TRENTON. Barbara Ann Graves passed away on July 17, 2018 at the age of 88. She was born in Portland on August 31, 1929 to Carl and Cores Cronkhite. She was known to her family as Ann, to her husband Bob as Annie, and to her newer friends as Barbara. She was the middle girl of the family, sandwiched between her older sister Jean and her younger sister Carol. Her early years were spent in the Portland area, but things changed quickly with the coming of World War II and her father’s deployment overseas in service to his country. Upon her father’s return to the states the family lived in Louisiana, Puerto Rico, and lastly in Trinidad before his discharge to civilian life in 1947. The family returned to Portland.
Barbara Ann met her future husband, Robert Graves, in Falmouth in 1951. They were soon married and settled on Capisic Street in Portland. Barbara Ann worked at General Motors Acceptance Corporation in Portland. She began her career with GMAC at age 18, and she decided to retire after 30 years of work, which meant she retired at the ripe old age of 48! In the late 1970’s she and Bob sold their house on Capisic Street and moved to Trenton. In 1989 they packed up and moved to northern Florida. While they both enjoyed their time there, after 13 years the itch to move back to Maine became too powerful to resist. One of the things about Maine that Barbara Ann missed was cold water fish, like haddock – she felt there were no warm water fish that compared (and there isn’t!). Bob and Barbara Ann returned to Trenton where they were to live out their days. Bob’s health declined in 2005 and he died in Ellsworth on December 29, 2012. Sadly, Barbara Ann two sisters predeceased her. Carol, her younger sister, died in 2009, and Jean died in 2011. She was also predeceased by her nephew Eric Leighton in 2017, survived by his wife, Debora Combs of South Portland.
Despite these losses, Barbara Ann always presented a happy and enthusiastic face to the world. Everyone who met her was impressed with her lively, fun-loving and even mischievous nature. She had many friends as a congregant at the Eden Baptist Church in Salisbury Cove, and made more friends at the First Congregational Church of Ellsworth where she attended many a church supper. Kind, honest and warm-hearted, Barbara Ann treasured friends, family, food, and an occasional martini (or two!). She will be missed, and fondly remembered, by all.
Barbara Ann is survived by her nephews, Christopher Leighton of Freeport and Jeffrey Leighton of Portland, and their spouses Jacki Alpert and Angie Leighton; her grandnephews Jacob Leighton of Boston and Michael Leighton of Portland; and her stepson, Richard H. Graves and partner Ethyl Potvin of Mechanic Falls.
A Celebration of Life service is being planned for mid-September. If you would like to make a gift in honor of Barbara Ann, please make a donation to the Good Shepherd Food Bank of Maine. The family extends its thanks to Bragdon-Kelley Funeral Home of Ellsworth for their assistance and kindness.