Through These Doors remembers and honors Lois Galgay Reckitt at the time of her recent death for her tenacity, vision, courage, humor, and determination. Lois joined Through These Doors in our infancy (when we were first Family Crisis Shelter then Family Crisis Services). Lois began when there were two employees and a few volunteers. As Executive Director for 36 years, Lois guided the organization through vast and strategic growth, participated in the development of services new to Maine such as the EPIC program and programs for women in the jail and prison system. She supported the creation and expansion of YAAPP: innovative, interactive education for young adults, and brought in services for people experiencing abuse in later life and community training on that important issue. Lois helped launch the Maine Coalition to End Domestic Violence (then the Maine Coalition for Family Crisis Services) and served on its board for many years.
In addition to a deep commitment to the issue of violence against women, Lois’ life was that of an activist on many fronts. She engaged in LGBTQ rights and gun safety projects in times where taking these stands could be perilous to ones’ safety and career. Per a recent article in Ms. magazine: Lois was “the co-founder of the Human Rights Campaign Fund, the Maine Coalition for Human Rights, the Maine Women’s Lobby, and the first Maine chapter of the National Organization for Women. She successfully lobbied to protect victims of domestic abuse, leading to the passage of multiple influential bills. Her impressive resume led to her induction into the Maine Women’s Hall of Fame in 1998.”
Lois was widely loved and appreciated, and will be missed by many. None more so than those of us at TTD that had the benefit of working with her, listening to her stories, hearing her laugh, and following in her footsteps.