiver until his death in 1990.
In 1999, Ann moved to a new modular home on Dawes Hill, next-door to her daughter, and only a few yards from the little house where she had begun her married life. That same year, Ann was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and underwent six months of chemotherapy. In the end, though, she became a cancer survivor, and she lived to see her three beloved grandsons grow into young men.
Ann’s survivors include children Keith Davis (Linda) from Sylmar, CA; Andrea Mattson (Paul) from Harrison; and Christopher Davis (Traci) from Ocoee, FL. Her grandchildren are Nathan Davis (Meghan) of Auburn; Jonathan Mattson of Harrison; and Seth Mattson of Oxford. Ann’s sister, Marcia Carsley Munn (Ed) lives in San Diego, CA; and their brother Earlon William “Bill” Carsley (Razel) lives in South Paris.
Nearly as important to Ann, though, were her friends from all the different stages of her life: childhood; high school; neighbors; PTA; swimming lessons, support groups; the Harrison Historical Society; and especially, her “girls” from the Knit ‘n’ Sew Club, of which she was a founding member in the 1950’s. With all of them, she enjoyed visits, lunches, movies, phone calls, letters (and later, e-mails), and day trips that had a tendency to turn into mini-adventures. Many of these friends visited her during the final days of her life to say good-by.
Ann’s memorial service will be held at 1 pm on Sunday, August 3 at the United Parish Congregational Church at 77 Main Street in Harrison. A dessert reception will follow in the church vestry. Ann’s family is asking that those who attend please bring a memory of her to share at either the service or the reception.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Harrison Historical Society at PO Box 294, Harrison, ME 04040.
Ann’s family also wishes to thank the talented and hard-working caregivers at Bridgton Hospital, Androscoggin Hospice Care, and the Bridgton Health and Residential Center, all of whom were so supportive of Ann and her relatives during her final days.
Funeral Arrangements are under the care of Advantage Funeral & Cremation Services, please visit advantageportland.com to leave condolences for the family.