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NEW GLOUCESTER, Maine -- Sister Frances Carr, one of the last remaining members of the Sabbathday Lake Shaker religious community, died Monday at the age of 89. Carr had lived in the New Gloucester community since she was 10 years old. Photo courtesy of Brother Arnold Hadd.

NEW GLOUCESTER, Maine — Sister Frances Carr, one of the last remaining members of the Sabbathday Lake Shaker religious community, died Monday at the age of 89. Carr had lived in the New Gloucester community since she was 10 years old. Photo courtesy of Brother Arnold Hadd.

It is with sadness that I read that Sister Frances, one of the last three Shakers in the world died on January 2, 2107. Our hearts go out to her extended family, Brother Arnold, and Sister June.

Obituary from the Maineshakers.com website:

“Sister Frances Carr

March 13, 1927 – January 2, 2017

Dear All:

It is our sad duty to relate that our dear Sister Frances passed away at 1:35pm today after a brief battle with cancer. The end came swiftly and with dignity surrounded by the community and her nieces. We ask your prayers for her soul.

Visiting hours will be held at Shaker Village in the brick Dwelling House on Friday, January 6th from 2pm-4pm and 6pm-8pm. Funeral services will be held in the Dwelling House Chapel on Saturday, January 7th at 1pm.

En lieu of flowers, donations may be made in her memory to Androscoggin Home Care and Hospice in Lewiston, Maine.

In Peace,
The Sabbathday Lake Shakers”

Sister Frances from the Maineshakers.com website. photo by Steve O'Connor

Sister Frances from the Maineshakers.com website. photo by Steve O’Connor

I have been interested in the Shakers for many years and have read much about them. They hold a fondness in my heart.

About three years ago my husband and I had the joy to worship with the Shakers at Sabbathday Lake in Maine. We met for worship in the multi-use space upstairs in The Dwelling House. Everyone in attendance sat on long wooden Shaker benches that faced each other with men on one side of the room and women on the other side. Sister Frances and Brother Arnold led non-instrumental singing of two or three Shaker hymns, they each read a scripture, and we had silent prayer.

Afterwards, the guests were invited to the kitchen and dining area downstairs where we had pastries, coffee, and fellowship. I asked Sister Frances if I could have my photo with her and she gently but firmly replied, “no, not on the Sabbath.” This visit was incredibly special!

Sister Frances and Brother Arnold. photo Sept. 13, 1995.

Sister Frances and Brother Arnold. photo Sept. 13, 1995.

Maineshakers.com. Official website of the Sabbathday Lake Shakers.

1 of the last remaining Shakers dies, 89, leaving just 2. (David Sharp, Associate Press).The Washington Times. January 3, 2017.

One of the Last Shakers Dies. (Richard Gonzales. America). NPR. January 3, 2017.

World’s Oldest Shaker Dies in Maine; only two remain. Bangor Daily News. January 3, 2017.

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