SOUTH THOMASTON, Maine — A Maine artist whose work can be seen in galleries across the country died earlier this week after suffering an untreatable, tick-borne illness.
Marilyn Ruth Snow, 73, better known as Lyn, died on Wednesday at Maine Medical Center in Portland. She contracted Powassan disease, a rare virus spread by deer ticks in November, according to her daughter, Susie Whittington.
Snow was well known in the Rockland area for her floral watercolor paintings.
“She was like her paintings — she was gentle, kind and unbelievably loving,” Whittington said on Sunday.
Snow was born in Fall River, Mass., and earned a nursing degree from Burbank Hospital School of Nursing in 1962. She moved to Maine in 1986 and married Jack Snow.
Whittington, 46, said her mother had been painting for as long as she could remember. Snow used charcoal and then painted Native American portraits, she said.
“And then she found her calling with watercolors,” said Whittington.
Snow’s work won awards around the country. She and her husband spent 25 years on the road. She exhibited and sold at prominent flower shows in Boston and Philadelphia.
She also designed posters for the Bangor Garden Show for many years, according to Whittington. Snow had her own gallery in Rockland.
Bigger than her artistry was her heart, said Whittington.
She sold many of her paintings and prints, but would always give one away at a garden show to someone who couldn’t afford a print.
People always gravitated toward Snow, said Whittington.
“She was the matriarch of the family. She didn’t ask to be, but she just was,” she said. “Thanksgiving was 40 people every year. They were drawn to her.”
She was always thinking of others.
Whittington said her family vacationed in Jamaica for three years.
“Guest staff there was not paid well. My mother smuggled hamburger after hamburger after hamburger to the staff,” said Whittington. “She ordered the burgers throughout the day, hide them and sneak away to give them to the staff. They adored her. They called her Grandma Lyn. It was that kind of rule breaking for social justice she felt strongly about.”
Snow’s greatest joys, said Whittington, was her husband and her grandchildren.
“Of course, we’re surrounded by her artwork, but we’re also surrounded by her love,” she said.
Snow is survived by her husband Jack, her three children, Susie Whittington and her husband Guy of Mt. Vernon, Sarah Richards and her husband Todd Richards of Round Pond, John Sampson of Rockland, and her sisters Sue Shane and her husband Stephen of Yarmouth, Sally Lucas Snow and husband Greg of South Thomaston, and stepsister Cathy Baker Snow. She is also survived by Jack’s children; Stephen Snow, Johnny Snow and his wife Robin, Rachel Snow, Rebecca Snow and Patty Snow, their children and many nieces, nephews and friends.
Visiting hours will be held from 4 to 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 27 at Burpee, Carpenter and Hutchins Funeral Home at 110 Limerock St. in Rockland. A Eucharistic Service will be at 3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 28, at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Rockland. A reception to celebrate her life will be held afterward.
Flowers are gratefully accepted; however those who wish may make memorial donations to 100 Acre Wood, 92 South Clary Road, Jefferson, Maine 04348.