Barbara's Story

Barbara G. Perkins, 80, passed away peacefully at home in Bangor, Maine, on July 8, 2016. Born in Snomac, Oklahoma, Barbara lived most of her life in Maine and worked for a time with the Massachusetts Department of Education.

Barbara was a clever and fascinating woman. Whether as head of a Parents and Teachers Association or serving as a Brownie Scout leader, she took an active interest in community. As a feminist, she felt the need to stretch beyond the role of housewife and mother, so at the same time, she became a non-traditional student at the University of Maine, earning a degree with honors in English Literature. Her passion for literature lasted her entire life, along with an acute love of Scrabble and appreciation for folk music. Her other interests and talents included professional cake decorating, sewing, cooking, gardening, camping, badminton, fencing, community theatre and even clowning. Her writing was insightful, and she was a skilled organizer. She loved animals, she could feed chickadees from her hand, and she could rustle up a delicious campfire meal despite a downpour.

She relished her role as grandmother and strived to nurture individual interests and talents. She loved to adventure and especially enjoyed her road trips with her beloved husband, Melvin J. Perkins, across the country and locally, including scenic drives to one of her favorite spots, Schoodic Point in Acadia National Park. The unique devotion she and Mel shared for one another was deeply felt and beyond compare.

Barbara was especially grateful for the Serenity Prayer, which aided her philosophy in recovery and helped her overcome challenges and adversities. Her strong-willed perseverance became an inspiration to many who knew her.

In addition to her parents, James and Francis Gum, Barbara was predeceased by her first husband, Aubrey L. Ramsdell Jr.; second husband, Melvin J. Perkins; stepson, Keith Perkins; brothers, James Gum and William Gum; and sisters, Christine Elizabeth Betty Pyle and Ruth Pecora. Barbara is survived by her brother, Richard Alan Gum of Belfast; two daughters, Diana Newman, wife of Thomas Newman, of Southwest Harbor and Cathy Ramsdell of Portland; and two stepchildren, Dale Perkins of Old Town and Sharon Perkins of Bangor. Barbara's grandchildren include Lee Sawyer, husband of Samantha Sawyer, of Middletown, Connecticut, Juniper Stromer of El Paso, Texas, and Noah Sawyer, Joshua Sawyer and Nicholas Sawyer, each of Bar Harbor; along with six stepgrandchildren, Victoria Perkins, Andrea Perkins, Bret Perkins, Samantha Goodwin, Christopher Bernaiche and Christopher Perkins, as well as three great-grandchildren and five great-stepgrandchildren.

With the help of Diana, Cathy and Thomas, along with several attendants, Barbara fulfilled her wish to remain at home with her two kitties. Illness increasingly impaired her ability to maintain consistent contact with extended family and old friends, but she always appreciated knowing how they were. Barbara's family wishes to extend special recognition to her niece Barbara Inferrera of Massachusetts, intrepid jack-of-all-trades, Lindsey Norris along with Jason Norris, and Loving Touch Home Care staff member Barbara for providing extraordinary support and compassion along the way.

An informal gathering to celebrate her life will take place at noon on Saturday, October 22, 2016, at the Samoset Resort. Please RSVP to join us for a light luncheon or to send any remembrances you wish to share to
Published in Bangor Daily News
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