Friday, November 1, 2019

Her Story: Flora Ridlon Carpenter (1898-1998)

Flora Ridlon was born in Porter, October 16, 1897, the youngest of 6 children born to Herbert and Ella Ridlon.  She attended local schools and graduated from Porter High School in 1915 after which she lived at home, taught school at the Black School house and studied voice in Portland and piano in Cornish. From the beginning music was her life.   

In 1920 she completed, in one year, a 2 year course of public school music and voice at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston.  She taught 2 years in Kezar Falls and Cornish, 3 years in Martha’s Vineyard, MA as Supervisor of Music and then 1 year in Derry, NH.   

In 1926 she married Walter B. Carpenter and lived in South Portland for 3 years.  She stopped teaching at that time but continued to study voice and was an active member of the Rossini Club of Portland (a prestigious music club). In 1929 they returned to Porter where her son was born in 1932.   

Flora resumed teaching as Supervisor of Music in public schools in Porter and surrounding towns, a position she held for 30+ years retiring in 1958.  She also taught piano and voice to many individual pupils from Porter to Limerick and Freedom, NH.   

She sang solo in her sweet soprano voice at many weddings and private events. In 1936/7 she was a member of the women’s quartet “The Bell Canto Singers” who gained a name for themselves through concerts and radio broadcasts.  

She was active in the Riverside United Methodist Church where she was organist for 20 years and choir director for 30 years.  

She was a member of the Western Maine Music Festival Association, the Maine Educators Association, the 21 Club, and Order of the Eastern Star.  

After a long full life Flora died at the age of 100 in 1998.

HISTORICAL SOCIETY MEMBERS ARE REMINDED THAT OUR ANNUAL POT LUCK THANKSGIVING LUNCHEON WILL BE HELD AT THE WEST-DAY AMERICAN LEGION HALL on Mountain View Avenue, Porter – November 9th at 1:00 pm.  Please call 625-7019 or e-mail to let us know if you plan to attend, if you are bringing a guest and what you would like to bring to share.

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