Katharine Edgar Cobey, obituary

Tue, 12/08/2020 - 2:45pm

CUSHING — Katharine Edgar Cobey (nee Durant in 1938) died peacefully in her beloved Maine on December 5, 2020.

Born in Lee, Massachusetts to David Sedgewick Durant and Clare Raymond Durant, she spent her childhood travelling between New England and Florida with her family. She studied language and literature on a full scholarship at Bennington College, in Vermont, and with her love of words, became a published poet.

After college, she married William Edgar. They raised their children in Africa, Belgium, England, Normandy and Washington, D.C., and she gifted her children with her love of the outdoors and adventure, her deep enjoyment of other cultures, and her dedication to friendship in every place they lived.

A significant injury in 1976 resulted in chronic pain that shadowed Katharine’s days. But with courage and determination, she turned her loss of physical health and strength to talent in knitting, spinning and sculpture and became a renowned fiber artist. With simple materials of yarn, metal and plastic she gave form to the power of her ideas about feminism, war, homelessness and Alzheimers. Her work has been widely exhibited in museums and galleries across the country. She was a juried artist with a demonstration studio at the Torpedo Factory in Old Town, Virginia from 1985 to 1992, winning an Artist of the Year award in 1992. Her solo shows include Katharine Cobey: A Different Voice, Farnsworth Art Museum, Rockland Maine, 2019, Ritual Against Homelessness, Portland City Hall Rotunda, 1999, Dream Shelters, The Textile Museum, Washington, D.C., 1990, and Boat with Four Figures, Houston Center for Contemporary Crafts, 2002. She was a gifted teacher and speaker, conducting workshops throughout New England, constructively expanding the horizons of generations of other artists.

She was the author of numerous publications, most notably her book, Diagonal Knitting: A Different Slant, Schoolhouse Press, 2010.

Katharine married David Boyce Cobey in 1977. Their passionate life together was filled with a shared love of art, ideas, nature, and poodles. Their beautiful home in Cushing, Maine was a testament to their relationship and a breathtaking gathering place with their treasured children, grandchildren and many friends. David’s unexpected death in 2013 was an unmeasurable loss that Katharine carried in her heart with cherished memories of their love to the very end.

Katharine is survived by: her children Clare Jones (Tom), Bill Edgar (Eliot), Thomas Edgar (Clare) and Michael Edgar (Christine); her step-children John Cobey, Alice Cobey (Chris) and Damian Cobey (Marylise); her sister Clare Verhoeven and her brothers David and Steven Durant; her eleven beloved grandchildren James (Fiona), Jonathan, Emily, Owen, Katie, Elizabeth, Erin, Evan, Lila, Cameron and Theo; her great-grandchildren Finnigan and Nora; and her many cherished cousins, nieces, nephews and friends.

A celebration of Katharine’s vibrant and remarkable life will be held when all of us who loved her can safely be together in person to remember our loving mother, grandmother and friend.

Arrangements are entrusted to Hall Funeral Homes and Cremation Services.

You are invited to share your condolences with the family by visiting her Book of Memories at www.hallfuneralhomes.com.