Barbara Colebrooke McCarthy
Belfast — Barbara Colebrooke McCarthy of Belfast died Friday, Dec. 14, at Waldo County General Hospital. Her son was with her when she died, and she had seen many family members in the weeks leading up to her death.
Barbara was born on Aug. 28, 1924, in Burlington, Vt. When she was 10, she and her mother, Marion, moved to North Andover, Mass., when Marion married Ralph Hutchins. Barbara attended Johnson High School, where another student, Daniel James McCarthy, helped her through chemistry. In 1942, Barbara attended the Katherine Gibbs School in Boston, and in 1947 she married Daniel J. McCarthy upon his return from World War II.
Barbara was a secretary at Phillips Academy in Andover, Mass., and for North Andover Public Schools, where Dan was a principal. In 1948, her first child, Daniel Colebrooke McCarthy, was born. The family enjoyed summers on Cape Cod and Barbara was very involved in scouting in North Andover, serving as a Cub Scout den mother and leader of both Brownie and Senior Girl Scout troops.
In 1965, Barbara gave birth to a second son, Luke Stone McCarthy. Luke was born with Williams Syndrome, a rare developmental and physiological condition of which little was known at the time. Under Barbara’s devoted care, Luke lived to be seventeen years old. The fierce compassion, patience and love Barbara had for her son were an inspiration to her friends and family.
Dan and Barbara moved to Maine in 1986, settling first in Brunswick and later in Topsham. Barbara volunteered for the Maine Maritime Museum and numerous other charitable organizations. Barbara’s love for hot sun and an ocean-side beach led them to spend many winters in Florida. Barbara made many friends wherever she lived.
After nearly 60 years of marriage, Barbara continued to live on her own following her husband’s death. In 2010, she moved into assisted living at Tall Pines Residences, where she continued to care for herself with little intervention.
Barbara’s life was filled with hobbies; she loved collecting coins, sea-glass, shells and holiday decorations. She was concerned about poverty and hunger, and spent much of the 2012 election season lamenting the tremendous amounts of money supporting campaigns rather than helping those in need. She enjoyed skiing, swimming, playing the organ, traveling and gardening. Barbara loved to read, listen to music (especially Mozart) and spend time with her friends and family. She was able to enjoy many of these activities until just weeks before her death.
Barbara was predeceased by her mother Marion Hutchins, and step-father Ralph E. Hutchins; her sister Virginia Lebel; her husband Daniel J. McCarthy and son Luke S. McCarthy. She is survived by her son Daniel C. McCarthy, and his wife Constance J. McCarthy of Belfast; grandson Jacob E. McCarthy and his wife Anna K. Fiedler of Unity, and granddaughter Robin C. McCarthy of Belfast; great-granddaughter Margaret E. McCarthy of Unity; brother Charles K. Hutchins, and his wife Frances Hutchins of Candia, N.H., and several beloved nieces, nephews and cousins.
A Dec. 29 service at United Methodist Church in Brunswick is planned for 1 p.m. A smaller gathering, to be scheduled soon, will take place at Tall Pines. Donations may be made to the Williams Syndrome Association (www.williams-syndrome.org) or the charity of your choice in lieu of flowers. Barbara will be buried with her husband and son in Lawrence, Mass. Arrangements are being handled by the family; please direct correspondence to firstname.lastname@example.org.