Friday, May 24, 2024

Party marks 100th birthday for history-making mother

By Ed Pierce

From a business career to serving as a town treasurer, becoming a wife and a mother, to making history as the first elected selectwoman of Weld, Maine, Dorothy “Dot” Weld Reynolds Skolfield has led quite a life, but now she’s added another accomplishment to her life story – reaching the milestone of turning 100 years old.

Dorothy 'Dot' Weld Reynolds Skolfield 
celebrated her 100th birthday on May 14
with family members at her daughter Sharon
Bickford's home in Windham. She made 
history when she was the first woman elected
to serve on the Town of Weld's Board of
Skolfield passed the century mark and celebrated her birthday May 14 with her family at her daughter Sharon Bickford’s home in Windham. She was born May 14, 1924 in Boston, Massachusetts to Howard G. and Lottie Wetmore Reynolds.

The Reynolds children included Florence Barber, Edith McDaniel, Howard E. Reynolds, Caroline Rackliffe and Dot who is the only one still alive.

After completing school in Newtonville, Mass., Dot went on to attend Fisher College in Boston. She spent many summers growing up in Weld, Maine and that’s where she met someone who would change the direction of her life, her future husband, Stanley Skolfield.

Stanley and Dot were married in Scarborough on March 5, 1948, and had two children. Thomas, who lives in Weld, and Sharon who lives in Windham with her husband Charlie. Thomas Skolfield represents Weld as a State Representative in the Maine Legislature.

Through the years, Dot worked as a clerk at Jordan Marsh in Boston, then she went on to be a store manager, a realty researcher, and she also worked for a time at a shop in Atlantic City, New Jersey. She also was the Weld Town Treasurer and was the first woman ever elected to serve on the Weld Board of Selectmen.

“What I remember most about growing up was she was always an easy going, gentle, supportive, creative, and fun-loving mother,” her daughter said. “We loved everything she cooked for us, that is, anything except liver. In those days, much was grown in the big family garden, and we weren't picky.”

For anyone who would ask, Dot would tell them that she grew up in a barn and that’s literally the truth.

“Her parents renovated an old barn into a lovely home for five active children,” her daughter Sharon said. “After she and her husband were married, they were homesteaders who cleared their land, one on each end of a crosscut saw, milled the lumber, and built a home.”

Sadly, her husband Stanley passed away in 1991. Stanley had earned a degree in Electrical Engineering and Technology and was employed by Edison Electric in New Jersey. He moved the family back to Weld where he was a highway supervisor in charge of construction and maintenance of highways in that section of Maine.

These days Dot lives with the Bickfords in Windham and she’s a little hard of hearing but says the greatest invention of the 20th century is without a doubt the airplane.

For fun, Dorothy says she loves spending time with and enjoying her family. She has four grandchildren, six great-grandchildren, one great-great-grandchild and one great-great-great-grandchild.

Right now, she’s the current holder of the Boston Post Gold Cane for longevity in Weld and an official "Rosie the Riveter” and collective recipient of the civilian Congressional Medal of Honor.

To honor her birthday, the Bickfords hosted an open house for Dot at their home in Windham on May 11. <

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