Barbara Strout, a longtime town clerk in Windham, who served two terms in the Maine Legislature and dedicated her life to helping others, died on Saturday. She was 91.
Mrs. Strout, known by most people as “Betty,” was elected town clerk, tax collector and treasurer for Windham in 1968. She served until 1977 when she challenged state Sen. Bill Diamond for his former seat in the legislature. She lost the race. She went on to serve as town manager of Casco for one year, and then resumed her duties as town clerk in Windham until 1986. As town clerk, Mrs. Strout was active in the Cumberland County City and Town Clerks Association, where she served as secretary and treasurer.
Her son, Richard Roy, Jr., of Windham, said she enjoyed her work and serving the community.
“She really enjoyed meeting people and serving. It was her love, really,” he said.
Mrs. Strout, a Republican, successfully ran for a seat in the state House of Representatives in 1986. She served two terms through 1990. Roy recalled a bill she co-sponsored that would prohibit boaters from dumping waste into coves on Sebago Lake. He said she advocated for residents and stood up for what she believed in.
Mrs. Strout’s obituary, which is expected to appear in Wednesday’s newspaper, says she was an active longtime member of the Republican Party. She was also a charter member of the George Bush Presidential Center and a member of the Cumberland County Republican Committee.
Family and community were especially important to Mrs. Strout. She was a loving wife to the late Winfred Strout, Jr., her husband for 60 years. He died in 2005 after being struck by a vehicle. His wife witnessed the accident. Roy remembered his mother Monday as strong, resilient, compassionate, honest and hard-working. He said he admired his mother’s devotion to family and dedication to her work.
“As a mom, you just knew she was there for you. Anything you wanted to do, she would support you,” Roy said.
Mrs. Strout was a dedicated member of the Windham Hill United Church of Christ for 42 years. Until recently, she sang in the choir.
She also served as the church treasurer for 21 years. Roy said after Mrs. Strout’s husband died she became more involved with the church.
“As treasurer, (Strout) had her finger on the pulse of the church,” her son said. “From that perspective, she could see them through some tough times. She stayed involved in the details of the church and had a close relationship with the church.”
Mrs. Strout is survived by three children: Roy, Ronald Strout, of Windham; and Lauraett Baggett, of Casco.
Melanie Creamer can be contacted at 791-6361 or at: