2014-09-12 / People

Kerrilyn Welch

Kerrilyn Rand Welch, 52, of Two Lights Road, a creative and happy spirit, co-founder of Gaia, Forest Avenue Redemption Center in Portland, passed away after a brief illness on Monday, Aug. 25, 2014 at Verde Valley Medical Center, Cottonwood, Arizona. She and her family had been en route to fulfill her dream to see the Grand Canyon.

She was born July 25, 1962 in Chattanooga, Tennessee, daughter of Janice Rand of Bartlett, New Hampshire. Kerrilyn graduated from Massabesic High School, Waterboro, in 1980 where her academic achievement enabled her to graduate early. She excelled at field hockey and making lifelong friends. Kerrilyn also enjoyed and succeeded in post-high school classes in math and physics at Southern Maine Community College.

She married Peter E. Welch of Rutland, Vermont, on May 25, 1985 and committed herself as his devoted partner, loving wife, soulmate, and best friend throughout their marriage.

In addition to her husband, she is survived by the rest of the “Super 8,” two sons, Nicholas Joseph Welch and Anthony Daniel Welch, and a daughter, Samantha Viola Welch. She and her children are supported by their respective partners Lauren Deeley, Paige Pendarvis and Kyle Koetsier, Samantha’s fiancĂ©.

Kerrilyn is survived by her mother, Janice Rand; siblings, Richard A. Reed and wife Vicky; Ronald W. Reed and wife Sue; Laurianne Rand; Andrew L. Reed and wife Janis; Jana L. Reed; Judilee Reed and husband Brian; and sisterly cousin Sandra (Smith) Gosline and husband Jeff. She is also survived by many cousins, nieces and nephews and other loved ones.

She was preceded in death by her brother, James C. Reed, her sister Merribeth Gaudet, and her brother-inlaw, Christopher J. Gaudet.

A palpably devoted mother, Kerrilyn spent her life raising and loving her children, and committed to her role as “Home Manager.” She had a passion for nature, gardening and sustainability, using eco-friendly practices even back before “green” was cool. She nurtured her creative side by designing and selling hardscapes and jewelry with glass and reclaimed items from the area, creating beauty from unlikely sources. During her children’s years in the Cape Elizabeth School District she was an active community member and volunteered for the Family Boosters of Cape Athletics. Kerrilyn delighted in Beatles music, gospel songs, confidently tackling home improvement projects, family camping trips, home cooking and crosswords. She was too humble to admit that she truly had the ability to light up the room with her contagious smile, welcoming spirit, unfiltered humor and silver hair. She will be missed by those who came to deeply love her.

Kerrilyn’s spirit will be forever present in gardens, sunflower patches, the Maine coast and her dear dragonflies. Within a year the family will be fulfilling Kerrilyn’s wishes to travel to the Grand Canyon, to ensure that a part of her will always be able to enjoy its powerful beauty.

The family extends its deep gratitude to the many friends and family members who have provided such remarkable support. Additionally, they wish to thank the angels of Verde Valley Medical Center and the Cottonwood community for their very special care and generosity throughout.

Visiting hours were Sunday, Aug. 31 at Hobbs Funeral Home in South Portland. A funeral service was held Monday, Sept. 1 at The First Congregational Church in South Portland.

In memory of Kerrilyn, a contribution may be made to The Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, PO Box 234, Boothbay, Maine 04537 or The Preble Street Teen Services to help homeless youth, 38 Preble St., Portland, Maine 04101 or organization of choice.

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