Fri. Jun 9th, 2023

Skowhegan – Golden Ina Fitzgerald Salisbury, 87, passed away January 8th in Skowhegan, Maine. She was born July 5, 1935 in Canaan, the daughter of Benjamin O. and Susie Ames Fitzgerald.

Goldie married Walter Eugene Salisbury of Canaan on July 14, 1950. They remained married for 66 years until Walter’s death in 2017. Goldie and Walter started a family very young and juggled the many responsibilities of raising children, work on the Canaan farm, outside employment and volunteer projects.

On the Canaan farm, Goldie was an able partner with Walter in caring for livestock (poultry, sheep, cattle), hay fields, barns and equipment. Persistent physical labor, grit and determination went into making the farm profitable.

As an accomplished Stitcher for Norwalk Shoe Company in Skowhegan, Goldie become a key team member for the Training Unit for the Sample and Quality Control departments. In addition to paid employment, she also found time to volunteer: Canaan Public Library trustee, Brownie Scout leader, Canaan Grange #239 member, Canaan Elementary School PTA treasurer and War Bond promoter at local schools.

Goldie was frugal, practical and organized. She was passionate about her vegetable garden and achieved great success with peas, onions, tomatoes and cucumbers. She fed her family wonderful fresh vegetables and canned any garden excess. Everyone adored her special dill pickles.

Goldie was intelligent, intuitive and creative.

As a self-taught carpenter, she put her quick mind to work in designing and building her current home in Canaan plus shelves, cabinets and other home furnishings. As a cottage knitter for Blueberry Woolens of North Anson, she put her love for design and color together with her outstanding eye for detail to create hundreds of attractive sweaters and winter gear. Goldie’s memory was amazing, a skill that aided her in her extensive genealogical research on the Fitzgerald and Salisbury families. Her fascination for history carried over into antique hunting endeavors – finding out the little bits of history and culture behind each of the pieces she acquired.

In between farm and family obligations, Goldie and Walter had fun – snowmobiling, four-wheeling and RV traveling throughout Canada and the US. Their curiosity was especially whetted by trips to Nova Scotia and the American West.
Family members and neighbors were always eager to listen to newest installment in their travel adventures.

Goldie and Walter lost their son Darrell Eugene very early (1956) in their marriage. They went on to raise four strong and independent daughters and were also an inspiration to grandchildren, great grandchildren and the Canaan community.

Goldie is predeceased by her parents, husband, son and siblings: Walter Fitzgerald, Mildred Brennan, Violet Fitzgerald, Pauline Bowen, Wilson Fitzgerald, Geraldine Fitzgerald, Benjamin Fitzgerald, Madeline Robinson.

She is survived by her older brother Emery Fitzgerald of Canaan; her adopted sister Arlene Tibbets; her daughters Gale Susan Staples of Summerville SC, Kimbley Ann DeGruchy of Jacksonville FL, Cheryl Salisbury Pratt of Fayette and Ann Felicia Salisbury Walker of Canaan. Her grandchildren include Todd Vachon of Portland, Britt Connor of Owensboro KY, Ryan Staples of Alfred, Nathaniel DeGruchy of Jacksonville FL, Andrew Pratt of Portland, Ashlee Landry of Canaan and Clay Landry of Canaan. Her great grandchildren include Will Vachon, Ben Vachon, Jackson Connor, Garrett DeGruchy, Katlyn Clarke, Connor Landry-Cooley, Matthew Landry-Cooley, Archie Pratt, Magnolia Pratt, Avery Landry along with step great grandchildren Keegan, Kaden and Khloe Kelsey.

A celebration of life is planned for May following a graveside service at Fairview Cemetery in Canaan.
The family expresses their gratitude to the staff of Redington-Fairview Hospital in Skowhegan and caregivers Veronica Reynold, Ivy LaChapelle and Pam Shepard of Canaan for their unflinching compassion and support.

In lieu of flowers, please consider donating in Goldie’s name to the Somerset Humane Society:
Arrangements are in the care of Smart and Edwards Funeral Home of Skowhegan.

Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared at