By Angela Twitchell, BTLT Executive Director
Just before the last Saturday Farmers’ Market of the season, we learned that Karen Marston, of Bowdoin Baking Company, had tragically passed away. Karen had been an integral part of our farmers’ market family since the very beginning, more than 20 years. Her generosity, care for others, and heart-warming smile made her the de facto matriarch of our market community. She brought joy to the market by sharing cookies with children, market volunteers, and parking staff. She was incredibly generous, always ready to donate to worthy causes, and was known for her thoughtful gifts. With her passing, there will be a big hole in the heart of our market.
Karen will be deeply missed by many, including myself, an enduring “fan of Karen.” When I first joined the Board of the Land Trust in 2000, the market was a new undertaking with only a handful of vendors. I spent many early Saturday mornings volunteering at the market and Karen was one of the first vendors I got to know well. She treated me (and my children) like family and was always ready with a smile, a hug, a delicious treat, and good conversation. My kids grew up spending Saturday mornings at the market and always wanted to visit “the cookie lady” as their first stop.
Since Karen’s passing, we have heard many poignant stories shared by others about the multitude of ways she contributed to the community and brought joy to people’s lives. It has been moving to hear these stories and share our own and to truly celebrate Karen’s life.
Our hearts go out to Karen’s husband Mike, her family & friends, her dog Jambalaya, and everyone who had the pleasure of knowing her.
Karen’s family has said there will be a celebration of life ceremony in the spring – we will share details as we learn more. She will be dearly missed and fondly remembered.