YORK - Gladys McCoubrey Shum, 96, died Tuesday, Nov. 9, 2004, at Sentry Hill, in York Harbor. She previously resided on Agamenticus Road in Cape Neddick.
She was born Sept. 16, 1908 in Ballyclare, Northern Ireland, the third daughter of Samuel G. and Jenny MeWhirter McCoubrey. In 1912, shortly after the loss of the Titanic, she sailed along with her mother and sister to Canada where they joined her father who was involved in the establishment of a paper mill. She recalled the cabin stewardess pointing out icebergs during the ship’s passage.
She spent her early years in Iroquois Falls, Ontario, 150 miles south of Hudson’s Bay. Later, her family moved to Three Rivers, Quebec. In 1937, she went to Boston where she was employed at the Moore & Summers Insurance Company. There, she met Alden F. Shum. They were married Feb. 2, 1937 in York Village. She became a naturalized American citizen in 1940.
In 1942, she and her husband bought an old farm on Agamenticus Road, one mile from Ogunquit Village. At the time she bemoaned the fact that it was so far out of town. Over the years they restored the early-1800s farmhouse, and before the installation of plumbing, she often bathed in the summertime under the waterfall on the nearby Josias River.
Over the past 60 years she was involved in many community activities. She was a member of the Old York Garden Club, the Wells-Ogunquit Historical Society, the Ogunquit Women’s Club and the York Hospital Auxiliary. She logged more than 700 hours as a volunteer at York Hospital. She was one of the first nurse’s aides at York Hospital.
For 40 years she was associated in various capacities with the Ogunquit Memorial Library. She retired as a librarian at 80 years of age.
She enjoyed traveling and going to musical concerts with her dear friends. She hooked rugs, one of which won an award at the Eastern States Exposition. She was especially proud of her beautiful flower gardens. She will be remembered as a kind and gentle woman, truly one of the good ones.
She is survived by a nephew, Brian D. McCoubrey, of Wakefield, Mass.; a niece, Barbara H. Grover, of Cape Neddick; and many great nephews and nieces. She entrusted her care in her 90s to her great nephew Michael and his wife, Patricia Weare, of Cape Neddick. She was predeceased by her husband, who died in 1979, and her siblings Margaret, Mary and David.
A memorial service was held at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 13 at St. George’s Episcopal Church in York Harbor.
Arrangements by Bibber Memorial Chapel, 111 Chapel Road, Wells, Maine 04090