Dr. Thelma "Kit" (Robertson) Juniewicz

Born: Sat., Sep. 17, 1932
Died: Fri., May 5, 2017


Memorial Service

10:30 AM Sat., May 13, 2017
Location: Prides Corner Congregational Church


Celebration of Life Reception

12:00 PM to 3:00 PM, Sat., May 13, 2017
Location: Portland Country Club


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Music by The Piano Brothers


Dr. Thelma “Kit” Juniewicz, 84

WESTBROOK – Kit Juniewicz passed away on May 5th, 2017 at her home in Westbrook. She was born Thelma Mae Robertson in Portland on September 17th, 1932 to Helen Noyes Robertson and Harold Robertson. She had two siblings, Faye Rekosik and Warren Robertson, who passed away in 2013.

Kit grew up in Westbrook, and spent some of her most memorable childhood moments on her family’s farm in Pride’s Corner where she cultivated a lifelong love of animals, including horses and a pet pig named Tippy Toes. She graduated from Westbrook High School, class of 1951. She earned her R.N. diploma from Maine Medical Center  School of Nursing, a bachelor’s degree in education from the University of Southern Maine, a master’s of arts in administrative supervision from the University of New Hampshire, and a doctorate in education from the University of Southern Maine.

Kit had many careers and interests, about all of which she was passionate. She worked at Maine Medical Center as an operating room and neonatal nurse, she served as a nursery school teacher at Prides Corner Nursery School, and then as an elementary school teacher in multiple districts throughout southern Maine, and later as a school principal. After earning her doctorate in 1996 she became a college professor at the University of Southern Maine and at the University of New England, teaching many future educators, who inspired her as much as she inspired them. She was very active in the Northeastern University RE-SEED program which brought retired mathematicians and scientists to high school classrooms and in the Robotics Institute of Maine through Fairchild Semiconductor which helped provide robotics-related education at the secondary school level.

She was a vibrant member of many social groups and organizations including the Rainbow Girls, Campfire Girls, 4-H, the Westbrook Women’s Club, and the Prides Corner Congregational Church where she loved singing in the choir and was a volunteer for the monthly bean suppers. She was also a lifelong Red Sox fan.

She devoted much of her time to volunteer organizations and was passionate about bringing equality and opportunity to people across all socio-political spectrums. She volunteered at the Preble Street Resource Center, Hospice of Maine, and did international service work in Honduras, Russia, and Guatemala. She was a vocal and active supporter of the disadvantaged across the globe, advocating for women and children in particular through Women for Women International, Safe Passage, and other organizations.

As wonderful and devoted as Kit was as a community member and career woman, she was even more enthusiastic about her role as a wife, mother, and grandmother. She met the love of her life, Alexander, while in high school and they were married in 1954. Al and Kit were both very active in the Westbrook community and supported each other’s separate ventures throughout their lives. They also maintained lifelong friendships with many friends from their high school days through the present, and were always making new friends to whom they were deeply devoted. Kit’s greatest pleasure and love may have been raising their two daughters, Cindy and Cheri. She always had time to offer words of advice and support and for adventures and fun with her girls. She later brought this same inspiration and devotion to her relationship with her two grandchildren, Sarah and John, to whom she was a playmate, a confidante, and an inspiration. She was excellent at making life more fun for all of her family members and friends, and especially loved spending time with them at the camp the family built on Little Sebago Lake, where she could be found canoeing, reading on the beach, exploring the woods, playing badminton or strumming the guitar by the campfire. She spread love and joy everywhere she went, and made everyone who visited feel like part of the family.

Kit was always interested in learning about other cultures and places, and spent much of her free time traveling the globe. She brought her daughters and her two grandchildren with her on explorations of places as nearby as the forests of Southern Maine, and as distant as Hawaii, Europe, and Alaska. Occasionally Al was willing to leave his beloved Westbrook to join her as well; they ventured to Mexico and Japan and often boated around Casco Bay together.

Kit is survived by her husband Alexander, daughter Cynthia Getchell and partner Tony Rioux, daughter Cheryl Juniewicz, granddaughter Sarah Getchell and husband Tim LaBua, grandson John Getchell,  sister Faye Rekosik, sister-in-law Jean Robertson, and brother-in-law Arthur Juniewicz, as well as several nieces and nephews.

The family would like to thank all Kit’s caregivers, particularly Rebecca Stocks, for their companionship, compassion and service.

A memorial service will be held at Pride’s Corner Congregational Church on Pride Street in Westbrook at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, May 13th, followed by refreshments and a celebration of her life at The Portland Country Club in Falmouth from noon to 3 p.m. All are invited to both or either; as Kit would say, "the more the merrier".

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to either of Kit’s favorite charities: Women for Women International or Safe Passage.

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Bruce and Julie Rioux
   Posted Tue May 09, 2017
Our thoughts and prayers are with the entire family. Her remarkable life is an inspiration to all those who were lucky enough to know her and benefit from her passion. Our deepest condolences.

Sandi Reynolds Daigle
   Posted Tue May 09, 2017
Cindy, Cheri and Mr. Juniewicz:
My deepest sympathy for the passing of your mom/wife. I have such fond memories growing up in the "neighborhood". Your mom as our Camp Fire Girl leader. Going to your camp on Little Sebago. My mom calling nurse Kit every time we got hurt. The list goes on and on. May you find peace and comfort in all your wonderful memories. My thoughts and prayers, Sandi

Eleanor "Ellie" Farrington
   Posted Tue May 09, 2017
I am so sorry to read of Kit's death. I can't imagine Westbrook without her! I have so many memories of our time at 11 Marilyn Ave. and they all involve Kit. We depended on each other. I remember her calling me one day after she was teaching asking me to go in her house and check to see if she had left the coffee pot on...she hadn't. When she decided to prepare to teach, she made a deal with me...if I would type her papers, she would iron for me. So many a day I was two floors above her typing and she was in our basement ironing. We walked together early in the mornings. I'm still walking 3X around the parking lot each morning 6 days a week at 90. I also have a blog entitled 3X AROUND which can be accessed by clicking on ESFarrington.blogspot.com. I am living in a senior housing facility called Brookdale in an independent apartment after a fall at my home over a year ago. Please know I mourn for each of you as you deal with Kit going ahead of you and pray God will ease your pain. I have not seen any of you for more than 30 years when we moved to Georgia, but I see all of you...Al, Cindy and Cheri in my mind and have so many good memories.

Carol and John Mosley
   Posted Tue May 09, 2017
Cindy,

Our deepest sympathy. We are so sorry for your loss. You and your family are in our prayers and thoughts.

Connie Levecque
   Posted Tue May 09, 2017
Dear Al and family,
I am so sorry to read of Kit's passing. I always have admired her and her many accomplishments! My condolences go out to you and yours.

The sad part would be not to have had her at all. Remember everything and rejoice in the times you have had with her.

My prayers are with all of you. Fondly, Connie Levecque

Marcia (Babb) Carr
   Posted Tue May 09, 2017
What an incredible life, truly an amazing woman! She serves as an inspiration. I will never forget her kind, loving manner and how gentle she always was. She always made people feel so welcome in her home, no matter how busy she must have been. She and Mr. J. raised two wonderful, very special daughters. Sending lots of hugs and much love.

Sharla cummings
   Posted Tue May 09, 2017
Dear Al and family...
My condolences to you all.
Love and hugs

Larry and Edna Flaherty
   Posted Tue May 09, 2017
So sorry to hear of your wife's passing Al.
You and your family are in our thoughts and prayers.
Sincerely,
Larry and Edna

Marie Kimball
   Posted Thu May 11, 2017
Al and Family,
We are so sorry for your loss. May God's arms embrace you as you grieve.
Hugs and prayers
Marie and Rick Kimball

Ann Twombly Bonang
   Posted Mon May 15, 2017
To Faye Rekosik and Al Juniewicz,
Please accept my condolences on the loss of your very amazing family member, Kit. She was able to help so many people with all the wonderful and important activities in which she participated. She certainly had talents in so many areas and was able to use them to the best advantage. It is obvious that she enjoyed all of her efforts and will never be forgotten by all who knew her and especially by those who benefited. So few people are able to accomplish anything close to all that she did!
Faye, I hope we will meet at a class meeting sometime in the near future.
Al, I want to you to know how helpful you were the year I was teaching at Scarborough High and you agreed to teach my Mother how to drive. I am certain it was not easy but you were very successful. My Dad had just passed and she was sixty and never had any desire to learn. After that she moved to Brunswick and was able to do errands and often returned to Westbrook to visit the cemetery and friends. It meant so much to her and to us.
My prayers and best wishes are with you both and your families, Ann Twombly Bonang

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