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Mrs. Maris S. Humphreys, age 79, of Portsmouth, Rhode Island, passed away on May 31, 2022. Maris was born in Hartford, CT to Beatrice and Frederick Swan. Maris married Keith Cordell Humphreys of Middleboro, MA, on July 15, 1967, in North Canton, CT.
Maris loved history, books, music, dance and the natural world. She was in her element when she could be at Sachuest Point or on Nantucket looking for birds, or in New Hampshire looking for lady slippers, or in a library or museum. She was a competitive walker and participated in numerous half and full marathons through the Leukemia Lymphoma Society. She walked for her father. She enjoyed her tennis group and looked forward to playing in the Spring and Summer at the Rogers High School courts. Bridge also brought her joy and challenges over the years while connecting her with a great group of women.
Her love of nature was nurtured in childhood in the woods of Connecticut, and in Middlebury, VT where she attended Middlebury College. She pursued her lifelong passion for skiing in Vermont and around New England and was a valued member of White Mountain Ski Runners. She also studied modern dance with Martha Graham while at Middlebury and kept tabs on the dance world and the Island Moving Company in Newport. After Middlebury she earned a Masters’ degree in Library Science at Simmons College in Boston, MA, where she was introduced to her future husband Keith by a dear college friend Marguerite, who was dating Keith’s good friend George. While raising three children, she pursued a career as a librarian at the Portsmouth Free Public Library and later at the Redwood Library and Atheneum in Newport, RI, where she specialized in caring for the Redwood’s original collection of rare books dating back to the founding of the Library in the 18th century. Maris could always be found “in the stacks.”
After retirement from the Redwood with 35 years of service, Maris volunteered with several organizations whose missions appealed to her passions for history and nature. She supported the Maria Mitchell Society on Nantucket, the Daughters of the American Revolution, and the Colonial Dames. The Emmanuel Church community in Newport, RI fed her spiritual life and was a constant for over 50 years. She was a dedicated member of the choir and of the Church Vestry for many years.
Maris was a loving daughter, sister, wife, mother and grandmother. Her brother Frederick and her sister Pamela grew up together sharing their love of nature and a love for their respective communities of faith. Maris and her husband Keith were married for 54 years, and in their later years enjoyed their travels together and loved spending time with their children and five grandchildren. Maris enjoyed sharing the game of tennis and wildlife watching with her grandchildren. She always had a pair of binoculars nearby to identify whatever she saw in flight. Maris greeted every dog and cat in the neighborhood with open arms and her visits were a highlight of their day.
Maris is survived by her children, Lesley Humphreys, Gardner Humphreys and his wife, Allison Brown, and Pamela Mathieu and her husband, Peter; her brother, Frederick Swan and his wife, Patricia, and her sister, Pamela Curtin. She will be missed by her grandchildren, Jay, Ella, Shepard, Martin, and Emma.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Frederick and Beatrice Swan, and her husband, Keith C. Humphreys.
A funeral service will be held at Emmanuel Church, 42 Dearborn Street, Newport, RI 02840 on Saturday, July 16, 2022 at 10:00AM with reception to follow immediately after the service at the church.