Anne “Annabelle” Baldwin of Tucson, Ariz. and formerly of Newcastle, died peacefully on May 5, surrounded by her family. She was 88 years old. Annabelle was a librarian, writer, storyteller, and a gentle, wistful, brave soul.
Annabelle was born June 5, 1934 in Fall River, Mass., the daughter of Charles Bergeron and Anne Hinchey Bergeron. She grew up and attended schools in Somerset, Mass., and studied French literature at Vassar College.
After graduating in 1956, Annabelle launched a long career in children’s literature. In her early years, she worked as a librarian in New York City and later as a children’s book editor at Dutton and Harper & Row publishing houses. She would go on to share her love of books with children working as a librarian in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Maine, and Iowa.
Annabelle married the love of her life, Bob Baldwin, in 1963, living in Virginia and North Carolina for several years, before returning to Annabelle’s native New England.
Annabelle and Bob were blessed with three daughters: Sarah, Holly, and Elizabeth. The family lived in Seekonk, Mass., and Providence, R.I. before moving to Newcastle in 1984 where Annabelle spent some of her happiest years raising her two youngest daughters and gardening. She enjoyed an active life as a parishioner, educator, mother, volunteer, and friend among her Midcoast community.
In the 1990s, Annabelle and Bob spent several years in Des Moines, Iowa, where Annabelle worked as a school librarian. In 1999, Bob and Anne retired and moved back to their home in Newcastle. During this time, she and Bob traveled around the USA, promoting his award-winning picture book, “This is the Sea that Feeds Us,” engaging children with stories and songs about the marine food web.
In 2017, Annabelle moved to Tucson to be closer to her family. While in the southwest, she worked on a novel, and shared her stories and wisdom with a new community. She spent her final years at St. Luke’s Home, where she found supportive and caring friends.
Annabelle was predeceased by her parents, Charles and Anne Bergeron; her husband, Bob Baldwin; and her brother, Charles Bergeron. She is survived by her daughters, Sarah, Holly, and Elizabeth Baldwin; her sons-in-law, Matt Rowe and Carlos Zanarotti; her grandchildren, Harper and William Alexander and Janice Rowitt; her nephew, Stephen Bergeron; and niece, Judy Bastarache; and many cousins.
A funeral mass for Annabelle will be held at St. Denis Catholic Church in North Whitefield, on Friday, July 28, 2023 at 11 a.m. A memorial service will be held in Tucson, Ariz. at a later date to be announced.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations in her memory be made to St. Luke’s Home at 615 E Adams St., Tucson, AZ 85705 or Community Housing Improvement Project (CHIP) via P.O. Box 6, Newcastle, ME 04553.
More details about services, and how to donate can be found at caringbridge.org/visit/annabellebaldwin.