Rochester, NY: Gretchen died early in the morning on Friday, February 28, surrounded by family. She is survived by her husband of more than 40 years, Stephen; her children, Dana (Fabrice) Veron, Emily (Jason) Ross, and Jeremy (Mia Breitkopf) Lane; her siblings, Susan (Steve) Oris, Christopher (Mary Jo Brach) Farnum, and Timothy (Christine) Farnum; and seven grandchildren, Jacob, Camille, Thomas, Noah, Jesse, Robin, and Willa.
Gretchen was born in Jamestown, NY but spent most of her youth in Fairport, NY. As a teenager, she joined the Episcopal Youth Council in Rochester where she forged many of her deepest friendships. After raising her children to school age, she went to college as an adult, earning a master’s degree and becoming a science teacher. She enjoyed many years teaching at Monroe #1 BOCES.
In 2008, Gretchen moved to Portland, ME where Stephen became the Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Maine. There she continued to make important connections with people from all walks of life and her life’s work became one of ministry. Maine and Portland became her second home. She returned to Rochester this past summer to be closer to her grandchildren. Gretchen loved music and took great joy in singing in her church choirs, both in Rochester and in Portland.
A Memorial Service for Gretchen will be held Saturday, March 21, 11 AM, at St. Thomas Episcopal Church, 2000 Highland Ave., Rochester, where a reception will follow. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to Center for Wisdom's Women, PO Box 1016, Lewiston, ME 04243-1016 (please indicate in memo portion of the check for Sophia's House) which supports and empowers women survivors of addiction, trafficking, and incarceration. Gretchen was an early supporter of this important organization.
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