DURHAM — Laurie Ann Gibson died Thursday, March 15, due to complications from seven  years of treatment for ovarian cancer.

She was born on Sept. 16, 1958, in Lewiston, the oldest child of Stanley E. and Janet (Howard) Gibson. She attended Auburn schools and graduated as a valedictorian of her class at Edward Little High School in 1976. She attended Bowdoin College and Warnborough College at Oxford, England, graduating cum laude from Bowdoin in 1980 with degrees in biology and with highest honors in history. Subsequently she graduated from the University of Maine Law School in 1984, where she was a member of the Law Review.

After being admitted to the bar in Maine, Laurie clerked for then-Chief Justice Robert Clifford of the Maine Superior Court. She joined the law firm of Skelton, Taintor and Abbott in 1985 and later concentrated on litigation research and writing at Berman & Simmons in Lewiston. In 1993 she left to focus on her writing career and formed Lawyers Assistance Group, the first law firm in Maine to offer contract writing services to other lawyers.

She was a well-known and respected member of the Maine bar. She became involved with bar admissions almost immediately upon entering the practice and in 1989 was appointed by Governor John McKernan to the Maine Board of Bar Examiners, where she served first as secretary and then as its chair until 2005. In that capacity, she helped facilitate a complete reorganization and modernization of the admissions process. She wrote articles on bar admission issues and represented the Board on briefs and in arguments before the Maine Supreme Judicial Court in a number of proceedings.

In 2001 she was appointed to the Subcommittee on Bar Admissions of the ABA Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar where she served until 2006. She also served on the National Conference of Bar Examiners’ Subcommittee on Multistate Performance Test Policy until resigning due to illness in 2007.

Laurie served on the Maine Bar Journal Editorial Advisory Committee from 1989 through 2001 and was its chair in 2001. She was appointed as the Reporter for the Maine Civil Rules Committee in 2009 and as a Trustee of the Lawyers’ Fund for Client Protection in 2010.

She remained a student all her life, taking courses at Bowdoin in various subjects that interested her and continuing painting classes in recent years at the Maine College of Art. She was a serious student of yoga, studying over time in the Iyengar, Anusara, Kripalu and Sivananda traditions and eventually receiving her certification as a registered yoga teacher in 2008.

Following her solo trek around Europe while in college, Laurie continued to travel widely throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, Mexico and the Caribbean, both alone and later with her husband, indulging her interests in history, art and yoga. Laurie also cultivated and enjoyed the company of a wide circle of friends from all phases in her life, and she considered herself fortunate to have them come together to support and sustain her during her illnesses.

She is survived by her husband, Stephen P. Beale, of Durham, whom she married in 1998; her mother, Janet H. Gibson of Auburn; one brother, William J. Gibson of Auburn; and one sister, Gail Gibson Sheffield of Lake Clear, N.Y., together with her husband, Jamie, and their son, Benjamin. Also surviving are three of her father’s sisters, Edna Bourisk of Winthrop, and Helen Gagne and Gladys Dick of Lewiston, together with numerous cousins and relatives in her father’s extended family; her stepchildren, Andrea Beale Naumovich, her husband, Lech Naumovich, and their daughter, Kaya, of Alameda, Calif., and Martin Beale, his fiancée, Sandra Cholewinski, and their children, daughter, Arnica, and son, Devin, of Whitefish, Mont.; and in-laws, Michael and Kate Beale, of East Holden, and Thomas and Jean Beale and their children, of Bangor.

She was predeceased by her father; grandparents; and numerous aunts and uncles.

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