SOUTH PORTLAND -- Elizabeth (Liz) Bridget Keniston died Friday morning, April 19, 2013, at the South Portland Nursing Home. Her son, Richard, was with her when she passed. The daughter of Irish immigrants, Martin and Bridget Joyce, Liz grew up on Munjoy Hill in Portland with her two younger brothers, Thomas and Martin. Liz grew up during the Depression and World War II, but, regardless, thrived in the melting pot of Jews, Italians and Irish that had settled on the Hill. Liz had a quick smile, striking red hair, a warm manner, and the gift of the gab -- she could make friends with anyone.
Liz graduated from Cathedral High School in 1944. While still in high school, she began working for the telephone company and stayed on after graduation. On New Year's Eve 1946, she met her true love, Richard (Chick) L. Keniston, who had recently returned from Navy duty in the Pacific.
They were married on Sept. 9, 1950, and together raised seven children in Portland and Augusta, and ultimately settled in Cape Elizabeth in 1973.
Amid the chaos of seven children, Chick and Liz created a safe and loving home for family and friends. All were welcome and no one left hungry. Liz was a devout Catholic and had a strong faith. She loved dancing and music and would often carry a tune while working. For decades she sang her children and grandchildren to sleep (although she had a habit of mangling lyrics).
Liz was predeceased by her parents, Martin and Bridget Joyce, and her husband, Richard Keniston. She is survived by her seven children: Martin C. Keniston and his wife, Linda, of Readfield; Richard L. Keniston Jr., of Portland; Thomas F. Keniston of Marina del Rey, Calif.; Joseph P. Keniston and his wife, Judy, of Saco; Peter S. Keniston and his wife Katherine of South Portland; Ann E. Keniston and her partner, Kathleen Garcia, of Los Angeles; and Patrick J. Keniston and his wife, Polly, of Cape Elizabeth; 11 grandchildren, Marybeth Keniston, Jeffrey Keniston, Katelyn Keniston, Stephanie Keniston, Joshua Keniston, Tyler Keniston, CariAnna Keniston, Joey Keniston, Braedon Keniston, Sarah Keniston and Lucy Keniston; and two great-grandchildren, Madelyn Sheehan and Aiden Sheehan.
Donations in her name may be made to Patient Activity Fund, South Portland Nursing Home, 42 Anthoine St., South Portland, ME 04106.
Visiting hours will be held at Conroy-Tully Crawford South Portland Chapel, 1024 Broadway, South Portland, on Monday, April 22, from 4 to 7 p.m.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Tuesday, April 23, at 10 a.m. at The Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, 307 Congress St., Portland.
Online condolences may be expressed at www.ctcrawford.com.