HAMPDEN AND ORONO – Barbara (Mackenzie)Weatherbee Giddings was born in Lincoln, Maine on August 15, 1915 and died on August 16, 2014, one day after her 99th birthday. Her parents were James and Edna (Prouty) Mackenzie. Edna Mackenzie and her infant child were among the millions of victims of the great flu epidemic of 1918.
Barbara was educated at Oak Grove School and Nasson College.
Barbara was firmly rooted in her community, spending her long life in Hampden and Orono. The hallmark of Barbara’s life was her ability to adapt to changed circumstances, sometimes tragic, and reinvent her life in wonderful ways.
Her first chapter began when Randolph Weatherbee whistled at her on a street in Augusta. With him, there was a life of raising children, and tennis, skiing, fishing, camping at South Branch Pond, and whitewater canoes on the rivers of Maine. She became an inventive cook, working without a recipe. “Barbara’s Bread” was well known to her family and many friends.
After five sad years of widowhood, she made lamb stew for Ed Giddings of Orono. They married and soon she was sailing on Penobscot Bay and traveling to Europe. Their annual month in London with Arlen and Margaret Baillie was filled with nightly concerts, or plays or restaurants. She was a passionate lover of Mahler and about any other music performed by symphony orchestras.
Barbara once again became a widow. Her life turned again when George Carlisle called her for a second date. The first had been 67 years earlier when she managed to leave Oak Grove School for a date with George in Bangor. George and Barbara walked the beach in Siesta Key, danced at the drop of a hat with the Six Pack, their Sarasota friends, and traveled to Italy.
The PEO Sisterhood was a thread through many years of her life. Barbara logged 26 trips to Europe which fed her love of travel, art, music and the beauty of the world. She told her children and grandchildren that the Perseid meteor showers in mid August were created to celebrate her birthday and we all still believe it on some level, so central she was in our lives.
She was predeceased by her sister, Zelda Mackenzie; and her brother, James A. Mackenzie; and by her beloved grandson, David Randolph Weatherbee. Survivors include her son, Peter Weatherbee of Hampden; and her daughter, Jane Weatherbee Fox of Freeport, and 4 granddaughters, Anne Weatherbee Carney of Newport, Jennifer Weatherbee of Old Town, Susannah Fox of Arlington, VA, and Laura Fox of Boston, MA; and two great grandchildren, Jeremiah Hobbs and Charlotte Fox.
Services will be private at a later date in the summer. The family thanks the wonderful people at Dirigo Pines for their excellent and loving care. Those who wish to remember Barbara in a special way may make gifts in her memory to Branches, 44 Center St., Bangor, ME 04401, who so lovingly provided a home for David. Condolences to the family may be expressed at www.BrookingsSmith.com.