Saturday, April 19, 2014
By TOM BELL
BRUNSWICK — Pamela Studwell, a behind-the-scenes leader in anti-smoking efforts in Maine, died Saturday of cancer. She was 53.
Ms. Studwell was a senior policy analyst for Health Policy Partners of Maine, a coalition of public health professionals committed to reducing tobacco use.
She helped craft a new state law that bans smoking on restaurant decks and patios and in state parks.
She also drafted policy proposals for encouraging MaineCare recipients to quit smoking.
In addition, during the last session of the state Legislature, she was instrumental in helping to pass a bill that outlaws flavored tobacco products that appeal to teenagers. It was the first such bill in the country.
Although she was diagnosed with cancer 10 months ago, she continued working on anti-tobacco efforts until November, when she became too ill.
''She kept working as long as she could,'' said Becky Smith, the former executive director of Health Policy Partners.
Ed Miller, vice president for public policy at the American Lung Association of New England, said Ms. Studwell's ''fantastic'' analytical skills provided solid background information for virtually every anti-tobacco law enacted in Maine during the last three years.
A graduate of the University of Maine School of Law, Ms. Studwell worked for many years with Legal Services for the Elderly.
She also maintained her own private practice, specializing in estate planning, trust work for parents with mentally disabled children, and environmental and conservation law.
In Brunswick, her home for 25 years, she helped the Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust secure the first part of the Crystal Spring Farm acquisition.
In her private life, Ms. Studwell was an adventurous world traveler who enjoyed discovering exotic foods and cultures.
''She had an appetite for life, for learning, for reading, for customs and traditions,'' said her close friend, Karin Tilberg, a senior policy adviser to Gov. John Baldacci. ''She had a curious and active mind.''
Tilberg and Ms. Studwell traveled together to India and Costa Rica and climbed Mount Katahdin.
Ms. Studwell and her husband, Phil Studwell, celebrated their 30th wedding anniversary in August kayaking the Maine Island Trail near Acadia National Park.
Tilberg said Ms. Studwell was a devoted mother to her two children, Anna, 22, and Evan, 18.
Anna Studwell said her mother was warm and encouraging.
''She was supportive of anything at all I wanted to do, whether she was interested in it herself or not,'' she said.
''She was incredibly caring and generous,'' her husband said. ''She was amazing.''
Staff Writer Tom Bell can be contacted at 791-6369 or at:
Each day the newsroom selects one obituary and seeks to learn more about the life of a person who has lived and worked in Maine. We look for a person who has made a mark on the community or the person's family and friends in lasting ways.