Carolee “Care” Tupper, age 55, passed away on Sunday, Feb. 2, 2020, at Maine Medical Center, after suffering a massive stroke following surgery to remove cancerous parts of one kidney.
Carolee was born on July 4, 1964, in Gardiner, Maine, the beloved only child of Lorna Elizabeth Christl and the late Robert Ralph Nowell. She attended Augusta area schools, graduating from Cony High School in 1982.
In 1993, Carolee went to work in the MSAD 75 transportation department, known affectionately to the district as the “bus garage.” Two years later, she married Peter Tupper, and together they welcomed their son Logan in 1996 and Kiley in 1999. Carolee was incredibly proud of her family, sharing stories of their lives that always reflected the best of them. Even though Carolee and Pete’s marriage ended, the commitment they shared to their family – and each other – never did.
In 1997, Carolee transferred from the bus garage to Merrymeeting Adult Education where she worked for 22 years as an administrative assistant, eventually becoming the office manager. Carolee was the smile in the voice that answered the phone and the kindness that greeted students, teachers and staff for over two decades. She was so much more than a secretary; Carolee was the very heart of Merrymeeting Adult Ed. She was adored by all who knew her in the local community, and respected by adult ed programs around the state for her knowledge and know-how.
Carolee loved life and lived it to the fullest through simple exquisite pleasures. On summer weekends, she would almost always be on or near the water, whether at Old Orchard Beach (or any beach), on her friends’ houseboat in Merrymeeting Bay, or even just driving along the coast. She loved spending time with her kids and their significant others, her pets, her friends, and her mom. She was an unabashed cheerleader, salty life coach, soft place to land, and also – occasionally – that swift kick in the pants to all those she loved.
Carolee is survived by Logan Tupper, her son, and his girlfriend Samantha Hamilton, of Harpswell; and daughter Kiley Tupper, of Harpswell, and her boyfriend Trevor Drouin, of Bath; mother Lorna Christl of Gardiner; uncles John Grotton and his wife Janet, of Scarborough, and Doug Grotton and his wife Heidi, of Swanzey, New Hampshire; step-sister Samantha Belanger, and her children, of West Bath; and former spouse and dear friend Peter Tupper and his wife and Monique, of West Bath.
Carolee’s extended family included special friends Michelle and Dan Oram, Nicole Smith, Mary Wallace and Sandy Laffely; Merrymeeting Adult Ed teachers and staff Diana McCain, Kathie Boldt, Kathy Ingmundson, Paul Elisha, Dawn Wheeler, Jinger Howell, Raye Leonard, Allen Lampert, and Pauline Hanson. MSAD 75 staff – especially Anne Hamilton – and so many more. Carolee made everyone feel like they had a place in her heart, especially if they liked to laugh loud and live big.
A celebration of Carolee Tupper’s wonderful life will be held from noon to 3 p.m. Sunday, March 1, at Frontier Cafe in Brunswick. Light refreshments and drinks will be served. Bring your stories and your dancing shoes as family and friends send the life of the party out in style.
In lieu of flowers, condolences may be expressed through a donation to the Carolee Tupper Memorial Assistance GoFundMe campaign. Or, please consider preparing a meal for the family by signing up at Meal Train.
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