Pamela Rowe Peabody


Pamela Rowe Peabody died peacefully on Aug. 17, after an extended illness at her summer home in Northeast Harbor, Maine, with her husband, Malcolm (Mike) Peabody, and sons Payson and Carter by her side.

She grew up in Cambridge, Mass., where her father, H.S. Payson Rowe, became chief investment officer for John Hancock Mutual Life Insurance Co. with her mother, Florence Cassard Rowe, and her older sister Barbara. She attended Windsor School in Boston in 1953 and went on to Vassar College, graduating in 1957.

Pamela married her husband, Mike, in 1958 and soon after moved to New York City, where he joined the Rockefeller administration as an executive of the New York State Commission Against Discrimination. In 1961, they relocated to Cambridge where she worked for the Polaroid Corp. with Ansel Adams and traveled to the Sierra Nevadas.

Her experience working with Adams at Polaroid led to a lifetime interest in photography and film production. She first started a portrait photography business in Washington then in 1980 working with Robin Hardy, famed director of “The Wicker Man,” she produced “The Female Line.” The film chronicled the lives of three accomplished relatives, Mary Parkman Peabody, Marietta Tree and Francis Fitzgerald. Subsequently, she produced acclaimed documentaries on Texas Artist Dorothy Hood, Robert Rauschenberg, Edith Wharton, Clement Conger and Abbott Thayer.

Her two boys, Payson and Carter, were born in Boston in 1963 and 1966 and in 1969, the family moved to Washington, D.C., where Mike joined the Department of HUD under George Romney.

They lived in Cleveland Park and later in Georgetown, where Pam supported the Corcoran Gallery of Art, hosted elegant parties, and transformed everything around her with her inimitable and impeccable style.

Pam had many close friends who admired her as a “gentle, loving and an elegant woman, possessing great tenacity in pursuing her projects, be it a movie, painting portraits or making a film.” She had a gift for bringing people together and was a tireless friend, mother and wife until the end.

Through her mother, Pam was descended from Bernard Cassard, a French refugee to America who helped to defend Fort McHenry in the War of 1812. And from James Otis Jr., the Harvard-educated lawyer whose inspired defense of Boston merchants helped to spark the American Revolution and led to the adoption of the Bill of Rights. She was also descended from John Howland, who narrowly survived passage on the Mayflower, and from the founding residents of Woodville, Ohio.

Memorial services will be held, 11 a.m., Saturday, Sept. 1, 2018, at St. Mary’s By The Sea Episcopal Church, Northeast Harbor. After the service, Pam will be placed to rest in the family lot in Forest Hill Cemetery, Northeast Harbor, Maine. Another service will be held on Monday, October 1 at 4 p.m, at Christ Church, 30th P Street, DC.

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


Know when to pay your respects.