BELFAST – Barbara Estina (Sprague) Hinckley passed away on Sept. 13, 2023, in Belfast, Maine. She was born the middle of ten children to Emery Gay Sprague and Charlotte Ella (Braley) Sprague on June 4, 1924. Graduating a member of the National Honor Society, she had been the school accompanist on piano from age 11.

Following graduation she went to work for Central Maine Power before marrying Rev. Donald M Hinckley. She returned to work after the birth of two children as Secretary to the Clerk of Courts of Oxford County, then Perham’s Maine Mineral Store, as traveling secretary to the Holden, Massachusetts school system, then as Secretary to the Headmaster of MCI. She also worked for the Business Manager of Bates College and finally as Administrative Assistant for Auburn Housing Authority before retiring in 1990.

She was an accomplished musician on piano and organ and studied voice with Vincent V. Hubbard, performing with many choral societies and as a soloist throughout her life. She also directed the First Universalist Church choir in Auburn for seven years, recently being awarded the Rose Window Award for her service.

She was a dedicated athlete as a member of Prospect Hill Golf Course, swam for 20 years during her lunch hours and a devoted Red Sox fan. She was an avid reader and who could forget her dessert creations?

In 2019 she was scammed out of her life savings and thanks to Gov. John Baldacci’s generosity, prompting an article in the Sun Journal by good friend Steve Collins, it was possible to raise nearly all that she lost.

She is survived by two children; Glenn Donald Hinckley of West Sumner and Marsha (Hinckley) Donahue and her husband Robert Curlew of Belfast, five grandchildren and twelve great grandchildren. Memories and condolences may be shared at

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