VERO BEACH, Fla. – Corinne Johnson Rich, 85 passed away peacefully at Cleveland Clinic Indian River Medical Center on Sept. 17, 2019. She was born May 17, 1934 to Clayton W. and Harriett W. Johnson on Bailey Island, Maine. She grew up on the island attending Orr’s and Bailey Island schools and Brunswick High School. In 1950 she married Maurice Heinie Merrill of Brunswick. They resided on Bailey Island for several years and together they built and managed Merrill’s Wharf Marina where in 1961 they revived the popular Bailey Island Tuna Tournament.

In 1970 she married Capt. William Rich of South Portland. They built a home at Mackerel Cove and remained on Bailey Island until Bill’s death in 2003. In 2004 she shared time between Brunswick and Vero Beach, Fla. with her companion, Norman LaCharite.

In 1965 she joined the Federal Trust Company in Skowhegan as a bookkeeper and later joined the Brunswick School Department where she held several positions within the system including secretary to several principals and the superintendent. Hawthorne School was her last assignment, where she worked for 15 years. She retired in 1996 after 33 years of service.

She was a member of several volunteer organizations and served on the Board of Directors of the Bailey Island Association and The Willing Helpers and led a committee that successfully brought a bronze statue of Captain Elroy Johnson, a lifelong resident, to Land’s End, Bailey Island.

Corinne had many interests including walking the Bailey Island beaches searching for sea glass which she made into lamps for family and friends. She took pride in her gardens and enjoyed sailing with her husband, Bill, on the “Dash”. Feeding and photographing the swans, turtles and exotic birds from her Florida lakeside home were often part of her day. She also loved tuna fishing with her Dad and brothers.

Corinne is survived by her children, Jackie Merrill of Bailey Island, Shirley Stetson of Orrs Island, Louise Merrill of Raymond and Ronald Merrill and wife Edith of Fairhope, Ala.; six grandchildren, Sandi Bisson, Alan Otis, Robert Stetson, Jordan Owen, Kristen Merrill, and Brett Merrill; five great-grandchildren; and two great-great-grandchildren; a brother, Alfred Johnson of Bailey Island; companion, Norman LaCharite of Vero Beach, Fla.; and several nieces and nephews.

She was predeceased by her parents; husband, Bill; brother, Bernard Johnson; twin grandsons, John and Howard Owen; nephews, Aaron Johnson, Bernard Johnson Jr., Pemberton Johnson and Ryan Johnson Bibber.

Arrangements were made by Cox-Gifford Seawinds Funeral Home in Vero Beach, Fla. There will be a graveside service at the Bailey Island Cemetery on a date and time arranged by her children. Her ashes will be placed next to her beloved husband Bill.

Memorial contributions, in lieu of flowers, can be made to the

Orr’s Bailey Island

Fire and Rescue

P.O. Box 177

Orr’s Island, ME 04066

or the

Bailey Island Cemetery

c/o The Willing Helpers, Inc.

PO Box 233

Bailey Island, ME 04003