2018-06-21 / Obituaries

Elizabeth “Betty” Kidman

Elizabeth Kidman, 74, of Old Orchard Beach, died May 24, 2018, after a long illness, surrounded by her family.

She was born July 2, 1943, the daughter of Charles and Margaret Austin in Portland.

Elizabeth, or “Thump” to family, was known by all to be loving, funny, sharp, impatient with injustice and passionately loyal to her friends and family. The neighborhood mom and favored aunt, over her lifetime Elizabeth rescued stray people, like others rescue animals, and made them part of her family.

Elizabeth graduated from St. Joseph’s Academy in Portland in 1961. She took great pride in earning an Associate’s Degree from Dean Junior College where she met Merrill Martin Kidman. They were married for 38 years and raised three children.

In addition to managing the household, Elizabeth held multiple jobs to support her family, including as a special education teaching assistant, an administrative assistant in Alumnae Relations at Brown University, and a Youth and Family Counselor for Sweetser, where she helped hundreds of children and made strong, lasting friendships with colleagues who supported her in her final years.

Not a public person, in the 1970s, Elizabeth braved her insecurities and successfully campaigned to serve on the Brunswick School Board, which later inspired each of her children to public and community service, and her daughter Laura to run for public office.

Elizabeth enjoyed a good time, especially if it included her two sisters, Cathy and Ruth, and Old Orchard Beach. She is reunited with them now.

One of her favorite birthdays involved her son, Bruce, a motorcycle, and a surprise trip to Twin River Casino. She loved to tell the story of her trip to Ireland at age 62 with her oldest grandchild Breanne and returning home with her first and only tattoo, which Breanne had designed on a pub napkin.

Limited by illness, Elizabeth greeted each day with coffee and her 168 iPad games, staying connected to her daughter Cathy by playing Upwords online throughout the day. She loved her “shows” (every “judge show,” “Jeopardy,” “Wheel of Fortune” and “Criminal Minds”) and often stated that if she ever remarried, it would be to Agent Gibbs from “NCIS.”

Elizabeth treasured and is survived by her children Cathy Kidman, Bruce Kidman and Laura Kidman Seaver and their spouses; four grandchildren Breanne Kidman, Alexandra Kidman, Timothy Seaver, Matthew Hayes; and, her Yorkshire terrier Jo. She will be missed deeply by her extended family of nieces, nephews, cousins, beloved former in-laws, friends, and “adopted daughters.”

A Celebration of Life will be held in November.

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