Sandra “Sandy” Adrienne (Paradis) Dolley

HARPSWELL – Sandy Dolley passed away at home on May 16, 2023, following a courageous battle with cancer. She spent her final weeks looking out at the water and celebrating her life, surrounded by loving family and friends.

Sandy spent her time on Earth loving others and always giving more than she would take. Sandy was born Aug. 12, 1944, in Waterville to Simone (Beaulieu) and Adrien Paradis. She graduated from Waterville High School in 1962, then went to work as a secretary for the Wyandot and Scott Paper mills. It was there she met the love of her life, Barry Dolley, whom she married on Dec. 18, 1965, at St. Francis de Sales parish in Waterville. Sandy and Barry raised their five children in Winslow. They remained true life partners.

Sandy’s family was everything to her. Sandy’s life work was raising her children and she took this job seriously. She was involved with the schools; she signed her children up for numerous activities and experiences; and she never paused the “when you go to college” speech. Sandy’s unconditional love, guidance and support of her children and family were unabating. Sandy always wanted better for her family than she had for herself.

In addition to raising her children, Sandy worked various jobs, including overseeing family businesses, to include vacation/fishing camps and retirement/Alzheimer’s homes, and baking for restaurants or dementia care facilities. She always took the time to listen to people, to give advice, or to offer assistance to others. Any job that she did, any business that she ran, was not just a business because there was always a human touch and a deep concern for the happiness and success of others.

Sandy enjoyed sewing, crafting, baking and cooking. She especially enjoyed creating gifts, which she would pass out to friends and family liberally. She sold her original jams, jellies, pickles and dried herbs at craft fairs throughout southern and central Maine, where she gained a small following.

Sandy took great pleasure in all kinds of music, which often could be heard piping through her home. She was a fantastic dancer. She was always sporting enough to take her turn at the karaoke machine, although she could not carry a tune. Sandy delighted in Disney, visiting Walt Disney World in Florida on occasion and collecting Disney movies for her grandchildren. Sandy and Barry spent some winters at Marco Island, Fla., where Sandy collected numerous shells. Her cataloging and displays of these won blue ribbons at the Topsham Fair.

Sandy had an insatiable love of life and curiosity about the world around her. She loved traveling, especially to southeast Asia and Hawaii; though her favorite trip was a cruise to Alaska. She was always up for adventures, from tasting food with unidentifiable ingredients out of streetcarts in Beijing, to venturing onto clothing optional beaches in Hawaii and ziplining over tropical forests. Only a few months before she died, Sandy was ziplining in Hawaii. Sandy was disqualified from participating in this activity due to various medical conditions; however, the staff were unable to dissuade her from this event when she flashed her huge smile, and with childlike wonder in her eyes she declared “my heart is going to love this.” On every adventure she welcomed family and friends to accompany her. In 2018 Sandy volunteered on a medical mission trip to the Philippines, to provide basic medical attention to those less fortunate than her.

Sandy’s favorite thing was to throw huge parties and invite all family and friends and all family and friends of family and friends. Everyone was always welcome at Sandy’s home. She just loved to celebrate people and celebrate life. She had friends from every corner of the world.

Sandy was kind and accepting to all. She celebrated accomplishments and successes and always supported others. If anyone spoke ill of another person, Sandy was the fierce defender. Her famous phrase was “That’s not nice.” All who came into contact with Sandy were met with her generous spirit and goodwill.

Sandy loved nature, especially the ocean. In 1998, Sandy and Barry located and purchased their dream home on the water in Harpswell, and moved there shortly thereafter.

Sandy continues her battle against cancer as she made an anatomical gift of her body in the hope that she can help someone else’s loved one have a better chance of survival. There is no question that Sandy left this world a better place than she found it.

Sandy is survived by her loving husband, Barry of Harpswell; her children, Michelle and her husband Gil Langlois of Brunswick, Barry II of Waterville, Jeffrey and his wife Jessica of Brunswick, Shawn of Gardiner, and Reneé of Old Orchard Beach; also, her dear friend, Nieves Lanoy and her son Lance Lanoy, whom she considers family; her seven grandchildren, Adrienne, J. Luke, Adeline, William, Dylan, Liam, and Luke; her sisters Bonnie Shorey and husband Evan of North Vassalboro, and Jolyne Paradis of Waterville; her special cousin who was like a sister Joan Hallee and her husband Roland of Waterville; many nieces, nephews and cousins, and friends, too numerous to mention.

The family would like to especially thank Dr. Brian Haney and all the staff at the New England Cancer Center in Topsham, for their excellent and personalized care. The family would also like to thank the team at Chans Hospice care.

Visiting hours took place on Friday, May 26, from 4 to 7 p.m. at Brackett Funeral Home, 29 Federal St., Brunswick. A Catholic funeral mass will be held on June 6 at 10 a.m. St. Katharine Drexel Church in Harpswell.

In lieu of flowers,

donations may be made to:

the Harpswell Heritage Land Trust

153 Harpswell Neck Rd.

Harpswell, ME 04079


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