Muriel G. Dion, having reached her 103rd birthday just a few days prior, passed away in peace and comfort, surrounded by love and faith, on Sunday, 14 November 2021, at the Coos County Nursing Home where she had resided since October of 2013. Over a century ago, fittingly, Muriel began life on another Sunday; on November 10th, 1918, she was born in the small rural community of Waite, in Washington County Maine, as the second youngest daughter of David Patten DeLong and his wife Ethel Mae Williams. Besides her parents, she was blessed with her brother Charles Whittington, the first born, and her sisters Claire Eliza, Evelyn Bernice, and the youngest, Lois Mavine DeLong.
Her family eventually moved to nearby Talmadge ME, where she graduated high school. Muriel found her first employment at Wareknitters in Maine, but was soon transferred to one of their factories in Berlin NH. On 16 September 1950, when she was 31 years old, she married George Henri Dion, of Berlin New Hampshire, but not before he traveled to Talmadge to ask her family’s permission to take her hand.
In July 1951, the new couple welcomed their first born, Ritchie Lee, into the world. Two and a half years later, in January 1954, they welcomed a second son, Stephen Michael, into their family. While Ritchie never married, Stephen married Susan Poirer in July 1976 and the couple was blessed with a daughter, Stacy, born in March 1983. After Steve and his wife parted ways, he married Louise St. Onge in 2008. Louise had a son, Kevin, and a daughter, Kelly, and Muriel enthusiastically welcomed them as a part of her own greater family. Indeed, throughout her life Muriel took immense joy in all of her family, both those living close and those at a distance. She loved her sister’s children, and those of her brother-in-law Pete and his wife Rose. In her later years, especially with the coming of George’s passing, she delighted in the company of Leilah, and the twins, Harmony and Mason, born of Kelly and her husband Anthony Horne, and even more recently the two sons, Karsen and Ellis, born to Kevin and his wife, Danielle.
While Muriel was primarily a housewife, she also worked steadily in support of her family. Following her employment at Wareknitters, she worked at the Granite State Rubber Company, followed by the Bass Shoe Company. George and Muriel began married life living in the second-story apartment of the house on Portland Street that his father had built. In the early 1960s they bought their own house on Jasper Street where they lived for the remainder of George’s life, until he passed away in 2009, at 92, from cancer. ‘I always thought I would die in that house’ she would always say whenever the subject came up. But soon after George’s passing, Muriel requested to reside at the Coos County Nursing Home where she thought she’d be safer and happier, and have a better social life. The home is also where Louise worked, which allowed her to keep a kind and helpful eye on her mother-in-law, which Muriel very much appreciated.
Muriel was very devoted to both her marriage and to her church. While she was raised in the Protestant Church prevalent in eastern Maine, she converted to Catholicism in order to marry George. She was a faithful parishioner to St. Kieran’s Church, having also sent her sons to that parish’s grammar school, St. Patrick. After St. Kieran’s closed, she moved on to St. Anne Catholic Church and eventually Good Shepard Parish.
She was always very close to her siblings, and it distressed her terribly to see them all pass before her. The last to pass was the youngest, Lois, who also died in 2009, which tested her faith. Why the lord left her behind while her entire familial generation preceded her, she found hard to understand. But she loved life, loved living, loved, and was loved, by her family. She enjoyed her time on this earth, but she was more than anxious to rejoin her parents and siblings. As was the case with her husband George upon his passing, having never known his father in the living world, so too with Muriel’s passing the family circle has once again become complete. As in her birth, over a
century ago, born into a home of love and care, so it is with her passing that she may now, in peace, return to such love and care.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at St. Anne Church of Good Shepperd Parish on Friday, 19 November 2021, at 10 am. For those unable to attend in person, the Mass would be live streamed on Muriel’s online obituary page. Internment will be in the St. Kieran’s Cemetery. Relatives and friends may call at the Bryant Funeral Home, 180 Hillside Ave. Berlin, from 8:30 to 9:30 am, prior to the Mass. Online guestbook at: www.bryantfuneralhome.net.