NORTH YARMOUTH — Hilma H. Barter, 89, of North Yarmouth, passed away Oct. 18 at Gosnell House.
Named after a Swedish film star her mother admired, Barter was born June 10, 1922 in Yarmouth to George and Bessie Hewitt. Soon after she was born, her brother began calling her Mary and the name stuck.
Barter loved caring for children and began babysitting at eight years old. She was known for baking nearly every day, those who stopped at her house were guaranteed a fresh cup of coffee and a meal. In her spare time she enjoyed knitting, sewing, raising her chickens, gardening and bird watching. A strong proponent for many things, she believed strongly in gay and civil rights, organic food and natural healing.
Known for stretching her tight budget, she loved Christmas and worked hard to make each year magical for her children and grandchildren. Instead of purchasing her gifts at a store, she often hosted toy parties, saved Top Value and S&H stamps to redeem, and sold to friends and family through Popular Club to acquire bonus points for toys. The weeks before Christmas were a very busy time for her, spending her days sewing, knitting and baking.
When her daughter Becky was diagnosed with ovarian cancer, Barter stayed by her side, laughing and crying together. She spent her days cooking and caring for Becky until she passed away just a month before turning 39.
Barter was predeceased by her parents; her older brother J. Oakland Hewitt; her daughter Becky Grass; her sister Virginia Ring; her grandson Steven Megquier; her husband of nearly 60 years Clayton; and her daughter-in-law Vera Brown.
She is survived by her sons Kenwood Brown and Fred Barter; daughters Penelope Megquier and her husband Peter Colello, Polly Grindle and her husband Doug Grindle; grandsons James Megquire, Bradford Megquier, Ed Barter, Dan Barter; granddaughters Susan Davidson and Molly Washo; great grandsons Michael Haines and Michael Washo; great granddaughters Whitney Megquier, Emma Davidson, Rebecca Davidson and Abigal Washo; daughter Becky’s husband Dana Grass and his wife Wanda; Nathan Vale and Hallie Hawkes who were like grandchildren; and all her nieces and nephews.
The family would like to thank Jessica Vickerson at Mercy Hospital for helping her get her final wish.
At Barter’s request there were no funeral services. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in her memory to Gosnell House, 11 Hunnewell Road, Scarborough, ME 04074.