Gail's Story

BLUE HILL - Gail Lucille (Michaud) Bartlett, 62, of Blue Hill, died peacefully at home on June 16, 2016, of ovarian cancer. She was born November 10, 1953, to George and Claire (Daigle) Michaud, in Holyoke, MA. Her parents instilled in her the gifts of unconditional love and humility; her mother, the gift of inquiry. Her kin was a large, extended Franco-American family. She was happy growing up in a multi-cultural neighborhood in a small city, helping in the family's corner grocery store. She was the proud recipient of a full-scholarship to an experimental program at UMASS Amherst, where she met many lifelong friends. She later received a BA in Liberal Studies from Lesley College.

In her twenties Gail spent time traveling and living in British Columbia, Oregon, and San Francisco, CA, before moving back East to Newburyport, MA. She held a number of jobs from window dresser to tree-planter to macrobiotic cook, and early explorations in natural foods, yoga, and Buddhism, would become lifelong practices. Gail was deeply curious, an original thinker, and encouraged others to think for themselves. She strove to live her life authentically, and in that pursuit, moved with her husband Richard Bartlett and young daughters Bryn and Robin to the Blue Hill Peninsula in 1987. Later they designed and built a beautiful home together in the woods of Blue Hill. Gail cultivated extensive organic vegetable and flower gardens. Home was a refuge, but Gail also loved this community. For 30 years she dedicated much of her time and energy to the Blue Hill Co-op. She was a longtime owner/member, and served as co-general manager, board member, and board president, for which she received a national award for her leadership in 2009. The Tree of Life and the Blue Hill Public Library also benefited from her generosity and knowledgeable service.

Gail will be remembered for her great mind, wise counsel, honesty, insight, sharp wit, vibrant voice, and her ability to create beauty and meaning out of the ordinary, love of the natural world, and of the contemplative life. She lived with integrity and awareness, and faced her death with incredible strength and courage. She was a loving wife, mother, mémère, and friend, and the emotional anchor of her family. She will be profoundly missed.

Gail is survived by her husband Richard, daughter Bryn Arbuckle and partner Gavin Protas, daughter Robin Bartlett Rissi and husband Christof Rissi, grandsons John and Miles Rissi, and her brother Robert Lacroix. We are grateful for the compassionate palliative care Gail received from the Blue Hill Memorial Hospital, Hancock County Homecare & Hospice, and to Hospice Volunteers of Hancock County, our generous community, President Obama and the ACA. Donations may be made to the Blue Hill Public Library or Hospice Volunteers of Hancock County.

A memorial service will be held at the Morgan Bay Zendo in Surry on Saturday, June 25, 2016. At 2pm there will be a 30 minute sitting meditation (optional) and by a circle gathering at 3pm in the meeting hall. All are welcome.
Published in Bangor Daily News
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