ROCKLAND — Katherine M. deRochemont, 60, died peacefully at the Sussman House, in Rockport on Saturday, June 29.
She was born December 13, 1958 at the Knox County General Hospital in Rockland, the elder daughter of Permill F. and Clarence R. deRochemont. Kathy grew up on Pleasant Street in Rockland and graduated from Rockland District High School in 1977.
She continued her education at the University of Maine at Orono where she earned degrees in both Psychology and Elementary Education. While at Orono, Kathy also continued to express her love of instrumental music by becoming an active member of the Marching and Symphonic bands. After college graduation and her return to Rockland to live, she played in both the Midcoast Community Band and Bay Winds.
Kathy’s knowledge of local history grew over the years that she worked as a docent and on the staff at the Farnsworth Art Museum and at the Farnsworth Homestead on Elm Street in Rockland. She applied her gift for foreign languages, her understanding of art history, and her interest in the Victorian era to interpret the Homestead’s collections of original furniture and household goods that had belonged to the Farnsworth family for visitors from around the world, conversing in Russian, Spanish, and French as well as English. She also spent countless hours researching the Farnsworth family at the Rockland Historical Society archives and added greatly to knowledge of this important Rockland family.
Volunteerism came naturally for Kathy and she served on several local boards and committees. She was a Board member of the Camden-Rockport Historical Society and then, beginning in 2013, a Board member and Vice President of the Rockland Historical Society. She volunteered at the Penobscot School in Rockland and the Conway House and Creamer Museum in Rockport. But her strongest love as a community volunteer was to the Pope Memorial Humane Society of Knox County. Kathy served 17 years on the Board of Directors and was elected Secretary and then Vice President of the Society. A recent tribute to her in the Society newsletter praised her “wisdom, insight and institutional memory” and continued that “she will be remembered and missed both professionally and personally, as a wonderful supporter and advocate…as well as a true friend.”
As her physical health deteriorated, Kathy continued her service at the Humane Society and the Rockland Historical Society. She attended meetings faithfully and worked to be sure all sides were heard. She encouraged long range planning and the preservation of local history as important to her community until shortly before her death.
Kathy was predeceased by her parents, and is survived by her sister and brother-in-law, Susan deRochemont Bragg and John Bragg, of Norfolk, Virginia; nephew, Andrew F. Bragg and his fiancée, Caitlin Burzynski, of Rochester, New York; niece, Emily M. Bragg of Atlanta, Georgia; and several cousins.
A funeral service will be held on Friday, September 20, at 1 p.m., at Burpee, Carpenter, & Hutchins Funeral Home, 110 Limerock Street, Rockland, with the Reverend Seth Jones of the Rockland Congregational Church officiating.
In lieu of flowers and in support of Kathy’s passion for local history, memorial donations may be made to the Rockland Historical Society, PO Box 1331, Rockland, Maine 04841.
To share a memory or story with Kathy’s family, visit their online Book of Memories at www.bchfh.com.