Barbara Ruth Keene

AUBURN – Barbara Ruth Keene, 55, of Auburn, Maine, died peacefully Sunday, March 3, 2019, at St. Marys Regional Medical Center after a brief battle with cancer. Born on May 7, 1963, Barbara loved global travel, spending much of her career as a domestic and international tour-group leader for Collette Tours and several other organizations. She combined that with her interest in theater, history, football, cuisine and exploration by leading tours to NYC/Broadway, the Rose Bowl, Mackinac Island and many U.S. locales. Fluent in Spanish and Portuguese, she enjoyed sharing Spain, Portugal, Mexico, Cuba, Peru, the Azores and Costa Rica with others, and was beloved by her clients and fellow guides.Most recently, Barbara had merged her interest in agritourism and a degree in tourism and hospitality from the University of Southern Maine to help launch Vista of Maine Vineyard & Cidery in Greene. While planning a summer trip to Vietnam, she was immersing herself in experiencing local festivals and agri-tourist destinations throughout New England.Barbara graduated from Edward Little High School in 1981 and the University of Maine in 1986. A member of Delta Delta Delta, she was active in 4-H, the New England Junior Holstein Association and Maine United Methodist youth rallies. After graduation, she worked nearly a decade in customer service for L.L.Bean. Throughout her life, she reflected her passion for Maine’s family farms and family values in everything she did.Barbara is survived by her parents, Maurice and Shirley Keene of Auburn; three siblings, including Linda Hodorff and her husband, Douglas, of Eden, Wisconsin; Janice Keene of Memphis, Tennessee; and Steven Keene and his wife Debbie of Canton, Maine; five nieces and nephews; 14 great-nephews and -nieces; and many friends and extended family members.Visiting hours will be Thursday, March 7, from 5-8 p.m. at The Fortin Group Funeral Home, 217 Turner St., Auburn. A memorial service will take place at 11 a.m. on Friday, March 8, at the Auburn United Methodist Church, 439 Park Ave., Auburn. Friends also are welcome to join her family in an informal celebration of life on Saturday, March 9, at the Vista of Maine Vineyard & Cidery, 158 N. Hills Road, Greene, commencing with a toast to Barbara at 6 p.m.

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