John T. Libby ’56 died on January 17, 2017, in Falmouth, Maine.
(The following was published in the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram from January 19 to January 20, 2017:)
FALMOUTH – John Trowbridge Libby passed away Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2017, in Falmouth, surrounded by his family.
A ninth generation Mainer, John was born Jan. 9, 1934, to Mina Norell, of New Sweden, and Albert E. Libby, of Portland, the youngest of five children. He attended South Portland schools, where he played football, basketball and baseball; served as president of his class; and was known fondly to many as “T-ball.”
After graduating from South Portland High School in the Class of 1952, he attended Bowdoin College, where he was recognized as an accomplished scholar athlete. He graduated from Bowdoin in 1956 and from Cornell Medical School in 1960.
John completed his internship at Cornell Surgical Division at Bellevue Hospital in New York City in 1961, the same year he married Phyllis MacKay Reckerd, of Niagara Falls, New York.
John served in the United States Air Force as captain and medical officer in Brindisi, Italy, where he and Phyllis lived for two years.
Following his military service, he returned to Bellevue Hospital and New York University for a residency in ophthalmology.
In 1968, he returned to Maine to establish an ophthalmology practice in Portland, settling in Cape Elizabeth with Phyllis and raising four children. He loved his 30-year career practicing medicine and serving generations of Maine families in the greater Portland community.
John enjoyed golfing with his brothers and friends at the Portland Country Club. He loved music, especially jazz, following local musicians and playing guitar. John and his brothers built a ski cabin at Sugarloaf, a family retreat for days of skiing and nights of charades and games by the fire.
After retirement, he participated in medical missions overseas and travelled widely. He enjoyed meeting people and learning about new cultures. He loved, too, his walks in the fields behind his Cumberland home, and anything with chocolate.
He will be remembered by his children for his generosity, his drive and his humor. We are grateful for his example, his encouragement and the freedom he gave us to define our own sense of meaning and purpose.
John is survived by his former wife and dear friend, Phyllis Reckerd Libby; his son, Curtis MacKay Libby, and his wife Karen Libby, of Cumberland; his daughter, Marian Libby Sherman, and her husband Roger Sherman, of Bethesda, Maryland; his son, Jeffrey Adam Libby, and his wife Adrienne Wicks, of Tacoma, Washington; his daughter, Margaret Kay Libby, of San Francisco, California; and five grandchildren, Brett, Kate and Erin Libby, of Cumberland; and Nathaniel and Norell Sherman of Bethesda, Maryland. He also is survived by his sister, Mary Collins, of Hanover, N.H.
The family is profoundly grateful to the staff at Legacy Memory Care in Falmouth and others who have cared for our father and our family.