Mavis J. Longfellow

MANCHESTER – Mavis J. Longfellow, 90, died Nov. 20, 2020 at home, surrounded by her children and with the best medical care. Though sad to leave her family and all she loved about life, she died as she had lived, with courage, determination, and acceptance of that which she could not change.

Mavis Anita Judkins was born on Jan. 11, 1930 in Belgrade to Roland and Margaret (Tozier) Judkins. Born during the Great Depression, she grew up mostly in Belgrade, graduating from Belgrade High School as valedictorian class of 1948.

During WWII the family lived in South Portland, where Roland helped build Liberty Ships. She was active in her churches and taught Sunday School with her mother in their home. As an adult, she was a life-long member of Old South Congregational Church in Hallowell, where in past years she helped in various ways, including singing in the choir.

At the age of 17, she met her future husband, Lawrence Longfellow, at a grange dance. They were married on July 2, 1949. They moved into the Burns School across the road from his parents’ house in Farmingdale, turning the building into a comfortable home where they raised their six children.

Mavis worked for the Maine State Dept. of Taxation, then left to assist her husband in the Longfellow family greenhouse and farm business. Later in life, she earned her college degree at the age of 44 and became a teacher in Litchfield schools. In 1977, the family moved to Manchester and built the current Longfellow’s Greenhouses with son Scott, and with help from their five other children. The work was long and hard, but satisfying.

Lawrence and Mavis retired in 1987 and sold Longfellow’s to son Scott and his wife Sandy. Later in retirement, she returned to the family business for several years. But mostly, she and Lawrence pursued their many interests, especially traveling across North America, as well as Great Britain and Scandinavia. They revisited some of their favorite locations every winter: Florida, the Gulf Coast, and the Southwest, including the Big Bend area of Texas. They enjoyed family camping trips to Alaska three times.

Family camping was one of Mavis’ favorite activities through the years. Also, she was known as a good cook, especially for her feather-light rolls; she provided many delicious dinners for her family. Quilting was another interest, and she hand-sewed many quilts for loved ones. She was a woman of strong faith and family values, which she passed on to future generations. Her final legacy was her book “A Long Journey”, which she completed shortly before her death.

Mavis was predeceased by her parents; and by her husband, Lawrence.

Mavis is survived by her six children, Anna Brown and husband Jeff of Winthrop, Scott and wife Sandy of Manchester, Wayne and wife Carol of Ozark, Mo., Alice Longfellow and husband Robert Call of Centertown, Mo., Lorraine (Dee) Longfellow and husband James (Andy) Sosa of Harrogate, North Yorkshire, England, and Daniel and wife Tammy of Hampden. She is also survived by 14 grandchildren; and eight great-grandchildren, Seth Brown and wife Sarah and their son Alex; Kristin Brown Giguere and her sons Aidan, Tanner, and Heath; William Longfellow and wife Michelle, Evan Longfellow, Ellie Longfellow; Stephen Longfellow and partner Nicole and their son Hunter; Amy Longfellow, Bethany Longfellow; Eric Call and his wife Carrie and their son Tobias; Rachel Call and partner Ryan and their daughter Carlie; Stephanie Sosa Lauck and husband Curtis, Katherine “Katie” Sosa and partner Maurissa, Mitch Longfellow; and Cassie Longfellow and her son Benson; and she is survived by her brother, the Rev. Guy M. Judkins of Southbridge, Mass. and his children Cynthia, Craig, Richard, and Karen. She is also survived by her close friend of many years, Eva Smith of Readfield.

The family would like to give special thanks to all friends and family who have provided so much support during her final illness. We also deeply appreciate the compassionate, competent care by Beacon Hospice and Dr. Nathan Harmon.

Arrangements are by Funeral Alternatives. Burial will be in Pine Grove Cemetery, Belgrade at the convenience of the family in the spring.

Mavis made the world a better place. “Well done, thou good and faithful servant.”

Condolences may be expressed at

In lieu of flowers, we suggest reading the story of her life in “A Long Journey”, and passing along a copy to a friend. Or donate to the American Cancer Society.

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