PORTLAND – Muriel Mitchell Goodspeed, 91, died the evening of April 4, 2020 at FallBrook Woods in Portland.  It is with equal measures of relief and sadness that her daughter and grandson announce her passing -relief that she is now at peace and sadness that she is gone. Although we could not be with her in her final hours, due to the pandemic, she was not alone.  We know that her passage was eased by the wonderful, caring staff at FallBrook, where she lived for the last three years.

Muriel Mitchell Goodspeed

Muriel was born in Waterville on Jan. 17, 1929, the daughter of Ivan and Grace (Fitzpatrick) Mitchell.  She attended schools in Fairfield, graduating at the top of her class in 1946. She went on to study at Farmington State Teachers College, graduating in 1950. In 1968, she completed her Master’s Degree at Farmington State College.  She was a lifelong learner and took classes for credit and enjoyment well into her seventies.  Muriel was an accomplished genealogist, and did research for other genealogists all over the world. She was a member of both the Maine Historical Society and the Mayflower Society for decades. She loved opera, history, her family and all animals. She was especially fond of the Irish singing group Celtic Thunder and was grateful to her grandson Dan for taking her to two live concerts, one in Boston and one in Portland.

Muriel married Earl Goodspeed, from Farmington, in 1949.  As the story goes, she was working at the front desk in her college dorm when Earl, home from the army, came swaggering in and asked her if there were any pretty girls around who might like to go out with a handsome army man. Men being scarce then, Muriel said, “How about me?” and so it began.  Their only child, Laura “Beth” was born in 1950.  They were the “young, cool parents”, and their house was full of love and laughter.  It was a lot of fun being their kid.

Earl and Muriel were married for 41 years, until Earl’s death in 1990, and they enjoyed a lot of adventures together.  They did a lot of tenting, some traveling, and fixed up a lot of houses.  Muriel taught school for much of her married life, in South Portland, Yarmouth and Farmington. She enjoyed teaching and loved her students.  She kept all their class pictures.

Muriel is survived by her daughter, Laura Goodspeed Feder (husband Bill); her beloved grandson, Daniel Feder and step grandchildren Ryan Feder Hayes, Justine Feder Lailer, Catherine Wright Colby (Bob) and their combined children:  Maisie, Sadie, Kayleigh, Nick, Morgan and Eli,  She was  a Great Aunt to Brett, Sara, Alissa, Ryan and Heather.  She is also survived by a special niece Debra Wallace (husband Dr. Bob) of Massachusetts and several other nieces and nephews as well. She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, her beloved sister Jean Mitchell Wallace; and two cherished nieces, Pamela Wallace and Linda Wallace Seiler. It is our hope that she ran straight into their arms.

The family would like to thank, from the bottom of our hearts, the staff at FallBrook Woods for the excellent care they provided to Muriel. Muriel struggled with dementia for several years, and her life was made better by the wonderful staff there.  We will be eternally grateful. Thanks, also, to step granddaughter Ryan Hayes for her tireless help early on in Muriel’s journey and to her loyal friends Joline Webber and Terry Roy for their support the last few years.  It’s easy to forget a person with dementia.  It’s not pretty, and it’s hard to know what to say, but you never gave up and you never went away.  Thank you both so much.

A celebration of Muriel’s life will be held at a later date, due to the pandemic.

If anyone desires to, a donation in Muriel’s name can be made to either the Maine Historical Society or the Animal Refuge League of Greater Portland