Elizabeth A. Quivey

Sat, 02/17/2024 - 9:30am

Elizabeth (Beth) Ann Quivey passed away on Feb. 14, 2024 after her very long struggle with Alzheimer’s disease.

Beth was born on Feb. 27, 1948 in Norwood, Massachusetts to Mary Elizabeth “Molly” Hobbs and F. Gerard Hobbs. 

Beth  grew up in Dedham, Massachusetts, the eldest of three daughters. With her sisters Janet and Harriet, they shared a variety of pets, all of whom would be loaded into the family station wagon to spend their summers in Truro, Massachusetts. Those summers in an old farmhouse that was only electrified in the mid 1950s, Beth’s main forms of entertainment were playing cribbage with her mom and reading, both habits that remained with her for the rest of her life. Beth’s mom (often and lovingly referred to as “Clever Molly”) was, among many accomplishments, an expert seamstress and taught Beth her skills which served her well throughout her life.

Beth graduated from Dedham High School in June of 1965 and enrolled at the University of Maine (Orono) that fall. She majored in art history (another life-long passion). While there, she made many friends and was inducted into Phi Mu Sorority. At the end of her junior year, she decided to take a gap year to explore and discover the career paths that a degree in art history might lead to. She made a decision to let her heart lead her mind for a bit and accepted Fred Quivey’s proposal of marriage. They married on June 14, 1969. She told Fred that they were marrying on Flag Day so that he would never forget their anniversary - he didn’t. Following their marriage, Beth worked as a secretary in the Civil Engineering Department of the University of New Hampshire, where Fred was a graduate student.  After Fred received his degree in June 1970 he/they had a very brief stint (a massive Reduction In Force in the Army hit full stride in August 1970) in the U.S. Army where Fred attended the Infantry Officer School at (then) Fort Benning in Columbus,Georgia.

Beth and Fred meandered their way back to New England and Fred finally found a job in Cambridge, Massachusetts. With a tiny bit of financial breathing room between them, Beth decided to keep her interest in art history but the job landscape led her to pursue a degree in home economics education. She earned a B.S. (summa cum laude) from Framingham State University in 1976. In that same year, Beth and Fred bought a house in Natick, Massachusetts since it was the mid-point between their two jobs. She enjoyed a year of teaching in a rural school district near Framingham, but the pull of art history work was too much and when an opening came at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, she jumped at it. Beth truly enjoyed her work at the MFA but, once she was in the city, found other opportunities which were equally challenging and rewarding. The “network” led her away from the MFA to a technical typing job in the Water Resources Laboratory, Civil Engineering Department of M.I.T. where, of course, she blossomed and stayed until 1984, when her son James “Jim” was born. As always, she knew her course and decided to be a stay at home mom. Not long after that, Fred’s somewhat nomadic professional life led them to Brunswick, Maine where Beth established herself and Jim in a wonderful play group whose only known restriction was “if your kid’s nose is runny and green, you can’t come that day”. Beth was more than fine with that. Along the way she became a part-time guide at the Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain House in Brunswick - again the teacher thing. Then, after four years, it was on to Easton, Pennsylvania where they were to spend the next 16 years. Beth filled her days with everything from baking sheet cakes for Jim’s homeroom classes to teaching after-school remedial classes in math and reading skills for Project of Easton. She loved “her kids” and was genuinely thrilled every time they mastered one topic or another.

They had always intended to return to Maine when retirement came. In 2007 they moved to Wiscasset. Fred grew restless and went back to work, this time for Merrimack College in North Andover, Massachusetts. Soon after, Beth became pals with several of the Augustinian priests who served the college community. It wasn’t long before they invited Beth to accompany them and some students on their annual pellegrinaggio, a pilgrimage to numerous religious sites in Italy.  

How do people fall into opportunities like these? Only people with a spirit, natural curiosity and love for camaraderie like Beth’s would know. She touched many lives and left countless, treasured memories.

Beth is survived by Fred,  her husband, of 54 years; her son, James Quivey (of Glens Falls, New York) and his wife, Noel; her two grandchildren, Lucy and Leo Quivey; her sisters, Janet Hobbs-Bailey (Wiscasset) and Harriet Hobbs-Cresswell (Truro, Mass.). And, of course, Izzy, her dog that she so adored.

A celebration of life ceremony is in the planning stage. Details will follow once plans are finalized. In lieu of flowers, please celebrate Beth’s life-long love of animals by contributing to your favorite animal oriented charity.

Arrangements are under the direction and care of the Strong-Hancock Funeral Home, 612 Main Street, Damariscotta, ME 04543.  Condolences, and messages for her family, may be expressed by visiting: