Bright and early on New Year’s Day, 2019, Carol des Lauriers Cieri, our beloved wife and mother, left this earth for a better place. As she always had, she chose her own path (not the easy one), and stuck to it.

She was born on an Air Force base in Japan, which led to an ongoing joke that she could still one day become president, since technically the base was U.S. soil (fortunately for us, she didn’t pursue that path). She grew up mostly on the outskirts of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and she dearly loved that city and state. It took her several tries to settle on an undergraduate college experience (another endless source of jokes), before she graduated with honors from Notre Dame University. This was in the very early days of N.D. admitting women, and Carol had some good stories about those times. Next was law school, where she graduated from Marquette University, again with honors. After working briefly in the field of law, she moved to Boston, where she worked for several years as a writer and editor for the Christian Science Monitor.

Finally, she came to Camden, Maine, in the early ’90s, again to work in the newspaper business. It was there that she met Paul McGurren (on a fly fishing trip); they were married soon after and would spend the next 25 years together. They bought a big old farm house in Lincolnville, where they raised two amazing daughters, Emma and Clara, who would become Carol’s pride and joy. She was a stay-at-home mom, who saw to it that, as little ones, the girls got to know the real, natural world of trees, flowers, fields, insects, birds and animals. Technology would come later. Somehow, while caring for our girls, keeping the household going and keeping us fed, she found time to run a home-based editing business that was a big chunk of the family income. For a time she worked for a company in New York, doing investigative research in the world of corporate takeovers. This was intense work, but right up Carol’s alley, since she had an inexhaustible sense of curiosity about almost everything.

Among other things, she was an accomplished fly fisher, story teller, home gardener, book author and baker of the most amazing scones and pies that a person could ever hope to enjoy. When Paul’s repeat guiding clients would book a trip, they rarely asked how the fishing was — instead, it was “what kind of pie will we have?” Her kindness and concern for others, whether friends or total strangers, was touching, and sometimes surprising. Once, when the four of us were traveling through Logan Airport in winter, she spotted a family who clearly were from another, warmer country and not dressed for the cold. She went right over to them and spoke to the father. Next thing we know she’s rummaging through her carry-on and grabs the warmest pair of socks she has and gives them to him. He teared up, thanked her profusely, and said he would give them to his wife.

In her work life, she saved the best for last. The final seven or so years of her career were spent as director of Coastal Family Hospice Volunteers. If there is a more noble way than hospice to spend one’s time, we don’t know what it would be. She got to work with a truly amazing group of volunteers and professionals, doing work that truly matters — helping people to die with dignity, and helping their families to grieve.

Fittingly, when Carol’s health suffered toward the end of her life, she found a place where she got the the kindest, most loving care imaginable. The Chestnut Hill Benevolent Association in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts, provided Carol, and our family, with love and support in precisely the way that Carol wanted, and for that we will be eternally grateful.

Carol is survived by her husband and daughters, Paul, Emma, and Clara McGurren of Lincolnville, as well as a brother, Jim Cieri of Chicago, and a sister Cathy Cieri DeGroot of Waukesha, Wisconsin.

In lieu of flowers, we would suggest donations in Carol’s name, either to Coastal Family Hospice Volunteers or to Chestnut Hill Benevolent Association. The family plans to hold a memorial gathering for Carol in the spring, most likely in May or June.