YARMOUTH – Esther Tardy, known as Tess, died Monday, Dec. 3, 2012, after a long illness. She was born July 16, 1928, to Paul W. Freese and Esther Atwood of Bangor.
As a child she lived in Bangor and for several memorable years at Cherry Hill Farm, East Corinth. Tess attended the University of Maine, Orono, where she met Richard P. Tardy. They were married July 5, 1949. She graduated from Bates College in 1950. Tess and Dick lived in Brunswick until 1964 when they moved to Contoocook, N.H., where they raised their four daughters. She taught middle school special education in New Hampshire school systems. In 2002, Tess and Dick moved to Falmouth. Tess enjoyed the outdoors from an early age and told her children how as a very little girl she impressed a Maine guide at Moosehead Lake with her delight in fishing. Tess was an active Girl Scout and enjoyed attending Camp Natarswi, where she climbed Mount Katahdin each summer and became proficient as a canoeist. Throughout the years at the Tardy family camp on Androscoggin Lake, she taught each of her daughters how to canoe using the proper strokes. She was a Girl Scout leader in Contoocook and sometimes used her yard prior to a trip to teach camping skills such as how to light a fire in damp conditions. Tess and her daughters especially loved the many visits to Acadia National Park with fond memories of trips to Schoodic Point. Tess was a cofounder of Golden Group of Hopkinton, N.H., and was active in the social, educational and recreational programs offered for seniors. She helped teach the exercise program for many years. She also enjoyed traveling with her family.
Tess was predeceased by her husband, Dick, in 2002; twin sister, Irene; parents; brother, William Freese; and beloved aunt, Henrietta Briggs. Tess is survived by daughters, Linda Hopkins, Esther Tardy-Wolfe, Karen Walter and Kimberly Potts, and their spouses. She is also survived by grandchildren, Carolyn Walter Dodge, Laura Hopkins, Lauren Walter, Andrew Hopkins, Robert Potts, Mary Potts and Thomas Potts; and brother, John D. Freese. The family thanks Sedgewood Commons, Falmouth, with special thanks to the staff of Longfellow Community for the pleasure, care and comfort they brought to the last two years of Tess’ life. Tess was a loving mother and grandmother and will be dearly missed.
A memorial service for Tess will be held 1 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 8, at Congregational Church in Cumberland, 282 Main St., Cumberland. Memorial donations may be made to Maine Alzheimer’s Association, 383 U.S. Route One, Suite 2C, Scarborough, ME 04074. Care for Tess and her family has been entrusted to Jones, Rich & Hutchins Funeral Home, Portland.