Memorial SeDoMoCha School buddy benches dedicated

DOVER-FOXCROFT — Working with and helping children was a passion of the late Lisa Pangburn, with her own children and grandchildren and the all students she knew during her time as an ed tech at the SeDoMoCha Elementary School. 

To honor Pangburn’s life, her family gave a pair of buddy benches for the SeDoMoCha School campus and a memorial fund to provide students with needed clothing items. The benches were formally dedicated on the afternoon of Saturday, April 27 and a $6,500 fund contribution was presented.

Observer photo/Stuart Hedstrom
MEMORIAL BUDDY BENCH — Grandchildren of the late Lisa Pangburn pose behind a memorial buddy bench by the walkway leading to the main entrance of the SeDoMoCha School in Dover-Foxcroft following a dedication ceremony on April 27. Front, from left are, Cora, Silas, and Vera. Back, Jackson, Lane, and Jeremii.

With an audience of family and friends gathered near the buddy bench located next to the walkway leading to the main entrance, Lisa’s husband Scott Pangburn said, “Children were an important part of her life from the time we got together. That grew on to her grandkids and when she came over here and started working at SeDoMoCha.”

Scott said Lisa passed away in early November after battling cancer and her family wanted to honor her, having an idea for buddy benches in which a child feeling lonely can sit down and this signals to their peers that they would like to be invited to come play. Scott said they spoke with school officials and they were very supportive.

Observer photo/Stuart Hedstrom
PRE-K BENCH — A buddy bench given in memory of SeDoMoCha Elementary ed tech Lisa Pangburn by her family is in place at the school’s pre-kindergarten playground.

He thanked Lary Funeral Home for putting the benches together. “The buddy bench, if you need a friend come sit on the bench,” Scott said about the intention of the additions to campus. “Be a friend and you’ll gain a friend.”

He said Lisa once showed him an existing buddy bench at the main SeDoMoCha playground. “It really touched her that they would have this option for kids so that no kid’s left out,” Scott said, with the second memorial buddy bench placed at the pre-kindergarten play area.

“If she could help them she was going to help them and that was really an important part of her whole time over here at the school,” he said.

Observer photo/Stuart Hedstrom
TO BE A FRIEND — A SeDoMoCha student feeling lonely can sit down on a buddy bench — given in memory of Lisa Pangburn — and this signals to their peers that they would like to be invited to come play.

“We also created a fund that many, many people donated to in Lisa’s memory and I would like to thank them all for that,” Scott said as he gave a $6,500 check to RSU 68 Superintendent Stacy Shorey. “This is for the school to help kids if they need a snowsuit, if they need sneakers for cheerleading.”  

He said Lisa did a lot of shopping in Bangor, seeking out deals on items such as coats or boots so children in need would be warm in the winter.

“She touched many lives and hopefully this is a way for that to continue on,” Scott said.

Each memorial bench has a picture of Lisa with her seven grandchildren along with the words “The only way to have a friend is to be a friend!” and “Take a seat and always remember you’re special, you’re kind and you can do anything, in memory of Mrs. Pangburn, let kindness fill your heart”. 

Memorial contributions may be made to the Lisa Pangburn Memorial Fund  at 511 Bear Hill Rd. Dover-Foxcroft, ME 04426 and there is also a Lisa Pangburn Memorial Fund account at Maine Highlands Federal Credit Union.

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