WINDHAM — Barbara Crummett, a longtime bookkeeper and co-owner of a bookbinding business on Route 115, died on Wednesday. She was 82.

Mrs. Crummett managed the financial records and repaired books for her husband’s business, Clayton C. Crummett Bookbinder, which they operated for nearly 50 years.

The business, formerly known as Service Book Bindery, was founded by Clayton Crummett’s father, Stanley Crummett, in Portland. In 1969, the couple moved the business to Windham, where it still operates.

Mrs. Crummett’s daughter, Sharon Campbell of Windham, said Friday that her parents enjoyed working together and the business gave them a purpose.

“They had a pretty good life,” her daughter said. “They had a great relationship. Each one had their hand in the other’s pocket. It’s the way things have always been.”

The Crummetts were inseparable from the start. They met just before her 16th birthday, while he was on leave from the merchant marine during World War II. They dated for two weeks before Clayton Crummett, then 20 years old, asked her parents’ permission to marry her.

It took some convincing before the parents relented.

The Crummetts were married for 65 years.

“It was love at first sight,” said her son-in-law, Louis Campbell of Windham. “They were very tight. One couldn’t do without the other.”

For the past 30 years, Mrs. Crummett and her husband spent weekends at their summer cottage in Bethel.

The cottage, on East Bethel Road, was built on farmland on the Androscoggin River that was owned by her grandparents. As a child, she spent a lot of time there and developed a lifelong love for the area.

“It was a special place for Barbara,” her son-in-law said. “It’s a picturesque spot. It’s peaceful and quiet. She was happy with her little spot to do her thing.”

Mrs. Crummett was described by her daughter as a simple woman who enjoyed being with her family.

Campbell, a hairdresser, did her mother’s hair every week, and had dinner with her often.

“We had a good, close relationship,” her son-in-law said. “Clayton is having his teary moments adjusting to this. I’ll miss going over to her house to talk and cook her a nice steak.” 

Staff Writer Melanie Creamer can be contacted at 791-6361 or at: [email protected]