In the summer, Virginia Chapman Lockwood would collect wet pebbles from the beach in front of her home on Broad Cove in Cumberland Foreside.

She kept the pebbles in little saucers of water around the house, turning them over to reveal their more interesting damp undersides when the exposed top dried out, said her friend, poet Kenneth Rosen of Portland.

“There is something wonderful about that,” said Rosen.

Mrs. Lockwood, who died March 12 at age 100, was remembered by her friends and family as an inspiration and encouragement to everyone around her.

A Portland native, Mrs. Lockwood spent every summer in the rambling seaside home built by her father, a prominent Portland lawyer and banker, who developed Wildwood Park in Cumberland Foreside.

Mrs. Lockwood grew up in a brick house at 375 Spring St., across the street from Waynflete School from which she graduated in 1927. At the time of her death she was the school’s oldest alumnus.

After graduating from Wellesley College she taught at Waynflete before marrying William Lockwood, who taught economics at Bowdoin College.

After her husband joined the Princeton University faculty she taught third and fourth grades. She was the mother of two sons, William Jr. of Princeton, N.J., and Stephen of Essex, Md., and a daughter, Dr. Julia Lockwood, a pediatrician who lives in Freeport. She had four grandchildren.

She started writing poetry after her husband’s death in 1978. She was a regular at the University of Southern Maine’s Stonecoast Writers’ Conference and was a member of the U.S. 1 poetry cooperative in New Jersey.

She wrote hundreds of poems about nature, the beach and its birds and shells. In later life she wrote about growing old.

“Which she did very peacefully,” said her son William.

Rosen said her poems were filled with a gracious appreciativeness.

“They had a kind of intelligent delicacy that she brought to every aspect of her life,” said Rosen.

The big, open rooms of her Cumberland house were filled with mementos from her travels in Asia and Europe.

“The appurtenances in the little kitchen might have been as old as Virginia. She didn’t care about those things,” said Rosen.

Rosen said when it came to landscaping, she preferred the overgrown look: untrimmed lilac bushes and vast beds of irises.

“She had a kind of marvelous affection for natural assertion,” said Rosen.

She was elegant and patrician with a wry outlook, said Rosen.

On her 90th birthday, she gave a poetry reading to her friends. Her daughter showed up at one point and someone asked Mrs. Lockwood if one of her sons would be joining them.

“She said in her marvelous cheerful grumble, ‘He won’t be here, just as his father wouldn’t have been here either,’” said Rosen.

She left behind stacks of notebooks filled with sketches and watercolors.

“She was interested in everything,” said her son.

Staff Writer Beth Quimby can be contacted at 791-6363 or at:

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