Deirdre (DeeDee) Wilson

Northeast Harbor

Deirdre (DeeDee) F. Wilson, 91, of Northeast Harbor, passed away peacefully March 15, 2021, at Seaport Village Healthcare in Ellsworth.

DeeDee was born in Lynn, Mass., to Robert W. and Gladys G. Flynn on May 6, 1929. She graduated from Lynn English High School and Salem Hospital School of Nursing in Salem, Mass. After graduating, she traveled to California, working as a nurse on the West Coast before returning to Salem Hospital as an ER nurse. There, she met her husband, the late Robert “Buckwheat” Wilson, M.D., a radiologist. The couple married, moved to Presque Isle and Cape May Court House, N.J., before returning to Maine and settling in Northeast Harbor, where they raised six children.

DeeDee worked for many years as a registered nurse with the Mount Desert Nursing Association, caring for both Northeast Harbor natives and summer residents. She was respected and beloved for her professionalism and kind “bedside manner,” particularly with aging and critically ill patients. DeeDee gained many cherished friends during her years in Northeast Harbor and on Mount Desert Island.

She was the trusted nurse and friend to the late, world-renowned French author Marguerite Yourcenar, who made her home in Northeast Harbor for about 30 years. DeeDee provided nursing care for Yourcenar’s companion, Grace Frick, until her death in 1979, and for Yourcenar, herself, until she passed away in 1987. Her years with Yourcenar, including travels to Europe, were among the most fulfilling of her life.

When Dr. Wilson passed away in 1996, DeeDee moved to Sedgwick, living above the Sedgwick Store and working with her oldest daughter, the owner. She met many wonderful friends and lived there happily for several years before returning to Northeast Harbor.

DeeDee loved books, opera and classical music, but also had a mischievous sense of humor. As she said during one of her last visits with son Andrew, “I guess I’m going on a big adventure. Is everyone in on this? … Because I really don’t want to screw this up!”

She is survived by six children, Gretchen Wilson and fiancé Mark Osborne of Ellsworth; Deirdre Kartstein and husband, Howard, of Beverly, Mass.; Kim Libbey of Brewer; Christopher Wilson of Mount Desert, Andrew Wilson and partner Patti Crowley of Redondo Beach, Calif.; and Melissa Kane and husband, Sean, of Ellsworth. Her grandchildren include Caroline O’Grady, Tyler O’Grady, Meghan Kartstein, Anna LeBlanc, Kyle Libbey, Briana Kane, affectionately “adopted” grandson Bryce Lambert and great-granddaughter Harper Grace LeBlanc. DeeDee was predeceased by her husband, Robert D. Wilson, M.D.; brothers Clifford G. and Robert W. Flynn; and son-in-law Kenneth W. Libbey.

A memorial service is planned for summer 2021. Gifts in DeeDee’s memory may be sent to the Mount Desert Nursing Association, 12 Summit Road, Northeast Harbor, ME 04662.

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