Barbara Caren McCourtney

McCourtney, Barbara Caren
Aug. 12, 1947 - Dec. 16, 2012
Barbara Caren McCourtney, 65, of Blue Hill, ME, formerly of Sarasota, FL, died on Dec. 16, 2012.
Born in St. Louis, MO, Caren McCourtney died peacefully at her home in Maine, from ovarian cancer.
Caren grew up on Siesta Key beaches and bays and attended the Out-of-Door School and St. Martha's. In her early years, she worked at the Tail-of-the-Pup, The Granary, and the Herald Tribune. Her lifelong interest in the connections between people and places began in Sarasota, as did her love for Floridiana, the circus, and small-town newspapers.
When Sarasota grew too large for her, she migrated north and joined a women's community in Blue Hill, Maine. There she built a house from scratch, and became a generous and active volunteer in local organizations. She will be loved and remembered by many friends who shared her interests in softball, road trips, roots music, 1950's kitsch, and always - that quirky side of life. Once, Caren earned a standing ovation for her spirited solo, playing the Spoons, while jamming with a bluegrass band at Cedar Key's famous Island Hotel. Caren's spontaneity had a splendor of its own.
For 26 years, Caren played with the steel drum band, Flash in the Pans. And at the age of 53, she received a degree in American History (focusing on Social Geography) from the University of Maine.
Caren is survived by her loving partner of 24 years, Gabrielle Wellman; her daughter, Keelie Christman; and her brother, Sarasota photographer J.B. (Brad) McCourtney and his family.

Published in Herald Tribune from Mar. 8 to Mar. 9, 2013