Memorial GiftsYellow Roses

We appreciate your desire to honor someone special with a memorial gift. For your convenience, those whose names are listed below have individual online memorial giving pages set up. Follow the link to make your gift. If you prefer to send your gift by mail, please download this Memorial Gift Form.

To set up memorial giving please visit the Memorial/Honorary Gifts page.


Gifts in Memory of

Suzanne (Sue) Estler

Activist, scholar, mentor, and friend, Suzanne Estler died April 10, 2019, of pancreatic cancer. She was 74 years old. Sue was known for her zest for life, her love of family and friends, and her commitment to social justice, especially gay rights. Sue loved life, lived it fully, and died in peace.

Sue was born September 16, 1944, to Calder and Beatrice (Vandervoort) Estler. She attended Douglass College of Rutgers University, where she made friendships that lasted her lifetime, cemented her enthusiasm for women’s sports, and earned a B.A. in History/Political Science. Sue earned a M.A. in Human Relations from Ohio University and a PhD. in Educational Administration and Policy from Stanford University.

Sue held teaching and administrative positions at the University of Washington, Claremont Graduate School, Stanford University, the University of New York at Binghamton, Dickinson College, and Ohio University. After joining the University of Maine faculty in 1984, Sue gave tirelessly to the community in many capacities, including as Associate Professor of Higher Education (1994-2009) and Director of Equal Opportunity (1986-1997). As teacher and role model, Sue changed the course of many, many students’ lives for the better.

A huge fan of women’s basketball, Sue served for many years as official timekeeper for the University of Maine’s Division 1 women’s basketball team the Black Bears.

Sue was predeceased by her loving wife and life-partner, Paula Day Johnson. After 25 years together, Sue and Paula married on the first day gay marriage was legal in Maine, having fought passionately for marriage equality in the state.


Gifts in Memory of

Mary-Helen Oak Thorne ’52

Gifts to Page Farm & Home Museum in memory of Mary-Helen Oak Thorne ’52

Mary Helen (Oak) Thorne, age 88, died on March 23, 2019, at home in St. Albans surrounded by family. She was born in Hammond, Indiana, May 18, 1930, the daughter of Philip Tracy Oak and Louise Mattern Oak. She graduated from George Rogers Clark High School in Whiting, Indiana, in 1948 and from the University of Maine, Orono, in 1952, where she was a member of the Tri Delta sorority.

In September 1952, she began a one year internship from the University of Chicago at Billings Hospital. On February 1st 1953, she married Lt. Allan Thorne (USAF). After she finished her internship in September 1953 as a registered dietitian, she flew to Elmendorf AFB in Anchorage, Alaska, to join her husband. She worked at Providence Hospital in Anchorage as its dietitian.

The couple moved to Maine in 1954 to look after her father-in-law and the family farm. They raised 3 children. She went back to college to earn a teaching certificate in elementary education after the youngest was old enough to go to school. She taught 4th and 6th grade at St. Albans Elementary School (SAD #48) for twenty three years before retiring in 1990.


Gifts in Memory of

Gary E. LaGasse

Gary E. LaGasse Memorial Scholarship

To honor his memory, this scholarship was established in 2019 as a tribute to Gary LaGasse by his loving husband Tim, family, friends, and colleagues. Gary was a brilliant computer scientist and esteemed colleague, with more than 45 years of exemplary service to the University of Maine System.

Gary attended the University of Southern Maine where he graduated with degrees in Marine Biology and Computer Science. At the time of his passing, Gary was the Director of Software Development, for University Services: Information Technology, supervising 3 managers and 20 developers. Gary embodied a kind and selfless disposition both in his tireless work and personal life.


Gifts in Memory of

Joyce Vorakiarthy Emery

Joyce Vorakiarthy Emery and Larry L. Emery Scholarship

Larry L. Emery ’70, ’72G lost the love of his life on Wednesday morning January 2, 2019. Their long journey spanning 53 years together has come to its end.  Larry met Joyce at a New Year’s Eve party in Los Angeles on December 31, 1965. They married at the University of Maine Episcopal Mission on January 27, 1968. Joyce served the University of Maine as a secretary for Dr. Kenneth Wing, Director of the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics during Larry’s undergraduate and graduate programs in the School of Forest Resources ’70, ‘72G. Joyce also was licensed to type Doctoral Dissertations by the Dean of the Graduate School. She went on to serve students in her Distinguished Service career at the Northern Virginia Community College January 1975 – June 1998. Joyce was truly a gift from God. The Emery’s were blessed with a daughter, Chandra, and son, Jeffrey, and five granddaughters: Reagan, Emery, Joy, Rebecca, and Jocelyn, who mourn her passing and celebrate her life and time together. Over the past two years, Joyce battled a series of illnesses that were too much in the end, and she went peacefully in her sleep. A celebration of life and memorial service is planned at Baan Rim Nam, the family cottage, on the banks of the Wilson River near Tillamook, Oregon this summer. Her ashes will be interred in Bangkok, Thailand, in a memorial wall (alongside two sisters who predeceased her) at Christ Church where she was raised. The family encourages friends to hug and hold on to their loved ones as we all are only on loan here in this life. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be given to the University of Maine Foundation, Two Alumni Place, Orono, ME 04469 for a scholarship fund in Joyce’s memory.

Gifts in Memory of

Carol L. Wood


 The Carol L. Wood Nursing Scholarship fund was established at the University of Maine Foundation in 2019 for the benefit of the University of Maine, Orono, Maine with a gift from the family and friends of Carol L. Wood. Dr. Wood was a highly regarded faculty member in the School of Nursing at the University of Maine from 1987 until her retirement in 2010. There, she served as the Graduate Program Coordinator for the Rural Family Nurse Practitioner Program. She was founder and editor of the peer reviewed journal Issues in Health Care Research, and contributed a chapter on management of postdate pregnancy for Varney’s Midwifery 4th edition, the 2005 American Journal Nurse Book of the Year.

Dr. Wood began her nursing career in 1977 at the Yale School of Nursing where she made significant contributions toward postdate pregnancy management and was appointed director of the Yale Nurse-Midwifery Practice, a nationally unique public clinic administered by the school of nursing. Throughout her more than 30-year nursing career Dr. Wood mentored and taught hundreds of undergraduate and graduate students and delivered hundreds of babies. She has left a lasting legacy at the University of Maine, among the nursing and family health community, and among those who knew her.

The principal shall be endowed and the distributions, as established by the University of Maine Foundation Board of Directors, shall be used to provide financial assistance to University of Maine students majoring in nursing who demonstrate both academic merit and financial need. Preference shall be given to students who are assisting in teaching others through the nursing program.

Additional Memorial Giving Opportunities:

Gifts in memory of Dr. Richard J. Rowe

Gifts in memory of Christopher Cousins



To set up memorial giving please visit the Memorial/Honorary Gifts page.