DEXTER--Gertrude (Priest) Wiley, 97, passed on to her next family reunion of June 25, 2022, after a brief illness. She was born August 14, 1924, in Sangerville, to Irving and Bernice (Mitchell) Priest.\n\nSoon after her birth, the family moved to Avon, Connecticut, where the family helped to run the farm associated in the early years with the private school, Avon Old Farms. Students dirtied their hands with farm chores in addition to their formal studies. After ten years in Avon and the loss of two sisters to illness, the family returned to Sangerville where Gertrude finished her school years, ending as valedictorian of the Sangerville Class of 1942.\n\nAfter graduation, Gertrude joined a friend in Philadelphia, working at the Bendix Corporation when that company was retooling for the war effort. Clair, her beau from Dover-Foxcroft, was already serving in the Navy in the Pacific. On leave in 1943, they married, and she returned to Sangerville to work in a popular Guilford restaurant until his return from the war. When Clair took a job in the Central Maine Power Company's two-person office in Dexter, they moved to make their permanent home in town. Gertrude found herself taking CMP calls for service and outages in the Dexter area from her kitchen phone at all hours, particularly when Clair was out in the storms restoring service. She also took many a\n\ncall during the twenty years he was a Dexter Selectman, then Town Councilor. They knew most people in town by name, and very often knew what was on many of their minds.\n\nGertrude and her husband Clair, who passed away in 2000, made a good Life in the Dexter community. Theirs was a life in balance, hard work, enjoyment of their three treasured children, close ties with a big extended family on both sides, and many lifelong friends, young and old. Gertrude enjoyed many things: reading, playing bridge with several groups over the years and well into her 90's, dancing with Clair, traveling, homemaking arts (legendary sweaters and turkey pies), seasons of summer theater at Lakewood, camping, daily walks, but above all, devotion to her family and close friends.\n\nGertrude was a member of the Dexter Sunshine Club. She baked many cookies for shut-ins and delivered small birthday gifts to folks the Club wanted to cheer up. When the national Methodist Church reorganization didn't fit the needs and wishes of the congregants in Dexter, she and a handful of others acted to found another local church group, the Christian Community Church. She will be remembered for her grace and elegance, ready smile, enthusiasm for life, and the hardiness that gave her the appearance of someone many years younger while holding the town's Boston Cane as the oldest citizen.\n\nShe is survived by two sons, Brian (Martha) of East Millinocket and Leigh (Edie) of Sangerville; son-in-law, Mathias Poulin of Hermon; three grandchildren, Emily Rose (partner Alan) of New Cumberland, WV, Andrea (Ben) Folsom of Guilford, and Ethan Wiley (fiancee Ana) of Cambridge, MA; four great grandchildren, Cassandra and Morgan (Rose) of New Cumberland, WV, Matthew and Lauren (Robinson) of Guilford; a brother, Irving (Roselyn) Priest of Sangerville and Orono; as well as many nieces, nephews and cousins. In addition to her husband Clair, Gertrude was predeceased by her daughter Candron Poulin.\n\nThe family deeply appreciates those who have helped Gertrude with the challenges of advancing age as she neared her 98th birthday, most especially in the past year, Jenny and Galen at Day Spring House.\n\nIn her remembrance, practice patience and compassion with those you meet.\n\nFriends may call 3 to 5 P.M. Thursday, at Crosby & Neal, 61 Main Street, Dexter. A graveside funeral and committal service will be held at 2 P.M., Tuesday, July 5th at the Mt. Pleasant Cemetery, Dexter.