Evelyn Elizabeth Trask Racz died peacefully at home with her daughter, Susan, and her son-in-law, Steve, by her side on Feb. 25, 2022. She was 94 years old. Evelyn was the wife of the late Steven Racz, daughter of the late John and Ethel Young Trask, and sister of the late William Trask, Gordon Trask and Alice Trask Fossett.
Evelyn was born on Feb. 11, 1928 at home on Park Street in Boothbay Harbor, the third child of four children. She was born two months prematurely after her mother fell on the ice when hanging out clothes; baby Evelyn weighed just four pounds. She thrived and grew up to attend the Eastside Grammar School until the family moved to South Portland during World War II for her father to work in the shipyards. In 1945 she graduated from South Portland High School then from the Maine Eye and Ear Institute School of Nursing in 1948. Evelyn worked there until her sister Alice graduated from MEEISN in 1950.
The sisters headed to California by Greyhound bus and then on a Matson Cruise Line ship to Hawaii (prior to statehood) to work as registered nurses for a year. Then after a trip home to Maine when their grandmother, Elizabeth Young Curtis Yates, died they headed to work at a Tucson, Arizona tuberculosis sanatorium. Alice returned to Maine and Evelyn went to Texas, she attended the Baylor University School of Nursing for advanced training as an operating room nurse where she worked with renowned vascular surgeon, Dr. Michael DeBakey. After a detour to Bermuda, Evelyn joined Alice at St. Andrews Hospital in Boothbay Harbor as an OR nurse for Dr. Philip Gregory.
Evelyn met her husband, Steve, while in Tucson; he was a military policeman for the U.S. Army Air Corps stationed in Arizona guarding the Fat Man/Little Boy nuclear bomb project. Steve had served in North Africa, was part of the Allied effort in Sicily and Monte Cassino; the liberation force at Buchenwald Concentration Camp, and was part of Patton’s Red Ball Express where he was wounded. The couple married on May 11,1954 at the Boothbay Harbor Methodist Church and settled on Lakeview Road, while Steve was based in Bangor. When he left the service the family moved to South Portland and Evelyn began her career at Maine Medical Center as a neonatal intensive care nurse. The program was so successful that when Poland wanted to establish a neonatal program in the country’s hospitals Evelyn and her team served as consultants.
Evelyn and Steve took family vacations from Maine across the eastern USA to Chicago where Steve grew up to Louisiana where his large Hungarian family eventually settled. The family boat provided summer fun with picnics on the harbor islands and mackerel fishing in the evenings.
When her mother was dying, Evelyn took a leave from MMC and cared for her until her death. Years later when her father needed her, she retired from MMC and moved to her beloved Lobster Cove where her family had lived for generations. After his death Evelyn worked first at St. Andrews, served on the board of the district nurses and worked as a district nurse then at Miles Memorial and finally at Cove’s Edge. The first time she retired from Cove’s Edge, Evelyn and Alice embarked to Whitlets-by-Ayre, Scotland where their mother was born and brought up. As little girls the sisters often had tea with their mother who reminded them of the good behavior of little girls in England who were close to their ages, Princess Elizabeth and Princess Margaret. In truth, Evelyn Elizabeth and Alice Margaret were actually named for their grandmothers.
While residents in South Portland her family were members of St. Albans Episcopal Church in Cape Elizabeth where she enjoyed singing alto in the choir for many years. She loved the Boothbay Harbor United Methodist Church and United Methodist Women; choir, working on the altar committee, coffee hour, suppers, and fairs. Alice and Evelyn looked forward to the Senior Citizen luncheons and the entertainment they offered.
Evelyn was always smiling, kind, generous, and a good friend to all who knew her. She loved adventures with her sister Alice, they were each other’s lifelong best friends. After Alice’s death three years ago Evelyn moved into her daughter Susan’s home in Newcastle.
Evelyn is survived by her son, Stephen, of Boothbay Harbor; and her daughters, Mary Alice Racz of Bath, and Susan Gagnon (Steve) of Newcastle. Her grandchildren are: Matthew Racz (Lindsey) of Springfield, Missouri, Michael Racz (Melanie) of Arundal, Daniel Racz (Amy) of Saco, Joel Racz of Arundal, Nathan Goodwin (Narissa) of Wiscasset, Gabriel Goodwin of California, Melissa Racz Nix of Newcastle, Nicholas Sellick (Lara) of Rockland, and Leah Sellick of Wiscasset. Her great-grandchildren are Madison Nix Griffin (Cainin), Curtis Bibber, and Brazen Nix; Michael Pinkham; Nicholas Selleck Jr.; Malakai, Brooke, Selah, and Ari Racz; Adalyn and Everly Racz; Elisha and Samuel Racz; Penelope Racz; Serenity Bradford; and three great-great-grandchildren. Evelyn is also survived by her brother-in-law, Chester Fossett; nephews Brian, John and Jim Fossett; and nieces Pamela Trask Boucher and Elaine Fossett Rittershaus; and her former daughter-in-law, Lynn Racz.
A special thank you for the wonderful care Evelyn received from the staff at Miles and St Andrews Hospice. In lieu of flowers please consider a donation in Evelyn’s memory to: MaineHealth Care at Home, 605 Atlantic Highway, Newcastle, ME 04553.
A celebration of life will be held in the spring at a date yet to be determined.
Hall’s of Boothbay has the care of the arrangements. To extend online condolences, please visit hallfuneralhomes.com