Regina Marie Page, 48
So Portland – Gina Page passed away at home with family by her side on August 19th, 2015 as she tried to recover from a severe spinal cord injury that left her a quadriplegic on life support.
She was born to the late John ‘Dude’ Renna and Donna Wilkinson of So Portland in Portland Maine on July 5th, 1967. She married Daniel Page in South Portland on June 21st, 2003.
Gina graduated from South Portland High and went on to attend UME Farmington and SMCC where she obtained a liberal arts degree.
Gina gravitated toward people and her work history followed suit with the following jobs: Assistant Manager at Pizza Hut, Manager at Mariner’s Grille, Special Orders at the USCG Exchange, Customer Service Clerk and bookkeeper at Shaw’s MillCreek, and bartender at Evelyn’s Tavern and Griffin Club. The toll of everyday challenges led to retire with disabilities from Shaw’s.
Gina was born with severe scoliosis. She spent a year of her childhood embraced in a body cast at Boston Children’s Hospital as they worked on straightening her spine by implanting titanium rods. One day members of the Red Sox showed up in her hospital room and she instantly became a lifelong die-hard Red Sox fan. It’s worth noting that her father, husband, and step-father embrace the Yankees.
When football season comes around, Gina is all Cowboys. She never came right out and said it, but I suspect she once had a crush on Troy Aikman which would explain her devotion to the team.
When Gina was young she spent her idle time at the South Portland Boys and Girls Club where she picked up the art of pool. Her small stature gave her an advantage when it came to making sure and clean shots. Her spinal abnormality didn’t stop her from engaging in strenuous sports. Her resilience drove her to compete with the others and I’m told she often scampered around or beneath the opposing players in basketball games. In baseball games she was a “tough” out because of her short strike zone and had the knack for laying down a bunt.
Gina loved campfires, Miller Lites and card games. She was frequently the first to call for the cribbage board and deck of cards for a one-on-on best of three with a friend. She collected her coins in buckets for poker at the monthly ‘girls night’ poker parties. She nearly always returned with more coins then she left with.
Gina’s friends ran the gamut from bad-ass bikers to doctors. She befriended everyone with the simply awesome gift of a smile. When she ran the customer service desk at Shaw’s she bounded up the stool with a bounce in her step keeping that smile intact despite the pain it caused to her body. When she tended bar your drink was forever full until either you or her stopped the tap.
Besides her husband, mother and step-father Greg of South Portland Maine, she is survived by her best friend and sister, Tammy Tardy and her partner Jeremy Wherren of Ocala, Florida, her nephew Steven Tardy also of Ocala and his daughter Madeline, her niece Ashley Tardy and her fiance Kyle Watts, their children Riley and Bentley all of Port Richey, Florida and an estranged half-brother Robert Renna.
Finally, thanks are in order for the tender care administered to her during her 10 month ordeal.
First to the nurses CNA’s and physicians in the SCU and ACU departments at MMC. They trained me in the most important parts of their job so I could bring her home and care for her safely. Most prominently of these was Sonja Orff who took Gina under her wing and kept in oftentimes daily contact with me answering my questions and concerns and sometimes giving me a shoulder to lean on. Second, to all the caregivers who took time out of their daily life to give me some respite so I could recharge my batteries. To Cindy, Gale, Kathy, Kelly, Melinda, Mo, Annette, Missy and Deb. I couldn’t have managed without your help. Thirdly, to VNA of South Portland for assistance in wound care.
In lieu of flowers, please make donations to the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation.