Edith B. LaRoche

May 21, 2020

Searsmont — Edith Barnard LaRoche, 91, passed away peacefully Sunday, May 17, 2020, at home, with children by her side.

She was born July 7, 1928, in Abington Township, Pennsylvania, the daughter of Lewis Ruggles Barnard and Alice Sibley Barnard.

Edith was a lover of weathered barns and backyard birds and the land she lived on in Maine. Her great diversity of interests and involvement bestowed her with many loving friends from all walks of life.

She was a skilled artist who worked in traditional and unconventional mediums and produced many paintings, drawings, sculptures and constructions throughout her life. Her granddaughter‘s short film, appropriately called "Stuffed," captured Edith’s devotion to her art and, in particular, to her intimate, animated black-and-white drawings of the unloved stuffed animals she found at tag sales.

Edith grew up on the East Coast and attended Bennett Junior College and Columbia University, where she received her degree in Occupational Therapy.

In her younger years, she and her husband, Chester, kicked up their heels at the Stork and “El Moroc” in New York City. She modeled dresses at Bergdorf Goodman and worked in the art department at Harper's Bazaar magazine, where she befriended Andy Warhol.

While raising her family in Connecticut, she stayed active in local organizations such as the Fairfield Organic Gardeners and worked as an occupational therapist caring for geriatric patients, all while continuing to create art.

She was an animal lover who raised two clutches of abandoned baby wrens to adulthood — some would return, with their offspring, to her yard every year. She was the type of mother who let her kids take in stray animals and who built a skating rink in the front yard with two-by-fours and plastic sheeting.

She retired to Searsmont, where she worked as an assessor, a job she enjoyed because she loved meeting new people. She volunteered at the old library and helped build the new one. She also volunteered as a tutor for adults learning to read.

For many years, Edith painted weekly with her friends in the Lively Ladies. She could wire a lamp, spin wool, cut and haul wood, forage for wild plants, and she loved to knock back a bourbon while discussing world events.

She is survived by her children Todd and his wife, Lori; Cara and her husband, Philippe; and Amy; grandchildren Tristan and Alizee; great-granddaughter, Mia; brother Ned and his wife, Pauline; many beloved nieces and nephews and Rory, her loyal dog of 15 years.

She was predeceased by her sister, Nancy.

No service is planned. When the time is right, her ashes will be scattered on her land. She gave generously to environmental groups and was a champion for our beleaguered Earth.

To honor her, make a donation to an organization you feel is helping the planet and its inhabitants, and think about Edie as you do so.

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