Miriam LeMay Blackmon of Waldoboro, Maine passed away on
Monday morning, December 16 th at the age of 97, after a long,
fruitful, and interesting life. A graduate of UMass, Ayer, she was
a loving wife, mother, avid reader, tent camper, cook, explorer,
furniture restorer, and very handy with a sewing machine. She
loved family, the ocean, the rocky coast of Maine, the Boston Red
Sox, lobster, and a nightly bowl of ice cream.
Born on September 7, 1922 in Belfast, Maine to the Rev. Harold
Edward LeMay and Ruby Helen Marston LeMay, Miriam was the
second of five children. She survived her siblings: David, Harold,
Rebecca LeMay Strange, and Barbara LeMay Gulla.
Miriam wed Lt. Clinton R. Blackmon on April 14 th, 1945. They
were married for 61 years until Clinton’s passing in 2006.
Together they raised and loved five children, eleven
grandchildren, six great grandchildren, their in-laws, and their
friends. She is survived by her daughter Rebecca, with whom
she lived, and her four sons, Daniel (Linda Sands)of Beaufort SC,
Whitney (Markie) of Holland PA, Christopher (Peggy) of
Waldoboro ME, and Jonathan (Elsie) of Kenilworth, PA.
In 1923, Miriam’s first birthday was on a ship in the China Sea, as
her missionary father moved the family to Shaowu, China, to
serve the Williston Church’s foreign mission. Miriam contracted
polio while in China, crippling her left leg. By 1927 the Chinese
Civil War and its roaming renegade bands of solders forced the
family to evacuate down the Min River, at times under gunfire, to
the port at Fuzhou on the China Sea, from there to Japanese
occupied Taihoku, Formosa (Taiwan), then Tokyo, and to the US
on July 4 th ,1927.
Settling initially in Bangor, they soon moved on to a mission in
Ashland, Aroostook County, Maine. They relocated in 1928 to
South Bristol, moving again three years later in 1931 to Ayer,
Massachusetts after her father was called to the Federated
Church of Ayer. There at a church social she met and fell in love
with Army Lt. Clinton Blackmon, who was stationed at Ft Devens
prior to his shipping out to Australia and the Philippines in WWII.
At UMass she studied English and Home Economics for a BA
degree, fulfilling a major childhood ambition from as far back as
she could remember.
After living in Brownsville, Texas for a year while Clinton
recovered from mortar shell wounds, she continued to move with
him as Clinton pursued his PhD at UMass and Rutgers University,
N.J., buying her first house with Clinton in Doylestown, PA.
Miriam and family moved back to Maine in 1956, landing in Old
Town. After moving to Panama City, Panama in 1962, Miriam and
her family were forced to evacuate to the Panama Canal Zone
following the anti-American riots of 1964, then further to Gulfport,
Florida. 1964 brought her to New Britain, PA, where she
substitute taught high school English while she and Clinton
focused on their family and church. It wasn’t until 1987 that
Miriam and Clinton retired and moved back to Maine, settling in
Waldoboro, where they joined the United Methodist Church. After
all the travelling, Miriam was happy to be back in Maine!
A private family service will be held and she will be laid to rest
with Clinton in the Brookland Cemetery, Waldoboro, ME.
In memory of Miriam LeMay Blackmon, memorial donations may
be made to: The Waldoboro Ambulance Association, P.O. Box J, Waldoboro,
Arrangements are entrusted to Hall Funeral Home and Cremation
Service, 949 Main St., Waldoboro