Albert W. Tarbell ’32 died on December 26, 2012, in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
The Reverend Albert W. Tarbell ’32 died December 26, 2012, in Albuquerque, a day before his 103rd birthday.
He was born in Bangor on December 27, 1909, and prepared for college at Bangor High School and Deerfield Academy. He was a member of Beta Theta Pi fraternity while at Bowdoin and went on to earn a master’s degree at Yale University Drama School.
He was the director of a summer theater in Great Neck, Long Island, and was associate producer of the 1936 Broadway revival of The Importance of Being Earnest, with Clifton Webb, Estelle Winwood, and Hope Williams. He toured in Cole Porter’s Leave It To Me and took part in the London production of Post Road. He served in the Army during World War II, with tours in Europe and Japan. In 1954 he was stationed in Albuquerque as Commanding Officer of the Counterintelligence Corps at Sandia Base. He was awarded an American Theater Ribbon, European Theater Ribbon with Four Battle Stars, Occupation of Germany Ribbon, and an American Defense Ribbon. In 1956, he retired from active duty as a lieutenant colonel and entered The General Theological Seminary in New York City. Upon graduation in 1959, he returned to Albuquerque where he became a Canon at The Cathedral Church of St. John. As a layman he was instrumental in the establishment of St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church, and in 1962, as an Episcopal priest, he became Vicar of St. Aidan’s Episcopal Church, which became one of the larger parishes in the Diocese of the Rio Grande. Following his retirement as Rector of St. Aidan’s, he returned to the Cathedral Church of St. John, where he was awarded the title of Honorary Canon. In addition to his ministerial occupations, he was a member of the Kiwanis Club of Albuquerque for more than 40 years and was its oldest living active member. He retained a close connection to Bowdoin, contributing to the QuestBridge scholarship. At the end of his life, he befriended Luis Beltran ’13, a recipient of the scholarship. They corresponded by email and became long-distance friends, sharing a common connection to New Mexico, where Luis was born. Luis met him for the first time during winter break in 2012, shortly before he died. He is survived by many nieces and nephews, including Anthony Kennedy III ’53 and grandniece Caroline Kennedy Stone ’82. He was predeceased in 1994 by his wife of 46 years, Mabelle Grace Smith Tarbell; brother John W. Tarbell ’26; sister Lillian; and nephews Richard T. P. Kennedy ’58 and John W. Tarbell Jr. ’66.