Anne Carol Cohen Geller of Farmington passed away May 25, 2019 at the age of 72.
Anne and her husband, Bill, and young children, Jennifer and Sarah, moved to Farmington in November 1977. In the past 42 years she played her flute with the UMF orchestra for every year in which it functioned; taught flute lessons privately and for a number of years in the SAD#9 schools; taught Spanish at UMF to fill in for professors on leave, wrote a weekly arts column for the Franklin Journal; directed and financially supported for 20 years Foothills Arts, an organization she started; and was active in the Democratic Party of Franklin County serving for eight yeas as its chairperson.
Emblematic of Anne’s life was a desire to help with the needs of others. As a child in the mid 1950’s she ran a little children’s carnival in her parents yard. She gave all the money to CARE and has given to CARE every year since. That same spirit continued. The SAD#9 Strings Program was her idea and initiative; a program that was purposely designed to give every student an opportunity to play. She founded Foothills Arts and its summer and school year programs for which she and some others provided scholarships for the children of Franklin County who could not afford such participation. She loved seeing those children, now adults, some with their own children, many of whom she remembered; their comments on their experiences with her as they passed on the street always moved her.
After closing Foothills Arts she made a trip to Ecuador and during that visit she thought maybe she could realize another dream – take her children’s arts program and deliver them in a poor rural Spanish speaking community. She made her own contacts and delivered school and after school programs in Yambiro, Ecuador, on a mountain at 9,000 feet. Some years she was there delivering a month long program for which she supplied everything that was needed. She ran her last children’s arts after school program there in March 2019. In addition to the arts, she provided funding of young people’s college education, and paid for medical needs of some individuals, children and adults, so they could have productive lives.
Up to the last two weeks of her life, Anne continued her life time routines at the UMF health and fitness center, gardening, traveling to Spain, playing with her grand children, teaching and playing flute, being involved in politics, and working with the adults and children of Yambiro.
Her traditional Jewish funeral will be a graveside side service in Portland, Maine, May 30 at 11 a.m. at Temple Beth El Memorial Park, 1 Johnson Road, Portland. Following the service participants are invited to gather for food and conversation at the Woodfords Club, 179 Woodfords Street, Portland.
Annie had a second dream, which was to be able to see and hear from her friends in some type of gathering before she died. With that in mind, we open the doors of the home she loved, 108 Orchard Street, Farmington, Friday, May 31 from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. for those who would like to stop by to see what she created and loved.
Messages can be sent to Bill Geller, 108 Orchard Street, Farmington, ME 04938. In lieu of flowers contributions can be made to a scholarship fund based in Otavalo and Yambiro and sent to Bill. Ecuador has no mail system, banking is complicated, and contributions are not tax deductible.