Lorraine Wickland-Combes, 100, of Weybridge and New Haven
WEYBRIDGE/NEW HAVEN —– Lorraine Wickland-Combes passed peacefully from this mortal coil on July 13, 2019. Born December 7, 1918, in Chicago, Ill. as the eighth of nine children to arrive into the close-knit family of Alfred Olof and Mathilda (Carlson) Larson, she grew up in the Morgan Park neighborhood on the city’s South Side. Some of the happiest days of her youth were spent at the little summer cottage the family built at nearby Cedar Lake, Ind. After graduating from high school and secretarial school, she began a long career as a secretary in various real estate, law, and medical offices.
In 1948, she married Harold Wickland, with whom she had two children, Timothy and Tracey. Lorraine and Harold were active members of Elim (Swedish) Baptist Church, singing in the choir and in several small group ensembles, and also serving on various church committees. She enjoyed working with young children in church groups, Girl Scouts, and as a Cub Scout Den Mother.
At the beckoning of her sister Myrtle, Lorraine and Harold bought a tiny cottage across the lake from her childhood cottage at Cedar Lake, where family and friends enjoyed hiking, biking, swimming, and boating for many happy summers.
After Harold’s death in 1980, Lorraine moved to Littleton, Colo., to be near her sisters Mabelle and Delia, daughter Tracey, and niece Lynne Ryan. She became a member of the Mission Hills Church, where she taught Sunday School. She enjoyed the beauty and majesty of the mountains, taking up downhill skiing for the first time in her late sixties.
Her son Tim and his wife Arlinda had settled in Vermont, and Lorraine spent many long and happy visits with them and her grandsons Timmy (Teo) and Averill, baking special cakes for the boys’ birthdays, and sharing Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays with the family and friends.
She also enjoyed dancing. It was at a seniors’ dance in Colorado that she met her second husband Jack Combes, whom she married in 1996 at Tim and Arlinda’s Weybridge home, serenaded by daughter Tracey and her then-husband Jesse Winchester, and celebrated by the close friends she had made in the community.
Lorraine and Jack spent many enjoyable years traveling around the United States, exploring our country’s scenic and historic wonders, including many trips to Vermont. When Jack’s health began to fail, they moved first to Peoria, Ariz., and then to Naples, Fla., to be near Jack’s son and his wife.
When Jack passed away in 2009, Lorraine returned to Vermont to live out her later years under the watchful eyes of Tim and Arlinda, and the ongoing support of friends and the Weybridge Congregational Church.
Thanks to Project Independence in Middlebury and the care she received at a private care home in New Haven, Lorraine’s life was infused with a new burst of energy. She took a lighthearted view of her advancing age, inspiring others through her thoughtfulness, optimism, and lively sense of humor. At Project, she enjoyed an active life, making many new friends among both the staff and her fellow seniors, and being treated to a special celebration on her 100th birthday this past December. Just days before her death, she was still dancing at Project, demonstrating the joy and energy she always brought to her life and shared with so many others.
Lorraine is survived by her children Tim (Arlinda) and Tracey, grandsons Teo and Averill, and many nieces and nephews. In addition to her parents and husbands, she was predeceased by sisters Delia, Florence (Johnson), Mabelle (Magnuson), Myrtle (Björk), Helen (Warner), and Madeline, and brothers Ernest and Robert.
Gifts in Lorraine’s memory may be made to Elderly Services/Project Independence, elderlyservices.org, or to Addison County Home Health & Hospice, 254 Ethan Allen Hwy, New Haven, VT.
Arrangements are under the direction of the Sanderson-Ducharme Funeral Home.◊