Martha Cecelia Damon
Huntingtown, Md. — Martha Cecelia Damon, 64, died at home in Huntingtown, Maryland on June 18, 2013 after a challenging three-months living with acute myeloid leukemia. Born in New Haven, Conn. to Herbert S. and Margaret N. Damon on March 28, 1949, she was raised in North Conway. She graduated as Salutatorian from Kennett High School in 1967 and from Wellesley College in 1971. She later received a Masters degree in environmental sciences from American University in Washington, DC.
She taught English in Lyons, France for a year after college, where she perfected her French accent and developed a taste for French food, fashion and film and a life-long appreciation for travel. Upon her return to the U.S., she worked for Air France in Boston and Washington, DC. While there, she took advantage of free air miles to make an epic two week trip that became part of the family lore, flying from the United States to Portugal and Mozambique, then back to Portugal and on to Brazil, and then back to Portugal and the United States.
She married John D. H. Kane III at her grandparent’s farm in Tamworth on October 4, 1975. Together they happily raised three sons while living in Virginia, North Carolina and most recently Sykesville, Maryland and Huntingtown. However, her roots were in New Hampshire granite and she shared with her family her love of the White Mountains in all seasons. Kayaking from their home on the Patuxent River was also a joy, especially when the osprey were nesting nearby. Outnumbered by her household of males, she always worked to even the odds with a female dog, currently a yellow lab mix, named Molly.
A childhood spent in one of the most beautiful places in America inspired a lifelong love affair with nature, which also became one of her most passionate causes after reading Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring in high school. She would even go on to work for the Rachel Carson Trust while in graduate school. Years later, she became a naturalist at the Jug Bay Wetland Sanctuary in Lothian, Md., in its education program while, mostly, overcoming her childhood fear of snakes. Following that, from 1999 to 2011 she worked in habitat restoration for the Chesapeake Bay Foundation. Working with large groups of volunteers to plant native trees, shrubs, and underwater grasses, she and her CBF colleagues made strides to “Save the Bay” for future generations, a phrase she truly believed in. As an ardent proponent of native plants and rain gardens, she landscaped her yard at home accordingly. Like her parents, she was an avid birder and resisted washing the windows near birdfeeders in hopes of avoiding bird vs. window collisions. A bald eagle sighting over the house was always a cause for celebration.
She was a long-standing member of the Board of the American Chestnut Land Trust, but her volunteer interests went beyond the environmental. She was also an active participant in the Big Brothers Big Sisters program, among others, and sponsored several international exchange students.
In addition to her husband, John, she is survived by her sons Matthew of Los Angeles, Calif., David of Asheville, N.C., and Edward and his wife Kathryn of Baltimore, Md. She also leaves her brother, Edward and his wife Claudia, of Concord, N.H., and sister, Susan Damon and her husband Jim Hurst, of Grantham, N.H., and an extended family of in-laws, nieces and nephews, aunts, uncles and cousins. She will also be missed by the many friends and neighbors she kept in touch with from childhood to the present day.
A remembrance celebration of her life for family and friends will be held at Highland House, Cleveland Hill Road, Tamworth, New Hampshire on Sunday July 14, 2013 from 2-4 PM. Marcy’s ashes will be buried in a family plot next to her parents in Tamworth at a later date.