Portland - Portland has lost another longtime resident who shared memories of the city in a different day. Margaret Connolly Lee Giles was escorted to Heaven by the Blessed Mother February 13, 2016. Margaret was born March 27, 1921 at the Maine Eye and Ear Infirmary to Martin and Sarah (Bannigan) Connolly. She grew up on Greenleaf Street at the base of Munjoy Hill across the street from Monroe College. Margaret attended Cathedral Grammar School and graduated from Portland High School in 1941. Margaret was known for her work ethic, sometimes referred to as the General. She began work life shaking farts out of the sheets at the Greely Laundry Company once located on Washington Avenue. She was a telephone operator at the American Telephone and Telegraph Company, worked at the South Portland shipyard during WWII, was a Meter Maid for the Portland Police Department and a switchboard operator at the Osteopathic Hospital of Maine. She retired from the hospital in 1980. Margaret married James E. Big Jimmy Lee, in 1945, when he returned from WWII. They lived for many years on Caleb Street in the citys Summerville section, now known as West Gate. They were communicants of St. Patricks Church. Jim, a Portland firefighter, passed away unexpectedly November 6, 1966. Margaret was left to raise two young children. This work was the love of her life. Until her dying day, there was nothing more important to her than her two children. She also held a special love for her grandchildren and step-grandchildren. After 13 years as a widow, Margaret rekindled a relationship with a former shipyard co-worker, Howard Giles of Saco. Howard and Margaret married and had two wonderful years together traveling and socializing before Howard succumbed to cancer November 9, 1982. Margaret spent countless hours at Howards side during their battle with cancer. In addition to her husbands, James and Howard, Margaret is predeceased by two brothers; Francis Connolly, of Portland, and James Connolly, of Detroit, MI. Her mom also lost 7 infant siblings between Francis birth and Margarets. She is survived by two loving children and their families; daughter, Regina L. Day and husband, Brian, of Scarborough and Bellingham, WA, and their children Ceile and Kevin; son, James M. Lee and wife, Sarah, of Scarborough. She is also survived by step-grandchildren, Caroline, Rebecca and William McCandless, and Molly and Julie ORourke; and numerous nieces and two nephews. In between her work projects, most she didnt consider work; Margaret loved her time at Higgins Beach. She was one of the first in the community to winterize the family cottage in 1973. She oversaw the winter water installation, the raising of the cottage, and the placement of it on a foundation. She was helped greatly by her longtime girlfriend, Mimi, Mary Gorham Kelly. The two were inseparable at the beach, as well as in town, as single moms before the term was coined. Higgins Beach was a huge part of Margarets life. She went there in the summers of her adolescence with her friends and went out on a limb to purchase the cottage Between Us in 1961. She created a wonderful place for her children to spend summers and eventually take up full time residence. She encouraged her kiddos to share the spot with all their friends. Margaret enjoyed swimming at the beach and the camaraderie of the Clubhouse community center. Margaret was a lover of fine Maine cuisine. Italian sandwiches, Za-Rex, BM Baked Beans with Jordans red hot dogs, and Brunos eggplant parmigiana were favorites. She particularly enjoyed fresh Holden crabmeat and it had to be right off the picking table. Margaret should be remembered as a person for others and a caregiver. She volunteered in the Cheverus High School Community, at St. Josephs Manor, St. Maximillian Kolbe Church and St. Patricks Church. She donated to St. Judes and other Christian organizations. She sent support to her relatives in Ireland when possible. The care and support she gave her children and her childrens families were second to none. She was always available for the sick child pick up or for transportation services to music or dance lessons and athletics. She will truly be missed. The family would like to acknowledge the VNA Hospice team for their support. A special thanks is due to the Girls team of at home caregivers, Paige, Nancy, Jo Anne, Shannan and Alisa. The care they provided for Margaret was exceptional for Margaret, as well as her family. Thank you all. In the Irish Catholic tradition, Margarets visiting hours will be held on Thursday, February 18, 2016 from 4:00-8:00 PM at the Conroy-Tully Crawford Funeral Home, 172 State Street, Portland. Prayers will be recited at 9:15 AM on Friday, at the funeral home, followed by a 10:00 AM Mass of Christian Burial at St. Maximilian Kolbe Church, 150 Black Point Rd, Scarborough. Burial will follow at Calvary Cemetery. To view Margarets memorial page, or to share an online condolence, please visit www.ctcrawford.com Please consider a donation to the Center for Grieving Children, PO Box 1438, Portland, ME 04104, as a way to honor Margarets memory.