BETHEL — Barbara Irene (Overlock) Mahler, 88, died Friday, Feb. 16, in the company of her loving children. A resident of Bethel for nearly 35 years, she had suffered from declining health the past two years and succumbed while in residence at Ledgeview Living Center, West Paris.
Born in Bennington, Vt., Feb. 5, 1930, the daughter of Maynard and Laura Irene (Buss) Overlock, she graduated from North Bennington High School in North Bennington, Vt., and attended Bennington College in Bennington, Vt. She was married to Guenther A. Mahler for 43 years.
Barbara lived in the Bennington/Arlington, Vt., area for the first half of her adult life, with brief sojourns in Tempe, Ariz. (which she adored), and Shushan, N.Y., along the way. She was a dedicated wife and mother; she kept a beautiful home, and her children’s friends always felt welcome there. Once her children were in school full time, she worked in retail and administrative positions. She was active in the Arlington Nursing Association, past president of the Arlington Parent-Teachers and past matron of Red Mountain Chapter No. 41, OES. She served many years as financial secretary of the Federated Church in East Arlington.
Shortly after moving to Maine in 1983, Barbara began working in administration at the Evans Notch Ranger District, U.S. Forest Service in Bethel, where she remained until her retirement in 1994. In Maine she continued serving church and community, often in leadership roles: West Bethel Union Church and the Ladies Chapel Aid of that church, Bethel Senior Citizens, Ethel Gordon Guild, Pomona Grange No. 2, Pleasant Valley Grange No. 136 and Bethel Historical Society.
Barbara loved her family and was very grateful for the love they returned. Her church and all of her wonderful friends were dear to her. She was very appreciative of the assistance from those who made it possible for her to remain in her home in recent years. She was happiest when working with her friends on a project for the church or Grange. Barbara showed her thoughtfulness by sending dozens of greeting cards to friends and relatives every year. She also spent hours each day praying for the welfare of many people.
Barbara had looked forward to retirement and enjoyed every minute of it. She was a crossword and jigsaw puzzle enthusiast, an expert in the needle arts of knitting and counted cross-stitch, and a dabbler in gardening. She delighted in joking with and teasing others and said her one ambition was to make at least one person smile each day.
Barbara is survived by two daughters and their husbands, Susan and David Levine, of Nashua, N.H., and Stephanie Mahler and Kirby Schuller, of Fox Point, Wis.; a son and his wife, Andrew and Carol Mahler, of Roswell, Ga.; grandchildren, Eric Mahler of Atlanta, Ga., and Justin Mahler of Roswell, Ga.; a brother and his wife, William and Judy Overlock, and their family, of Winter Haven, Fla.. She was predeceased by her husband, Guenther, in 1993, and by her beloved canine companion, Samantha, in 2016.
Barbara’s family would like to thank her devoted friends and the caregivers of Northern Vista Senior Care and Androscoggin Home Care & Hospice for their compassionate support during the past few years. They also are indebted to the staff of Ledgeview Living Center for their tender and dedicated care; they truly cared for her like family while she was there.
Barbara I. Mahler