SOUTH PARIS — Marilyn “Lee” Lelia Clark Bean, 86, a longtime resident of the Norway/South Paris area, peacefully passed away on April 28, at Market Square Health Care Center after a long illness.
Lee was born in Silver Spring, Md., on May 24, 1923, the daughter of Grace and Donald Clark. One of eight children, she graduated from Montgomery Blair High School in 1941. She worked for a short time as a telephone operator before marrying Dr. H. Richard (Dick) Bean on Nov. 14, 1943. She and Dick moved to Whitefield, N.H., where Dr. Bean started a very successful medical practice, and where they began their family.
In 1957, they moved to Norway and resided there ever since. After raising five children, she began taking art lessons from Professor Lajos Matcolcsy in 1957, and found her passion. In fact, she was his first student. She spent the next four decades perfecting her skill at representational or realistic painting, specializing in water colors.
Over those decades, she opened three studios, one in Portland, the second in Lewiston and the third in Norway, within which she taught countless students. She also won numerous awards and exhibited her work at many galleries throughout Maine and New England. She took part in the Portland Sidewalk Show each year as well as Art in the Park in South Portland and the Sidewalk Art Show in Norway.
She earned many purchase awards and placed second in the juried portion of the Portland Sidewalk Show in the 80s. She also won top awards several times in both the Art in the Park and the Norway Sidewalk Art Show.
In 1988, she was commissioned to paint a large wall mural at the Norway Town Hall depicting Main Street in Norway back in the 19th century. It was based on an actual photograph taken during that time period. Her logo was selected to represent Norway’s bi-centennial in 1986.
She was also co-founder of the Western Maine Art Group and served as its president for many years. She was a longtime parishioner at St. Catherine’s in Norway. At one time, she refurbished the Stations of the Cross for the church.
She is survived by one sister, Margaret Belanger of Silver Springs, Md.; her five children, Dr. Robert Bean of Norway, Tricia Smith of Brunswick, Susie Winslow of Portland, Dr. Alan Bean of Harrison and Thomas Bean of Manchester; 12 grandchildren; eight great-grandchildren; as well as countless nieces and nephews.