WOOLWICH — Eleanor (Ellie) Lagner, 85, of Woolwich, Maine, died July 8, 2014, at Bath/Brunswick Regional Hospital due to complications of chemotherapy.
Eleanor was born on June 15, 1929, in Washington, D.C. Though raised in Washington and then Glen Ellyn, Ill., Eleanor’s first ties to Maine were forged when her parents, Lawrence and Edna James, purchased a summer cottage in Northport (Bayside), Maine in 1939. Every summer spent on the coast strengthened the bond, and it was here that she met her future husband, Richard Lagner. Married in 1951 shortly after Ellie’s graduation from Grinnell College, Dick and Ellie lived in Connecticut for seven years, then moved to Woolwich, Maine, in 1962, where they have resided ever since.
Eleanor was first known in the Bath area for her musical talents. She will be remembered for her glorious contralto voice, shared with the community through her work at the Central Congregational Church (United Church of Christ) in Bath (where she directed the choir and provided soloist services from 1963 through 1969), lead roles in many of the Brunswick Choral Society’s Gilbert and Sullivan operettas, and a memorable “Bloody Mary” in the Bath Elks Club sponsored community performance of “South Pacific” in 1972. She nurtured an appreciation of classical choral music in the Bath area, and was particularly proud of assembling a group of extraordinary local talent to perform the Faure Requiem in the 1960s.
In addition to her contributions to music, Eleanor taught English for 25 years in the Bath Junior High School. Most native Bath residents between the ages of 40 and 60 will have passed the doors of her classroom, where her commitment to clear, concise writing techniques and the niceties of correct grammar provided a sound foundation for her students’ high school, higher education, and career endeavors.
Eleanor also was well known at Yankee Lanes, bowling in leagues for many years, and enjoyed gardening and boating with the family.
Eleanor is survived by her husband, Richard, children Dean Lagner and Sandy Hall, five grandchildren, and a great-granddaughter, as well as siblings Norman James and Dorothy Miller. Per her request, no memorial services will be held, and no gifts or memorial funds are to be established.