Lydia Williams Lyman

CAMDEN/MOUNT DESERT ISLAND — Lydia Williams Lyman, 101, died April 30, 2017, in Camden. She was born April 4, 1916, in Waltham, Mass., the daughter of Herbert and Ruth (Whitney) Lyman.

Lydia’s early life was spent in Boston, where she attended the Winsor School. She eventually attended Bryn Mawr College in Pennsylvania. Always a lover of dance and body mechanics, in 1941 she co-founded the Berkshire School of Dance in Lenox, Mass. She later taught dance in New York City.

Her long life was constantly filled with community involvements including the Perkins Institute for the Blind in Boston and local church life both there and later in Maine. In 1949, she and a friend wrote the local service for the Council of Churches World Day of Prayer — the first such service to embrace both Protestant and Jewish faiths.

She eventually moved to Mount Desert Island, where she winterized and lived in the Lyman summer home in Northeast Harbor. There she became deeply involved in supporting service organizations, local entrepreneurs, church life and educational institutions. She served as the chairman of the Mount Desert Larger Parish and was the final chairman of the board of Ricker College in Houlton. She served many years on the Mount Desert Planning Board. A great lover of music, she sang for many years with the Acadia Choral Society, and her personal collection of music for listening was extensive. Her devotion to, and study of, Christianity was always central to her life.

In 2009, she moved from Birch Bay Retirement Village in Bar Harbor to Quarry Hill in Camden, to be nearer to her family. During her years there she and her cat, Squeaky, were beloved by all who came into contact with her. To the very end of her long life she remained vibrant, compassionate, funny and a devoted friend to many.

Lydia is survived by three nieces, Alexandra Rigg Samaras of Rockland, Diana Inglis Rigg of Camden and Margaret Rigg Atwood of Newcastle; and one nephew, Jonathan Rigg, of Brunswick. She was predeceased by her sister, Ruth Rigg, and a nephew, Peter Rigg.

At her request, her ashes will be returned to Mount Desert Island, the island she dearly loved. The service will be private.

Gifts in Lydia’s memory may be made to Friends of Acadia, 43 Cottage St., Bar Harbor, ME 04609 or The Activities Fund at Quarry Hill, 30 Community Dr., Camden, ME 04843.

Arrangements in care of Jordan-Fernald, 1139 Main St., Mount Desert. Condolences may be expressed at

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