Clarabel Hadley Marstaller

MarstallerClarabel Hadley Marstaller, 97, on December 2, 2019, peacefully, in Brunswick, Maine. Clarabel was born on November 19, 1922, in Vermilion Grove, Ill., to Freda Morris and Milton Hadley. Two of her five siblings died in infancy, and she was the last child to survive. She graduated from Olney Friends School in 1940 and Earlham College in 1944, with a bachelor’s in mathematics. After working for Eli Lilly for a year, she taught for three years and then married Louis Marstaller of Freeport, Maine, in 1948. She helped in the family business, the Maine Idyll Motor Court, serving as treasurer of its corporation for over 20 years. During the 1950s, she was a substitute teacher in Brunswick and Freeport.

A birthright Friend and faithful, active member of Durham (Maine) Meeting from 1949, she served as presiding clerk; trustee; Sunday school teacher; choir director; organist; member of Ministry and Counsel Committee, Christian Education Committee, and Woman’s Society; and representative to Friends Committee on National Legislation. She mentored many in Durham Meeting and the broader community, serving New England Yearly Meeting as office secretary and United Society of Friends Women (USFW) as president; newsletter editor; and treasurer, attending several USFW International Triennial Sessions. Serving on several boards of Friends United Meeting, she was also recording clerk and assistant clerk.

Courageous and generous when she saw injustice, she joined the Freeport Woman’s Club in 1968, serving as president and treasurer and representing it on the Women’s Legislative Council for many years, encouraging others to become and stay interested in community and world issues. She and Louis opened their home to many traveling and local friends and Friends, generous with time, food, and hospitality. Known for her deep faith, she wrote, “I thought I could be a good person without God’s help, [but] realized I couldn’t.” She prayed and read the Bible and other religious works daily and helped others on their spiritual journeys.

A devoted wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, Friend, and friend, she loved people. In her later years, when she didn’t see her grandchildren and great-grandchildren very often, some of her most joyous moments were talking on the phone and seeing pictures and videos of them. She communicated with people near and far; her Christmas card list numbered in the hundreds! When her mobility made travel difficult, she continued to correspond and appreciated visits.

Clarabel was predeceased by her husband, Louis Marstaller; her son Robert’s wife, Judy Marstaller; and Judy’s son, Michael Burns. She is survived by her children, David Marstaller (Sally), Nancy Marstaller (David Brooks), Robert Marstaller, and Thomas Marstaller (Betsy); and nine grandchildren and their families. Memorial gifts may be made to Durham Friends Woman’s Society, 532 Quaker Meetinghouse Road, Durham, ME 04222.

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