BAR HARBOR and LAMOINE – Beverly J. Coleman (Benallick), 76, died April 24, 2009, in Bar Harbor, after a long struggle with Alzheimer’s disease. Beverly was born Nov. 5, 1932, in Niagara Falls, Canada, daughter of Archibald and Violet (Henry) Benallick. During her adolescence, Beverly helped support her family by working long hours in the family owned general store. In 1950 Beverly enrolled at McMaster University and was the only woman in the Class of 1954 to graduate in chemistry. During her undergraduate years, Beverly met Douglas Coleman, who would be the love of her life for the next 55 years. After marriage and graduation, Beverly and Douglas moved to Madison, Wis., where Beverly took a research position at Forest Products Laboratory. In 1958 Douglas and Beverly moved to Seal Harbor, where they lived for 28 years and were spoken fondly of throughout that period as “the new folks from Canada.” In addition to raising three sons, Beverly volunteered with Seal Harbor Village Improvement Society, Mount Desert Island Nursing Association, for which she served as director and president, and Northeast Harbor Library, where she spent many hours archiving various charts and other reference materials. Beverly loved the outdoors and was an avid hiker, sailor and gardener. Starting in the 1970s, Beverly volunteered in Wild Gardens of Acadia. Her interest in native wildflowers eventually became a passion that culminated in a commitment to land conservation. When she and Douglas moved to their waterfront home, “Mixed Woods,” in Lamoine, Beverly designed a wildflower garden that encompassed many species native to the area. A walk with Beverly through her home and garden revealed her unbridled joy in her accomplishments there and was likely to elicit the Latin names for many plant varieties. She was also interested in Native American cultures, ranging from the Inuit in the Arctic, the Mayans in Central America, to the Incas in South America. In her later years Beverly’s interest in forest practices and land conservation grew and she became a member and later chairman of Down East Resource Conservation and Development Forestry Committee. She was also instrumental in placing a conservation easement on Mixed Woods to preserve it as a sustainable small woodlot and educational resource. In this regard, Beverly accomplished her lifelong commitment toward leaving things better than she found them. In 2007 Beverly was recognized for her conservation efforts by being a co-recipient of the first Conservation Award given by Lamoine. Beverly is survived by her beloved husband, Douglas of Bar Harbor and Lamoine; her son, David of Kingston, Canada; her son, Thomas, his wife, Sarah Fashena, and their son, Benjamin, all of Mount Kisco, N.Y.; and her sister, Jacquie of Toronto. One son, John D. Coleman, predeceased her. A celebration of Beverly’s life and a graveside service will be held 10 a.m. Friday, May 22, at Seal Harbor Cemetery, Seal Harbor. The family requests that contributions in Beverly’s memory may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association, 170 Route 1, Suite 250, Falmouth, ME 04105. Arrangements in care of Jordan-Fernald, 1139 Main St., Mount Desert. Condolences may be expressed at www.jordanfernald.com.
BEVERLY J. COLEMAN
Posted April 24, 2009, at 6:39 p.m.