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Nellie Milligan (Ames) Hart, 92, died on Saturday, December 29, 2018, at Pen Bay Medical Center. Born in Camden on November 18, 1926, she was the daughter of Harold L. and Edna (Higgins) Ames. A member of the Class of 1944 of Camden High School, Nellie excelled in sports and enjoyed playing the trumpet in the school band. She received a bachelor’s degree in education from the University of Maine at Gorham. Nellie met John W. Hart of Ridley Park, Pennsylvania, while he spent summers at his grandfather’s home which is now the Hartstone Inn. They were married on June 26, 1949, at the Chestnut Street Baptist Church.

Following John’s discharge from World War II, they moved to Delaware where she taught school and he attended classes at the University of Delaware. They returned to Camden after his graduation and Nellie taught school in Belfast.

Nellie was a “stay at home mother” for their three children, and enjoyed tutoring during the summer months and some substitute teaching. She was well known for her sense of humor, love of teaching and learning. When Nellie was called in to substitute teach with no lesson plan available, she played “Bert & I” records to the delight of the class until they returned the following day to take a “pop quiz” of the record.

When a local student, Evan Deane, lost his sight at age 6, Nellie learned Braille so that she could teach Evan and his mother.

Passionate about helping both students and adults with research and school projects, Nellie started working at the Camden Public Library. She also delivered books to shut-ins and became the head librarian after the retirement of Doris Pitcher, working there over 20 years until she retired.

Known as the biggest town sports fanatic and legend, Nellie will be remembered for being scorekeeper, former president and umpire for Camden Little League and buying banana splits for the home run hitters and for starting the “Lassie League,” a softball league for girls. Before the advent of cable television on Thanksgiving and New Year’s day, Nellie configured the living room with a television, the upstairs television, a rented television, plus a transistor radio with ear plug all operating at once, so that she could keep up on all of the games being broadcast. As the recipient of a life-time pass to all Camden Hills sporting events, Grandma Nellie presented each senior member of the varsity basketball team with a piece of flooring from the old Bangor Auditorium that she had purchased. As a child, she was known as the quarterback of Belmont Avenue.

Nellie was Cub Scout den mother who on the moon tide, took Scouts to Ducktrap where they dug clams, searched for sand dollars, and fished from a rowboat while she was the oarsman.

A long-time member of the John Street United Methodist Church, Nellie worked on countless church suppers, sang in the choir accompanying them on her trumpet. She played for Easter sunrise church services, in the Lincolnville Band and the Thomaston Band. Nellie was a founder and volunteer for the Camden Area Food Pantry, board member of the Camden Home For Senior Citizens, and member of the French and Maplewood Cemeteries in Lincolnville. She was a recipient of the Chamber of Commerce award for Outstanding Service to the Town of Camden.

Although she “rested her eyes” a bit more while watching sports as of late, she always retained her sense of humor and quick wit. Following a recent loss to the Miami Dolphins by the New England Patriots, her nephew asked Nellie if she stayed awake during the whole game. She quickly replied “I did, but they didn’t!”

Surviving is her husband, John Hart; older brother, Leslie Ames; children, Steve Hart and his wife, Judy, John A. Hart, Jean Stack and her husband, William; grandchildren, Christopher Hart and wife, Sarah, Elizabeth Hendrick and her husband, Shane; Vanessa Thomann and husband, Kergan; Christie Stack; nine great-grandchildren; a brother-in-law, Charlie Heald and his wife, Barbara; sister-in-law, Priscilla Hart; and many nieces and nephews. She was predeceased by sister, Mary Heald and sister-in-law, Faith Ames; and a brother-in-law, David Hart.

The Hart family would like to express their utmost thanks and gratitude to Karen Olson from Clearbrook Senior Care, Teresa Gleason from Maine Home Health, and Cindy Kava and Sarah Adams from Camden Area District Nursing Association. Their skill, compassion, and wonderful care helped make it possible for Nellie to age in place in her beloved home of 56 years. They will always remain cherished members of our family. Memorial gifts may be made to the Camden Area District Nursing Association, John Street United Methodist Church, or PAWS Animal Shelter.

A Memorial Service followed by a reception will be held at 1 p.m., Saturday, January 5, 2019, at the John Street United Methodist Church, 98 John Street, Camden, with the Rev. Michelle Willey officiating. Burial will be held in Maplewood Cemetery in the spring. Condolences and memories may be shared with the family at www.longfuneralhomecamden.com. Arrangements are with the Long Funeral Home, 9 Mountain Street, Camden.