Clare C. Newbury
Clare Coey Newbury, born Oct. 1, 1946 in West Palm Beach Florida, died unexpectedly Sept. 18, 2018. As a child, she spent winters in Florida, and long joyful summers on Squirrel Island where she was a fourth-generation resident.
Clare shared many stories from her youth of crazy shenanigans and practical jokes with life-long friends from the island. She married fellow islander Jack Newbury. Together, they bought her childhood home, “The Rose Cottage” and stayed on the island as much as possible with their children Elizabeth “Beth” Perkins, Beatrice “Tris” Newbury and Bret Newbury. After her divorce Clare maintained her connection to the island. As the manager of the Tea Shop, she was known for her popovers and creative soups. She was the winter care-taker on the island for nine winters. She credited the peace and quiet for the return of her hearing and told some fantastic ghost stories of her time there alone.
She wintered in Boothbay for many years, enjoying playing her harmonica for the “quiet neighbors” in the Wylie Cemetery. She moved to Edgecomb, Maine 25 years ago, to her dream house - a small cabin in the woods, filled with fairy magic and personal treasures, with a frog pond in her dooryard, complete with a dock and boats for the frogs to enjoy. Clare was a lover of nature - enjoying a woodsy walk or fairy house building with grandchildren. She maintained an “equal opportunity animal feeder” which routinely fed gray squirrels, flying squirrels, woodpeckers, chickadees, blue jays, and most recently, an uninvited raccoon whom she politely asked to take his leave as he was too big for the feeder. She also drew the line at feeding the bear that would occasionally meander onto her porch, look in her bedroom window, and scare her cats.
She was a writer, penning the Squirrel Island column in the Boothbay Register for many years, contributing to the Squirrel Island Squid, and publishing her own book, “The Mushroom Circle.” She was a self-proclaimed introvert with more life-long friends than most. She kept in touch with friends and family through Facebook, e-mail, and old-fashioned snail mail with the most beautiful penmanship. Traditionally, ‘Indigenous Peoples Day’ Weekend was spent on the island, catching up with her brother Peter Coey, visiting from Chicago.
Clare loved her grandchildren, Lexi, Dahlia, Rosalie and baby Simon, always making time to attend special days at school, performances, and birthdays- often hand-making gifts of quilts, doll clothes, or nightgowns. Her creativity, inventiveness, Yankee thrift, and generosity of time cannot be matched.
She will be greatly missed by all that knew her.
A service and light refreshments will take place at Hall Funeral Home (975 Wiscasset Rd, Boothbay) on Saturday, Oct. 6, 2018 at 2 p.m. A “Clarebration” of Life will be held on Squirrel Island next summer. Updates to follow at hallfuneralhomes.com.
In lieu of flowers, please send donations in her name to: The Lincoln County Animal Shelter, from which she adopted many beloved pets, 27 Atlantic Hwy, Edgecomb, 04556 or The Squirrel Island Historical Society, where her vast knowledge of all things and families Island will be sorely missed. Brian Whitney, SIHS Treasurer, 192 Hatch Road, New Gloucester, Maine 04260