Carlene Joyce Powell Hewett

READFIELD – Carlene Joyce Powell Hewett, 84, died peacefully at her daughter’s home in Wales, Maine on July 28, 2020 surrounded by her family. Carlene was born on August 15,1935 in Appleton, Maine to Burdena Pease and Almond Powell.

She was raised in Burkettville, Maine by Ruby and Chet Hannan from the age of two years old until she graduated from high school. Carlene was fondly nicknamed “Pink” by her father Chet. Chet taught Carlene to play chords on the piano by ear. Carlene went to elementary school in Burkettville and travelled to nearby Appleton to attend high school. Carlene raked blueberries during the summer to pay for her daily rides to high school and to buy what she needed for school. In high school, Carlene was given the nickname Kelly and that name stayed with her until she graduated in 1953.

Carlene was an outstanding athlete and played basketball and softball in high school. She was the pitcher for the softball team and became captain her senior year. In basketball, Carlene alternated between offense and defense. In those days, the game was played much differently than today. Three guards or defense played on one half of the court and three forwards or offense played on the other half. When Carlene played on the offensive end, she had numerous 20 point games. When she played as a guard, she was characterized by her coach as the best guard he ever saw. In her Senior Superlatives, she was chosen for the girls as Tallest, Best Athlete, Best Dancer and Worst Flirt. Carlene loved to dance and danced at every wedding and event possible throughout her life. After high school, Carlene moved to Camden and worked at Tibbett’s Industries (a hearing aid factory) until her marriage in 1956.

Carlene met her husband, William Hewett, at a dance in 1955. They were married in Bangor on June 1, 1956. Shortly thereafter, they moved to West Palm Beach, Fla. and spent a year as wait staff at the famous Breaker’s Hotel. Carlene and William then spent the next year of married life working on a farm in New Jersey before moving back to Maine. In Maine, they worked on a chicken farm in Colebrook for a year before buying their own farm in Readfield in 1959.

The Hewett’s original chicken barn burned down in 1963, followed by their home in 1964. During the house fire, Carlene put a blanket over her head and went upstairs in the burning house to rescue one of her children, asleep in a crib. For the next year, the family rented a house a mile down the road while their home on the farm was being rebuilt. Carlene lugged water from the Prescott home across the street to bathe her five children (while pregnant with number six) because there was no running water into the bathtub. In 1965, the Hewett’s rebuilt their home and put up a new chicken barn that could hold 25,000 birds. At this point the family had grown to seven children, all born within nine years. Shortly thereafter, another chicken farm was purchased three miles away on Route 17. As the farm grew, they added a herd of beef cattle and five dairy cows that the family milked by hand. Carlene strained the milk and the family had fresh milk, homemade butter and ice cream for many years. Carlene was a born hostess and welcomed family and friends into her kitchen with the phrase “Is there anything I can get for you?”. Carlene even welcomed newborn baby calves, born in the cold winter, into her kitchen to be rubbed dry before being returned to the herd. Carlene was a kind, supportive neighbor to everyone who lived in the East Readfield community, baking goodies and visiting people in the neighborhood to help them out or to just sit and talk.

Carlene was often responsible for graining 25,000 chickens on the home farm using buckets to lug the grain to hundreds of feeders in the three story barn. Carlene cleaned the milk tank in later years when the broiler chicken farm had transitioned to a dairy farm and was also responsible for feeding and taking care of the calves. Carlene grew enormous gardens and canned and froze enough produce to last the entire winter to feed her family. She also picked and froze quarts of blueberries, strawberries, blackberries and raspberries. She made many jars of jams, jellies and pickles to last until the next harvest season.

Carlene was a practical seamstress and made curtains, costumes and useful household items. She knit hundreds of pairs of mittens for her children and grandchildren over the years. For fun, she would play songs on the piano while the family sang along. Additionally, she loved to watch all her children in sporting events, public speaking venues, concerts, and contests of all kinds.

Carlene played duplicate bridge together with her husband for many years. They both achieved Life Master and played frequently at the bridge club in Augusta. They travelled to many tournaments and events in Maine and throughout New England.

Carlene started a residential cleaning business after her children were all in school. Carlene had clients throughout Readfield and the Augusta area. She opened and cleaned cottages for several clients in Readfield during the spring and summer. Carlene was the caretaker for many years for the Jesse Lee Church in East Readfield, opening and cleaning it for the spring and summer services and the annual Christmas Eve Service.

After years of cooking for her own seven children, her husband, her in-laws and countless guests to the farm, Carlene opened a catering business in the mid 1980’s. She catered for the Lions Club, the VFW, the American Legion and numerous weddings and private parties. Carlene loved to cook and was often asked to bake homemade yeast rolls, pies and desserts long after she closed her catering business.

Carlene was the oldest of 12 siblings. She was reunited with all 10 of Burdena’s children when she was in her mid 40’s. Carlene enjoyed numerous outings with her sisters and treasured her time with them. Her father, Almond Powell, was blind and when Carlene was 16, he visited her to feel her face and say goodbye. He then moved to Colorado and had two sons. Carlene learned of these two brothers after Almond died and was united with them in her mid 50’s.

Carlene was predeceased by her husband William Hewett, her brother Reginald Powell and a stillborn son. She is survived by her sister Muriel Davis and husband Arnold, her brother Ernest Wing and wife Marilyn, her brother Maurice Wing and wife Dorothy, her brother Arnold Wing, her sister Barbara Snow, her sister Virginia Mann and husband William, her sister Linda Durost and husband Beverly, her sister Harriet Wing, her sister Regina DeGraff and husband Jack, her brother Patrick Powell and wife Brenda, her brother Michael Powell; numerous nieces, nephews; grandnieces and grandnephews.

She is also survived by her son Colin Hewett and wife Beth, her son Mark Hewett and wife Kim, her daughter Jody Zarella and husband Vincent all of Readfield, her daughter Gloria Hewett of Montville, her son Stanley Hewett and wife Kim of Fayetteville, Ga., her daughter Carol Bradstreet and husband Richard of Wales, her son Allen Hewett and wife Laura of Stanford, Kentucky; 16 grandchildren; 24 great-grandchildren; and one great-grandchild on the way.

Carlene’s family and friends will gather at a later date to celebrate her life.

Carlene’s family would like to extend a warm thank you to the staff at Androscoggin Home Healthcare and Hospice for their kindness and support during the last months of Carlene’s life.

Arrangements are in the care of the Robert’s Funeral Home, 62 Bowdoin St. in Winthrop. Memories and condolences may be shared with the family on the obituary page of the funeral home website

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