LEWISTON – Elizabeth “Betty” Hollis Samay, just under 97, of Lewiston, died Thursday, July 15, 2021 after a brief illness from the stroke she suffered when she learned that Joe Biden was the elected president. Betty graduated from Edward Little High School, class of 1943. She then attended business school. At the start of World War II, Betty enlisted in the Navy and was stationed in New York City. There she met her future husband (also in the Navy) Frank “Sammy” Samay from Amsterdam, Ohio, while he was on leave. Betty and Sam were married on June 26, 1948.
Betty was her husband’s accountant and partner in Maine Auto Radiator Manufacturing. Building the business was their dream, which they made together. Their business has been operating successfully in Lewiston for over 70 years.
Betty was also a stay-at-home mom, raising four wonderful children. Betty provided her family with the unconditional love, unwavering strength and wisdom to get through the “ups and downs” of this crazy life. Betty’s house was a refuge for many people who needed shelter and a temporary “mom”. She was extremely sensitive to the needs of family and friends, doing all she could to make their lives a little brighter. She was also a sucker for any stray animals her children brought home.
Betty loved to dance. Her favorite song “Cocaine” by Eric Clapton has always made her and Sammy dance. Another favorite was “When the Saints Come On”. She learned to ski at the age of 60, skiing on horseback until the age of 90. She loved Rangeley with her nice, friendly people and the solitude of fishing at her Seboomook camp on Moosehead Lake. Betty loved and was revered by her cat, Puffy, named after her favorite “puffin” birds. The beach was also a favorite: Reid State Park for day trips, longer stays at the Friendship Motel in Old Orchard Beach in September. She loved Donald Trump, Paul LePage, Rush Limbaugh, and Fox News.
Betty was a WWII veteran and a patriot. She loved the United States of America. She believed in hard work and independence. She supported herself for over 96 years, never asking the VA for anything. When she needed help in November, she contacted the VA. Unfortunately, she passed away before receiving any benefits.
Betty is survived by her son Frank and his wife Pam; daughters Linda Colwell and Dee Dee and her husband Don Miller; loving daughter, Judy and her husband Dennis Morgan; grandchildren: Alexa and Anthony Samay, Alec Colwell, Renae Samay and Nash Samay-Houle; great-granddaughter Viera Samay; nephew, Rick Hollis, niece, Paula Sydenstricker and wife Coleen Malloy; son-in-law, Marcel Houle.
The best neighbors in the world, Leo and Lil Ayotte and Elizabeth Herrick; faithful friend for over 70 years, Theresa St. Pierre; the best caregivers of all time, Lena Couture, Darcy and Carly Labonte and Kym Foster and Ally Sayler of Elite Homecare. You are a whole family to us. Betty could not have fulfilled her last dream of staying in her house without the loving kindness you have all shown her. Dr John Reeder who helped her maintain an active lifestyle. Last but not least, the people of Maine Radiator to whom she has always been grateful for helping to make her and Sam’s dream come true.
Betty’s son-in-law Barry Colwell, 67, of San Diego, preceded her in death by hours. She was also predeceased by her youngest daughter, Mary Ann in 2007; husband, “Sammy” in 2010; brother, Henry Hollis, sister, Ramona Sydenstricker Houser; mother, Lona Porter Hollis of Andover; father, Henry Hollis Sr., of Harpoot Armenia; cousin, Zevart Hollisian of Watertown, Mass .; aunt, Mary Turner from western Peru; and best friend, Pauline Turmenne.
Online condolences can be shared at http://www.thefortingrouplewiston.com
A Celebration of Life will take place at the Ramada Inn on Sunday, September 19 between 12:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. Casual outfit.
Arrangements under the responsibility of The Fortin Group Funeral Home, 70 Horton St., Lewiston, 784-4584.
Donations can be made to Paul LePage’s re-election campaign, A Paw in the Door of Bath Maine, or the Shriner Hospital.