Wendy  Knickerbocker


Bangor - Wendy Knickerbocker, 70, died June 8, 2019 at Eastern Maine Medical Center due to complications arising from her treatment for breast cancer. She was born December 9, 1948, in Bar Harbor, the daughter of Charles H. Knickerbocker, MD and Julia (Cheyney) Knickerbocker.
Wendy grew up in Bar Harbor, attending public school through grade eight. She graduated from the MacDuffie School in Springfield, MA in 1966. She then attended Vassar College, where she served as class president and editor of the campus newspaper. She eventually graduated cum laude from Colby College in 1973 as one of its first graduates to earn a bachelor's degree in American Studies. She was elected Phi Beta Kappa. In 1980, she earned an MS in Library and Information Science from Simmons College and was elected Beta Phi Mu.
Wendy worked for more than 20 years as an academic librarian, serving College of the Atlantic, Rhode Island College and, finally, as director of the Nutting Memorial Library at Maine Maritime Academy in Castine. While working at College of the Atlantic, she met her future husband, David E. Avery. At various times in her life Wendy worked as an editor in the publishing business, contract librarian, bartender, bank teller, bookkeeper, and even as manager of Geddy's Pub in Bar Harbor. After retiring, she was active in the community of Castine, serving as Chair of the Trustees of the Witherle Memorial Library and as editor of the Castine Historical Society newsletter. At the time of her death, she was also serving as a Director of the Beatrix Farrand Society on Mount Desert Island. In addition to numerous published articles on a variety of topics, Wendy also wrote two scholarly biographies of American religious figures: Sunday at the Ballpark: Billy Sunday's Professional Baseball Career, 1883-1890, and Bard of the Bethel: The Life and Times of Boston's Father Taylor, 1793-1871.
Wendy was so much more than her work and her education. She loved Maine and Mount Desert Island and was fiercely proud of being a native of Bar Harbor. She loved words and wrote poetry, winning an award for one of her poems in 2015. She loved music, folk music especially. If it was popular between 1960 and 1973, she knew all the lyrics. Wendy also walked. She became a familiar sight wherever she happened to live, walking her daily commute, whether in Boston, Providence, Castine or Bar Harbor. She preferred walking (in any kind of weather) because she could see the world close-up and unhurried. She loved nature. Wendy was a true intellectual, reading widely and collecting books her whole life. She was especially interested in the intersection of American religion and culture. Wendy's own spiritual side required her to be quiet and listen to her heart. Thus she practiced as a Quaker privately. This led to her interest in Native Peoples, particularly their religious and cultural traditions. Her faith also led her to be a loyal Boston Red Sox fanatic long before 2004.
Wherever she went, Wendy collected friends. Her friends from Bar Harbor invited her to the Bar Harbor High School Class of 1966 reunions for years, never minding that she did not actually attend BHHS. In the 1970's she lived in California. She collected friends from the bank where she worked. Many were still on her Christmas card list for 2019, more than 40 years later. And so it went. At every stop in her life, people gravitated toward her. She was easy to like because she was small and fun, kind and gentle, loyal and generous. Wendy, more than most, lived according to the Golden Rule. She truly refrained from judging, always assumed the best, and sought the positive in people and in life. She was inspiring.
Wendy is survived by her husband of 34 years David E. Avery; her brother E. Ripley Knickerbocker and his wife Carol (Sochovka), of Hampden, ME; their sons Erik R. Knickerbocker of Ellsworth, and Christopher A. Knickerbocker of Brunswick, ME; her sister Barbara C. Knickerbocker, of West Chester, PA; her in-laws, Willard J. and Elizabeth K. Avery, of Kensington, CT; her sister-in-law Mary (Avery) Hrubiec, of Londonderry, NH and her children Katie Rogers of Manchester, NH, and David Hrubiec of Hooksett, NH; and her sister-in-law Lisa M. Avery of Plainville, CT.
Wendy will be buried in her beloved Bar Harbor in a private ceremony. Later, her family will arrange a celebration of her life where friends can share memories. Wendy's favorite local charities were the Maine Seacoast Mission, the MDI Hospital, and the Jesup Memorial Library. Before she passed, she suggested that people donate to their favorite local charities in her memory, if they so desire.
Published on June 13, 2019
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13 posts

Jennifer crute
Jul 02, 2019
Wendy , you taught me all about strength, courage and patience. I so enjoyed meeting you and your husband David. You both showed me every day what true love looks like!!! Thank you for always being kind and for your courageous fighting spirit!! I will think of you often and keep a smile on continuously with thoughts of you!!!
Jun 30, 2019
My condolences for your loss. Losing a loved one in death is one of the most difficult experiences. Something that really comforted me when my little sister died is the beautiful promise of a resurrection (Acts 24:15). We have this to look forward to, welcoming our loved ones back. I hope you gain some comfort from this assured promise.
Sheila Corbett
Jun 20, 2019
It’s sad to hear of Wendy’s passing. My thoughts, our thoughts, are with her family, especially with David. I hope that you find comfort through the many wonderful memories you have of Wendy.
Esther Akeley
Jun 18, 2019
Rip, I remember when we worked together at PKB, Sincere condolences in the loss of your sister.
John Hanscom
Jun 16, 2019
Wendy was a GEM of a person.. easy to like, easy to embrace. We are all better off having her as friend. Best to you David
Rich Alley
Jun 16, 2019
Haven’t seen Wendy for years, but always remember the fun she, Gail and I had as erstwhile summer workers and adventure seekers in BH and elsewhere. My thoughts and condolences to Rip and family.
Bob Barna
Jun 14, 2019
You were beloved by our mutual friend Dianne...which causes me to believe we all have lost a blessed spirit from among us. Rest In Peace with the angels.
Pamela Burch Perkins
Jun 14, 2019
It was so sad to hear of this wonderful woman passing. Remember having great times with her growing up in Bar Harbor. Wendy you will always be in our hearts. RIP dear friend.
Grady and Dianne Sneed
Jun 14, 2019
No words can express the loss and love we feel at this time. You left us with many wonderful memories for which we are thankful, and, will cherish forever. Until we meet again, may you rest in peace dear friend.
Jun 13, 2019
I never had the honor of knowing Wendy, but after being blessed by the reading of her tribute, I know that it would have been a joy to have known a woman of such intellect, spirit, vitality, and zest for life.Especially moving for me was the photo of her, with her mother, Julia. If ever I were asked to provide a visual definition of the word, LOVE, that photo is what I would choose. You can see the love radiating from the eyes of both mother and daughter. Be thankful that you were given the joy and honor of loving her, and that cancer might have been the means whereby her earthly life was ended, cancer cannot destroy the love that you had, and will continue to have for her. My heart goes ou...t to you, with my sincere condolences.Read more
Gail and Skip Campbell
Jun 13, 2019
This is such a very sad time for so many of those who knew Wendy. She will be deeply missed by all. So many wonderful memories of our dear friend.

Thinking of you David and hoping that remembering all your days together and the awesome adventures that you shared will provide you with some comfort in the days to come.

Sending you love and courage, Gail (George) and Skip
Sandra Reed
Jun 13, 2019
Wendy was an outstanding woman, who gave much to the communities in which she lived. I had the joy of having known her in both Castine and Bar Harbor. My condolences to David and all who loved her. It’s a very long list.
David Avery
Jun 12, 2019
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