Beth Henderson

Obituary of Beth Carol Henderson

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Beth spent the first half of her adult life in education that brought her to various places on the globe. As an educator, she saw the potential in everyone. She retired from education in her early 50’s to pursue her second love, art, starting as a sculptor and moving onto encaustic and assemblage, where she saw potential in everything.

As an English teacher, it was often noted by Beth’s prior students “best teacher ever”, “I am a teacher now because of you”, “you made learning interesting”.  She always felt students abilities could not be measured solely by test, quizzes, paper, and pencil.

As a Toledo, Ohio native she graduated from Woodward High School, class of 1960 and Bowling Green State University in 1964.

Beth’s love for music began early on as first seat clarinet in the high school band as well as musicals and extravaganzas. During Beths high school years the transistor radio was often tuned to Helen and Chet’s polka party every Sunday morning. Beth often played along with her clarinet.

Soon after receiving her degree in education, she began her journey east for hilly countrysides and her first teaching position in New York State where she remained until 1970.

Beth always had an immense desire to travel and learn. In the early 70’s Beth joined the Peace Corps. She was a volunteer in Western Samoa, South Pacific teaching English as a second language to the equivalent of high school students at Samoa College. After two years in Samoa, Beth accepted a position in Washington, DC preparing potential Peace Corps. volunteers for work overseas.

Her next overseas adventure would be spent teaching English and art in Suffolk, England at Herringswell Manor, an American boarding school.

Upon her return to Maine, Beth spent a year at the Passamaquoddy Indian Reservation in Calais, Maine where she taught junior high students. As she had observed in the South Pacific, while teaching in Samoa, Beth saw a similar struggle of another small population on how to maintain its identity in a larger, homogenizing world. On the reservation she taught in a one room schoolhouse with a bell. She developed a curriculum for each child. When school was not in session, they painted the outside of the schoolhouse. They all learned. Her time spent in the South Pacific and the Indian reservation led to an even further respect for different viewpoints and appreciation for diversity.

During the 1980’s, she led two student trips and student exchanges to what was then the Soviet Union, funded by grants from the Samantha Smith foundation.

After receiving her masters degree at the University of Maine, she earned a certificate of advanced study from the Harvard school of education.

Beth always had a deep interest in the environment and the outdoors. Knowing that Mainers had a real concern in protecting the environment, and that she wanted to be part of that, she continued her journey where she accepted a position as first woman Ranger in the state of Maine at Sebago Lake State Park.

Once again, feeling her desire to learn, she spent many summer weeks at Haystack Mountain School of Art, creating and learning. Beth displayed her creativity at several juried shows and sold her artwork in various studios throughout Maine. Sculptures of stone and marble, mixed media and encaustic were created over the years at Moon Bat Studio, which was located in her Belfast, Maine home. Her imagination and creativity were endless.

Beth, over many years, enthusiastically, hosted family and friends for visits and adventures to the state she loved. We helped to renovate an old home she bought, discovering snakes in the rafters, created gardens, hunted for beach glass and heart rocks, learned about black flies, spoiled Beth’s, cats, dogs, sheep, and goats, visited Peaks Island, floated down the Kennebec river in the “Whatever Race” and trips to Avian Haven animal rescue where Beth volunteered.

Known affectionately as Bessie or Bess, solely by her family, she lived an incredibly full life with a multitude of interests and accomplishments.  Beth was quiet and unpretentious, a style that could surely camouflage an adventurous spirit and willingness to take chances.
We all are extremely proud of her numerous accomplishments, but mostly for the kind and extremely caring sister and aunt she was.
She will be dearly missed.


Beth passed away on April 17, 2024 after a brief illness.
She leaves her partner of 27 years, Deborah, her brother Dave/Barb, sister Barb/Claude, nephew Heath and great niece Haley/Hunter.

A celebration of life will be held early this summer.



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Beth Henderson

In Loving Memory

Beth Henderson

1942 - 2024

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