Permilla F. de Rochemont, 91, died Tuesday, June 13, at the Sussman House. Pam, as she was known to her family and friends, was born in Greenville in 1925, the youngest child of Ida and William Fraser. After William’s early death the family moved to Harrington to be near Ida’s family. Pam raked blueberries to earn money, played on the school basketball team, and graduated as valedictorian from Harrington High School. She moved to Gardner, MA after high school to live with relatives and work at the Franklin Stove Company.
Later she attended nursing school at Boston City Hospital, earning her RN in one of the last years of the Cadet Nursing Corps. She worked as a nurse at Boston City Hospital, and also as a visiting nurse in the greater Boston area. Pam met Clarence “Cap” de Rochemont on a blind date when he was a student at Suffolk University. They married in April, 1949 and made their first home together in Boston.
In 1956 Pam and Cap moved to his family home in Rockland. Pam developed an interest in gardening, managing a large backyard vegetable garden for many years. She canned countless jars of beans, tomatoes, mincemeat, and pickles for the family to enjoy all year. Pam welcomed Cap’s young nieces and nephews into the garden and kitchen on their summer visits, and instilled in the children an appreciation of nature and the imperative to respect all living things. She provided nursing care for each of Cap’s parents in turn, as they convalesced at home.
Pam enjoyed music, loved the outdoors, and was an avid reader and bedtime story-teller. She would take her children on Audubon field trips, often with her sister-in-law Marguerite de Rochemont. She also devised her own nature walks for her children, teaching them how to identify mosses, ferns, lichens, and mushrooms. June was her favorite month.
Over time, Pam’s overall health declined, and she moved to the Knox Center for Long Term Care in Rockland in 2014. Both her children had been born in that building when it served the area as Knox Hospital.
In addition to her parents, Pam was predeceased by her brothers: Ritchie, Daniel, and Gwynne Fraser; and by her husband of 54 years, Clarence de Rochemont. She is survived by her children: Katherine M. de Rochemont of Rockland; Susan de R. Bragg and her husband John, of Norfolk, VA; and two grandchildren: Andrew Fraser Bragg of Rochester, NY, and Emily Marguerite Bragg, of Carrboro, NC.
Funeral services will be private, with interment at Achorn Cemetery in Rockland. Memorial gifts may be made to the Maine Audubon Society’s Environmental Education Programs, 20 Gilsland Farm Rd., Falmouth, Maine 04105 or to the humane society of your choice.
Arrangements are in the care of Burpee, Carpenter & Hutchins Funeral Home, Rockland. To share a memory or story with Pam’s family, please visit their online Book of Memories at www.bchfh.com.