Lori Jane Dombek, a woman whose super power made people nicer and more open to love when they were around her, and who had an ability to help the most hardened person love others, died on May 10, 2020 from kidney cancer. She was 61 years old. Her family has been embraced by an outpouring of love from hundreds of people whose lives Lori touched, testifying to her radiant energy and joyfulness. Lori was a quiet and observant child who woke smiling every day. She never lost those qualities as she grew into a creative and generous woman whose love for everyone and everything seemed endless. She didn’t judge. She saw you for who you were and loved you for it, no matter how flawed or crazy or different or weird. To Lori, you were beautiful and you were loved. If one could name her greatest joy out of the many she embraced, it was certainly her son, Nathaniel. He embodies the creative, free spirit that he inherited from his mother, who nurtured and supported him these 26 years. She believed in fairies, loved spending time at the family camp downeast where she cataloged all the wildflowers and reveled in spring peepers, laughed at her husband’s endless stories, did hilarious facial imitations of cows and voles, was a magical gardener, and adopted seven rescue dogs over her lifetime. We’ve been awed by her devoted friends and extended family who said they would do anything for her; that’s the life she made, from all the love that she had.
Lori Jane Dombek was born on May 13, 1958, in Bangor. Her mother, Rosanne (Daigle) Dombek, was a home maker who ran her own small business, an herb shop, in Blue Hill. Her father, Joseph Dombek, was an educator and sign painter. Lori was the second of four children. She attended George Stevens Academy high school in Blue Hill, the University of Maine at Orono, and Southern Maine Vocational Technical Institute. She had successful careers as a landscaper and web developer.Lori’s creative spirit and energy were endless; she sewed hundreds of costumes for countless performances as a volunteer for the Gorham Elementary, Middle, and High Schools, Maine State Ballet, and The Schoolhouse Arts Center. She was a 1983 Lonesome Lake caretaker, Pinkham and created one-of-a-kind t-shirts for the Appalachian Mountain Club. The intricate beadwork jewelry and ornaments she created for friends and auctions made from thousands of individually chosen beads were glorious. As a landscaper and gardener she designed perennial beds, herb gardens, shrubs and annual displays that continue to delight. She painted the porch columns on her house purple, wrote ‘thank you postal worker’ on her mailbox because she was Lori, and proudly wore handmade floral print pants (often made from draperies). Lori spent her entire life nurturing her nest and filling it with love and warmth, rescue dogs, liberal causes, fresh garden vegetables, and tins of buttons, beads and notions. She kept her focus on the best in people, just genuine love. She wore her Gryffindor t-shirt to remind herself to be brave. And over the years that is something that Lori has always been; brave to try new things, and always ready to stand up for a righteous cause. She had envisioned transforming her garden into a ‘Fairy Haven’, a place where children could come and create fairy houses, with tea parties afterward. On her last day a joyous, snow white gull swooped over her bereft family and made us raise our heads from grief to see the blue sky above. Afterward mom remembered a book about a seagull that Lori loved in her youth. The gull was different from the rest and had definite ideas, sometimes counter to the others, but reasonable and true. And we felt a bit of peace in our hearts. Lori was a beautiful person, who brought love to our life.
Lori is survived by her adoring family, her son Nathaniel Buteo Dombek and his wife Mia Suarez; her husband, Anton Gulovsen; dogs, Ginger and Cardo; her parents, Joseph and Rosanne Dombek; her siblings and their spouses, Lisa Dombek, Lynn Dombek and Donna Lawlor; Andrew Dombek and Kristina MacKulin; niece Ruby Dombek, and nephew Jacob Dombek. The family would like to thank the truly awesome nurses who always held Lori’s hand; the Dempsey Center for their support; and the Gosnell Memorial Hospice House caregivers.