WESTBROOK — Frances Boothby, who turned 103 Sept. 21, has received birthday presents of all shapes and sizes, but on Monday the city gave her a birthday present unlike any other: an official mayoral proclamation.
To mark her 103rd birthday and her more than 20 years as a guidance councilor at Westbrook High School, Mayor Mike Sanphy honored Boothby with a certificate of recognition “with sincere congratulations and best wishes for many more happy and productive years.”
“Longevity of life is a blessing for an individual and for a community which benefits from the knowledge, creativity and experiences this individual brings to all,” Sanphy said at Monday’s meeting, which Boothby was not able to attend.
Boothby, who moved to Gorham as a child and now lives with her son Ronald in Westbrook, is still held in high regard by many of her former students.
Lorraine Cragin, a 1963 graduate of Westbrook High School said Boothby “is such an inspiration to so many people” and has a particularly close relationship with members of the class of 1963, having attended several of the group’s reunions, including the 55th in June.
“Frances Boothby has no idea what a positive influence she had on young students at Westbrook High School, particularly on the class of 1963. I am one of many who have a deep respect and love for this wonderful lady,” said Janice St. Cyr, a member of the class.
Martha Francoeur, a fellow member of the Westbrook High School class of 1963 was inspired by Boothby and followed her lead.
“She was the perfect example of a genteel lady,” Francoeur said.
Boothby served as a role model for others, too.
“She was a wonderfully supportive influence in my high school years – always kind, always encouraging me in the pursuit of my attending the University of Maine at Orono,” John Dhyrberg said. “Just a lovely woman that served as a role model and student advocate.”
Michael Kelley can be reached at 781-3661 x 125 or firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @mkelleynews
Frances Boothby, a longtime Westbrook High School guidance councilor, has been a familiar face at the Westbrook High School Class of 1963 reunions, including the 55th in June.