Harpswell - Marguerite Kelly, age 67, of Harpswell, Maine passed away suddenly due to complications from a bacterial infection on Saturday, April 11, 2020.
Born in Dorchester, MA in 1952 to Walter J and Margaret F (Murphy) Kelly and raised in Hingham, MA. An Honor Society graduate and Valedictorian from Sacred Heart High School, Marguerite went on to earn a BA in English Literature and MBA in Accounting from the University of Chicago. While at Chicago, Marguerite participated in varsity basketball and field hockey and club soccer. She also met her future husband, Tony Barrett.
After graduation, she passed the CPA exam and joined the audit practice of Deloitte & Touche for 14 years, becoming a Senior Audit Manager specializing in Financial Institution IPOs. Her writing skills combined with her financial acumen made her an effective communicator within the accounting profession.
In 1992, Marguerite and now husband, Tony moved to Cairo, Egypt for 6 years. Unable to obtain a permit to work as an accountant or auditor, Marguerite learned Arabic and how to drive like an Egyptian. She helped to found a unique US/Egyptian charitable non-profit to address low childhood cancer survival rates. Marguerite was the Vice Chair of the organization and the Minister of Health was the Chair. She travelled all around Egypt with her Egyptian colleagues visiting hospitals, sharing treatment protocols and arranging for chemo drug shipments from the US.
In 1998, Marguerite and Tony returned to the US, sold their home, almost all of their belongings and moved into a 26-ft trailer to travel around the country as “RV full-timers”. In 2000, Marguerite found a permanent parking place for the trailer after reading a 4-line real estate ad in the Boston Globe about an old saltwater farm on Great Island with a 100-year old stone wall. She soon applied her financial skills as a member of the Town of Harpswell Budget Advisory committee. In 2004, she was elected Town Treasurer, a position she still holds until today. She had drive and compassion in equal parts. It’s a rare combination.
“The Town of Harpswell is deeply saddened by the unexpected passing of its Treasurer Marguerite Kelly. Not only did we lose a brilliant financial adviser, we lost a fine person of great depth and compassion who reached out often to her work colleagues to ask how we were doing. She was held in high esteem by the many elected officials she worked with over the years, by her Town of Harpswell colleagues, including members of the Budget Advisory Committee, and by so many others with whom she came into contact while serving as Treasurer. Among her many financial accomplishments, perhaps her finest, was guiding the Town through its first issuance of Town of Harpswell bonds in 2018—a major achievement in the financial history of the Town, indicative of the strong position the Town’s finances have been in under her watch. More than the financial accomplishments, it was the relationships Marguerite built with others that will be treasured the most”.
Marguerite was a world traveler visiting Mexico & Canada and many US States multiple times. Besides Egypt, she visited Europe often as well as Oman, Jordan, Turkey, Israel & Peru. Marguerite visited Ireland on numerous trips with Tony, her parents & her sister. On one trip to Ireland with girlfriends, she endured a rough boat ride to the Skellig Islands (a World Heritage Site featured in the Star Wars Skywalker saga) but remained on the boat landing not able to overcome her fear of heights with the steep climb ahead. But in recent years, she has stayed close to home saying “I live in Vacationland, why do I need to take a vacation”?
Marguerite loved living in Harpswell. She greatly appreciated working with her fellow town employees and volunteers, being a part of the great community and living on the Maine coast.
Marguerite enjoyed her daily early morning walks along Long Point Road with her neighbor and friend, Susan, watching the seasons change in this beautiful place. She had many conversations with other neighbors passing in their vehicles even at that early hour. Marguerite knew the names and vehicle type of everyone on the road, but she especially knew the name of every dog on the road.
Marguerite served on the board of the Coastal Humane Society (now Midcoast Humane). Over the years, Marguerite adopted 10 dogs and cared for many others. She was always drawn to the least popular dogs. Against Tony’s advice, she adopted a Rottweiler mix who lived the first two years of its life mostly in the shelter. That dog turned out to be a great pet and died after a long and happy life. While in Egypt, a local street dog who would follow Marguerite on her walks, gave birth to a litter and was shortly thereafter poisoned in a government dog control program. Marguerite pulled Tony out of the office to crawl under some nearby bushes to rescue four puppies, one of whom she brought back to Maine. Her most recent adoption, Jewel, is a Louisiana rescue brought to Maine via Puppy Love.
Marguerite is and will always be missed.
Marguerite was predeceased by her parents and sister, Kathy Taraschi.
Marguerite is survived by her husband, Tony Barrett, her brother James P and sister Patricia A Kelly of Hingham MA and her sister Christine Kelly of Worcester MA, her sister-in-law Mary (Rob) Prybylo and brother-in-law Steve Barrett of Bangor ME, and brother-in-law Bob Barrett (Erin Curren) of Westbrook Me, and brother-in-law Bob Taraschi of Washington DC, niece Chelsea Prybylo of Watertown MA and nephew Max Prybylo of Orono ME and her beloved canine companion, Jewel.
Special thanks to Martins Point Healthcare and the critical care staff at St. Mary’s Hospital and Maine Medical Center.
Due to COVID-19 there will be no funeral service. There will be a memorial service at some appropriate time in the future. If you’d like to remember Marguerite, consider a memorial donation to either of these organizations that Marguerite felt are very worthy of support, especially in need during this time of crisis: Midcoast Hunger Prevention mchpp.org or Midcoast Humane midcoasthumane.org.
To view Marguerite’s memorial page, or to share an online condolence, please visit www.CremationofSouthernMaine.com
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