Dorothy Tibbott Barstow

April 14, 1930September 3, 2018

Doffie Barstow died peacefully on Monday, Sept. 3, 2018, in her apartment in Cape Elizabeth, Maine, after a brief illness.

She was 88. Dorothy Tibbott Barstow, known to all as Doffie, was born on April 14, 1930, and grew up in Newton, Mass. She graduated in 1952 from Mount Holyoke College, where she met Frederick C. Barstow, a dashing and quietly brilliant geology student at Dartmouth College. They married in 1953 and shared the next 62 years until his death in 2015.

The two had in common many passions -- skiing, biking, sailing, hiking, their devoted dogs -- and they would eagerly introduce these loves to their four children and seven grandchildren. After raising their family in Concord, Mass., where they were members of the Trinitarian Congregational Church, Doffie and Fred Barstow moved to Maine, living in Bath, Brunswick and finally Cape Elizabeth. They led adventurous lives, ski racing into their 60s, and biking through Europe in their 70s.

Doffie Barstow found many ways to contribute to the communities she made home. She taught kindergarten and Sunday school, sang in a choral group and volunteered at a wide range of organizations, including the Belknap House for senior citizens and the Concord Players theater, both in Concord; the Drumlin Farm wildlife sanctuary in Lincoln, Mass.; the Center for Grieving Children in Maine, and a food pantry in Brunswick, Maine. She was forever in search of good causes to support -- saving the whales, preserving gorilla habitats, supporting impoverished children in Nicaragua -- perhaps not with Bill Gates checks, but with checks nonetheless.

She enjoyed a good puzzle, playing the piano and knitting sweaters, hats and Christmas stockings for her children and grandchildren. One of her great pleasures was birding. Her well-worn copy of “A Field Guide to The Birds” by Roger Tory Peterson included her notes of the dates and places where she observed different species. She saw a yellow-breasted chat on Plum Island in October 1974 and a red-headed woodpecker on Block Island in October 1976 and the Philadelphia vireo in Pinkham Notch, N.H., in June 1979 and, last but not least, a worm-eating warbler in Harvard, Mass., in May 1984.

Doffie Barstow spent her final days surrounded by family and friends. She took the occasional sip of her favorite Pinot Grigio, swayed along to music she loved and savored the sights and songs of the birds that frequented the marsh outside her bedroom window. Throughout, she was tended with compassion and skill by Hospice nurses and the staff of The Landing, the assisted living facility that has been her home for the past five years.

She is survived by her four children, Brewer Barstow and Polly Wanzer, both of Portland, Maine, Chris Barstow of Bethel, Maine, David Barstow of Clifton, N.J., and seven grandchildren, Tricia, Dylan, Maeliosa, Lucy, Sam, Lucas and Rosie. She is also survived by three daughters-in-law, Jean Barstow, Debbie Barstow and Nancy Barstow, a son-in-law, Stephen Wanzer, her sister, Nancy Twitty, and two step-brothers, Manson and Danny Hall.

A celebration of Doffie’s life will be held at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 20, 2018, at First Parish Church in Brunswick, Maine. A reception will follow in the church.


  • Celebration of Life Saturday, October 20, 2018

Dorothy Tibbott Barstow

have a memory or condolence to add?

Carrie Hatch Flood

September 6, 2018

If your childhood home in Concord was at the corner of Sudbury Road and Devens Street, I was your babysitter in the mid 60’s. That house had previously belonged to my great aunt and uncle. Again, if that connection is correct, I much admired both of your parents and loved all of you. It was a long time ago; you would have been very young...and myself still but a teenager. I soon went off to college and moved back to Concord some 20 years later. IF... I think about you every time I drive by that house.

I also note your Mom’s support of Drumlin Farm, which, coincidentally, is where I work today.

Carrie Flood,

Amy Walker

September 6, 2018

Doffie, Fred, Polly and her three brothers were my second family. I spent many, many hours at the big, yellow house down at the end of Devens Street and at their ski house in Jackson, NH. I was always welcome and it was at Wildcat where Fred taught me to ski. Doffie and Fred somehow managed to endure the constant giggles and whispers that came from Polly and me in the backseat during the long car rides to NH and back. Doffie always treated me as one of her own and I shall be forever grateful for that. My thoughts and love go out to Polly, Brew, David and Chris.