Maralie Mae (Pickard) O’Brien

HALLOWELL – Maralie May (Pickard) O’Brien, 86, passed away peacefully on July 13, 2020 at her home at Granite Hill Estates, Hallowell, with her sons at her side.

She was born in Madawaska on Feb. 28, 1934, the daughter of Harry and Bessie (Johnson) Pickard.

She graduated from Madawaska High School and from Farmington College as a Home Economics major.

During her freshman year in college she met Curtis W. O’Brien. Upon graduation they were married on June 25, 1955.

Her first job was at Wiscasset High School teaching home economics. She thought she would enjoy teaching young children so after taking the required courses she spent 27 years teaching kindergarten at Hall-Dale Elementary School and at Hussey School in Augusta. While at Hussey School she developed an all-day pre-first grade program which earned her “Teacher of the Year” recognition. She temporarily interrupted her teaching career to raise her boys. She retired from teaching in 1993.

After retirement, she spent 15 years volunteering with the Augusta Food Bank until failing eyesight would no longer permit her to read the labels. She also spent countless hours volunteering at the Children’s Discovery Museum during its early years. She enjoyed gardening, tole painting, sewing, quilting, Beta Sigma Phi sorority, and babysitting her grandchildren. Her grandchildren and their children were an enormous source of love and pride for her. Some of her favorite memories were about summer days at camp on Long Pond in Belgrade.

Unselfish to the end, she was kind and sweet and had a good sense of humor. She never uttered a mean word to anyone, and no one ever said a bad word about her.

She will be dearly missed by her family, extended family, friends, former students and others whose lives she touched and influenced.

She was predeceased by her parents; her husband; infant son, Kevin Michael; and sister, Judith Lagassie.

She is survived by three sons, Mark and his wife, Julie, of Augusta, Stephen of Augusta, and Scott of Austin, Texas. She has five grandchildren, Marc Merrill and his wife Jennifer of Houston, Texas, Jonathan Merrill and his wife Erin of Buxton, Brittany Lajoie and her husband Joseph of Sidney, Cameron of Washington, D.C., and Parker and his fiancé Jessyca of Farmingdale. She has nine great-grandchildren, Caroline Merrill, William Merrill, Marshall Merrill, Marley Merrill, Malcom Merrill, Major Merrill, Mason Lajoie, Maeve Lajoie, and Sonny Lajoie; as well as many nieces and nephews.

The family would like to thank the staff of MaineGeneral Hospice, especially nurse Kerry. The family also extends its gratitude to her home health care angels Eileen, Lynn, Beryl, Bobbi Jo and Sherry for their compassionate care and companionship.

According to her wishes there will be no visiting hours. There will be a graveside service at 9 a.m. on Wednesday, July 22 at the Maine Veterans Cemetery, Mount Vernon Road, Augusta.

Sympathy may be expressed in the form of memorials to the Augusta Food Bank, 161 Mount Vernon Avenue, Augusta.

Arrangements are in the care of Knowlton and Hewins Funeral Home, One Church Street, Augusta. Memories and condolences may be shared with the family on the obituary page of the funeral home website at

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