SOUTH PORTLAND - Eleanor R. Kayatta died peacefully on April 20, 2013, at Sedgewood Commons in the presence of her family, including her husband of sixty years, William J. Kayatta. Born in Providence, Rhode Island, to Philip D. and Helena (Boyle) Doherty, Eleanor graduated from St. Mary's Seminary (Bayview) High School in 1947. She worked as a switchboard operator at New England Telephone and Telegraph Company in Providence before marrying in 1952. In 1957, Eleanor and Bill moved to Portland, Maine and, in 1959, to 980 Sawyer Street in South Portland, where they made their home for the next 51 years. Eleanor worked more than full-time raising five children as Bill traveled often throughout Maine and New Hampshire selling pharmaceuticals. She managed the family budget, made clothes for her family, and took great pride each Sunday as her well-behaved and well-dressed children attended church at Holy Cross with their parents. A constant helping hand in P.T.A. events at Hamlin School, Eleanor was perhaps best known in the school community for the creative and matching Halloween costumes she made each year for her children. By day a devoted mom, by weekend night a party girl, Eleanor enjoyed few activities more than dancing at the frequent parties she and Bill attended, often at the Officers' Club at Fort Williams. Few bands were able to play longer than she danced, fashionably attired in high heels and designer dresses carefully culled from the bargain racks at Marshall's. Even after twelve years of battling Parkinson's disease, she tapped out the beat as the band played at a granddaughter's wedding this past summer. Picking up a tennis racket for the first time at age 40, Eleanor became a perennially ranked player on the Maine Tennis Association circuit, eventually winning more trophies than her tennis-playing children. She made many of her own tennis dresses, and enjoyed running her opponents ragged while never letting a day of tennis impede an evening of dancing. A raven-haired beauty, she fended off aging miraculously until Parkinson's joined the contest against her. Eleanor's brother, Philip D. Doherty, Jr., and her sister, Roberta Schmidt, died previously. She is survived not only by her husband, but also by sister Maureen Johnston of Pawtucket, Rhode Island, and sister-in-law Mary Kayatta of Jamestown Rhode Island; son William J. Kayatta, Jr. and his wife Anne Swift-Kayatta, of Cape Elizabeth; daughter Jo-Ann Kayatta of Windham; son David F. Kayatta and his wife Ren(c)e, of Claremont, California; daughter Roberta Kayatta and her husband Brody Koopmans of McKinney, Texas; daughter Karen Kayatta Burke and her husband Jay, of Gray; grandchildren Jennifer, Megan, Christopher and Bryan Arich; Katherine and Elizabeth Kayatta; Taylor, Michael, Alexandra, Kristina and Hailey Kayatta; Kendall Kayatta Black; and John and Kevin Burke; and great-grandsons Dylan and Henry. In lieu of flowers, gifts to the Parkinson's Disease Foundation, will be welcomed and appreciated. Visiting hours will be from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm on Thursday, April 25, at Conroy-Tully Crawford Funeral Home, 172 State Street, Portland. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at Holy Cross Church, 436 Broadway in South Portland at 11:00 am, Friday, April 26.Online condolences may be expressed below.