Falmouth, ME - Karen Hart Anthony died peacefully at the Legacy Memory Care Unit of Ocean View, Falmouth, Maine, on April 27, 2017 at the age of 76.
Karen was born October 1, 1940, the daughter of Lauren and Ruth Hart. She grew up in Lanham, Maryland and attended Bladensburg High School. She attended Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, for two years and then transferred to the University of Connecticut in Storrs, Connecticut from which she graduated in 1962. She was hired by AT&T Long Lines division in White Plains, New York, where she worked as a computer programmer. In those days computer programs were on punch cards, and the computers were in large rooms with tile floors. She stayed with that company for several years. She married Gerald Reese, her college sweetheart, and shortly after had her two sons, Michael and Brian.
The family moved to Williamsport, Pennsylvania, where they lived for several years. Together with several friends she started a cooperative day care center there. The family moved to South Portland in 1972, where she worked as a computer programmer (and later as a systems analyst) for two successive banks. She also was a Parent Effectiveness Training facilitator for several years. She and Jerry were divorced in 1975.
Shortly afterwards she married Cushman Anthony. His two children, Thomas and Ellyn, came to live with them in South Portland. It was a very busy household, with her two boys in fifth and seventh grade and Cush’s son and daughter in first and third grade. She often joked that she took the computer job as a way to get out of the house.
After working for banks, she held a variety of positions including assistant at a local architectural firm, researcher for a marketing company, manager of the relocation of two small corporations which merged, and director for another company during the computer transition known as Y2K in the year 2000. She stopped working after her children were grown, and she and Cushman moved to a home in Falmouth. When that home did not seem quite right, the couple moved again, this time to North Yarmouth. All the while they spent much of the summer months at Cush’s family home in Wellfleet, Cape Cod, Massachusetts, a place that Karen came to love greatly.
Karen was diagnosed as having Alzheimer’s disease in early 2011, and the couple moved to live in a cottage at Ocean View retirement community in Falmouth very shortly thereafter. In August 2014 when the progression of her disease required it, Karen moved into the Legacy Memory Care Unit at Ocean View. Cushman was able to spend some time with her each day there. She never once complained about her situation.
Karen was deeply involved with the Allen Avenue Unitarian Universalist Church in Portland, and served as its treasurer for several years. Most of her friends were connected to that church.
Besides her husband Cushman, Karen leaves behind her son Michael of Honolulu, her son Brian and his daughter Jennifer of Charlottesville, Virginia. Also her stepson Thomas Anthony of Moscow, Russia, and his three children Sasha, Stephen, and Robert. Also her stepdaughter Ellyn Leamon and husband Thomas of Richmond, Vermont, and their two sons Alexander and Jacob. She is also survived by her brother Steve Hart and his wife Carlotta of Mountain View, Arkansas, as well as her sister Jill Hart of Virginia.
A memorial service will be held at the Allen Avenue Unitarian Universalist Church in Portland on Saturday, May 20 at 1:30 p.m. Her cremains will be interred at the family burial plot in Wellfleet, Massachusetts, at a later date. Memorial donations may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association Maine Chapter, 583 U. S. Route 1, Scarborough ME 04074 or to the Allen Avenue Unitarian Universalist Church, 524 Allen Avenue, Portland ME 04103.