CAMDEN — Katharine “Kit” Ward Parker was lost from this world on the afternoon of Saturday, September 14, following a decades-long struggle against multiple sclerosis and due to complications from an acute battle with pneumonia. After deciding to move to the Sussman House for hospice care, the lovely and incomparable Kit slipped away, surrounded by love, with her hands held by her two loving children.
Kit was born April 16, 1951 on Staten Island, New York and grew up in Old Greenwich, Connecticut. She was the daughter of Gerald Scott Parker and Alice Carroll Parker. She graduated from St. Margaret’s School for Girls (now Chase Collegiate) where she was class president. She attended Skidmore College and graduated from Middlebury.
After college she remained in Vermont where she worked at Fly Fisherman magazine and later was a co-founder of Fly Rod & Reel magazine in 1979. In 1983 the magazine was purchased by Down East Enterprise, the owner of Down East magazine, which brought Kit to Maine. Kit worked for the company for 30 years and held the positions of circulation director, controller, marketing director, and finally publisher of Down East, Fly Rod & Reel, and Shooting Sportsman magazines before her retirement. During her career she attended the Stanford Professional Publishing Course and was a graduate of Leadership Maine in the epsilon class.
After moving here by happenstance, Kit ended up adoring the Camden area. Kit was very interested in local history and collected Camden-Rockport ephemera. She was instrumental, along with Deb Dodge and Ann Montgomery, in getting the High Street Historic District placed on the National Register of Historic Places. She was on the board of the Camden-Rockport Historical Society in the 1980s and was a long-time member of the Camden Historic Resources Committee. In later years she served on the board of Youthlinks and worked on the local M.S. Walk committee.
Kit’s interests included family genealogy, gardening, needlecrafts of all kinds, kayaking, books and publishing, politics and current events, and laughing at dinner parties with friends. But her greatest joy was her children.
Kit is survived by her daughter, Sarah Calabi and her husband Greg Woods; her granddaughters, Vera, Ada, and Maeve Woods; her son, Alexander Calabi and his wife Nubia Calabi; her sisters, Alison Parker and Caroline Andrus and their families; several cousins; and a web of adoring friends from far and wide.
Kit was a brave and beautiful soul, who was always kind, even-keeled, and goodnatured, even in the face of trying times and unfair circumstances. Her courage was an inspiration to those who knew her. She was a warm and shining example of the best of humanity.
Kit maintained a grace beyond what many can muster, all while her physical body slowly failed her. She lived life to the fullest and wanted to keep playing the game, even when life kept moving the goal posts on her. She leaves the spark of her beauty, intellect, and wonderful soul in her adoring children and in all those who loved her. Her mission in life was to be a faithful friend, a supportive sister, and a loving mother, always trying to make things easier for us all. Mission accomplished.
A celebration of life and memorial service will be held around the time of Kit’s birthday in April 2020 at the First Congregational Church in Camden. A birthday party will follow the service. Please come and have fun! Notice of exact date and time to follow.
Condolences and memories can be shared with the family at 18 Jackson Street, Portland, ME, 04103, on the Long Funeral Home website (longfuneralhomecamden.com), or on Kit’s Facebook page.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to The Shields Mission, First Congregational Church of Camden, 55 Elm St., Camden, ME 04843.
Arrangements are with the Long Funeral Home & Cremation Service, 9 Mountain St., Camden.