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Evelyn Whalen Downing

October 25, 2010

Evelyn Whalen Downing

MACHIAS PORT ME- Evelyn Whalen (Kirschbaum) Downing died September 17, 2010 in Lubec. Evelyn was the daughter of Rev. William Guest Kirschbaum and Jeanne Edme (Poitevin) Kirschbaum.
Born June 19, 1924 in Eastport where her father was pastor at Central Congregational Church.
She traveled where her father's calling took the family, including sojourns on islands served at that time by the Maine Seacoast Mission, notably Muscongus and Matinicus.
Evelyn went to school in Houlton and Woonsocket, R.I., graduating from Woonsocket High School in 1941. She attended Simmons College in Boston, was a 1945 graduate of the New England Deaconess Hospital School of Nursing, and graduated cum laude from Boston University Nursing Education program in 1951. In 1958 she was the first woman to achieve the rank of Navigator with the Attleboro Massachusetts Power Squadron. Evelyn belonged to the Ethical Society of Boston, and Mass Audubon, and was a long-time participant in the Boston University Nurse's Health Study. She was a gracious lady who devoted herself to her family.
Evelyn was predeceased by her parents, siblings, Blanche Poitevin (Kirschbaum) Magee of Farmington, N.H., Woodrow Wilson Kirschbaum of St. Louis, Missouri, and former husband, Dr. William Myron Downing of Attleboro, Mass. She is survived by her four children and their spouses, Dr. Jill Downing and Dr. Wilson Colucci of Wellesley, Mass., Lee (Downing) McBride and George F. McBride of Machiasport, Jeff Downing and Anne (Conaway) Downing of Damascus, Ore., and Greg Downing and Kristin Fagin Downing of Corvallis, Ore., grandchildren, nieces and nephew.
Sincere thanks to the caring staff at Oceanview Nursing Home in Lubec, where Evelyn lived the final year of her life. Friends are invited to a memorial service at Eastport Arts Center, Eastport, on Sunday, October 31, 2010 starting at 12 noon. Interment of ashes will follow at Hillside Cemetery, Eastport. Because Evelyn took a keen interest in the competitive swimming of her children and grandchildren, the family suggests that donations in Evelyn's memory be made to Machias Valley Swim Club, P.O. Box 344, East Machias, ME 04630.

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