Sharon A. Staz died on Monday, Aug. 6, at her second home in Camden. She was 78.

Sharon was born in Ohio in 1943 to Harry William and Winnifred E. Staz. She graduated from Ithaca College in 1965 with a B.S. in speech/drama.

Sharon Staz Courtesy photo

Sharon’s career stretched from financial and business management positions at several colleges to renovating and running an historic inn in Princeton, Massachusetts. In 1986, Sharon became the manager of the Princeton Municipal Light Department, the first woman to hold that position; just one of many firsts that would mark her career in public power.

She continued her work in Princeton until 1998 when she became the general manager and treasurer of the Kennebunk Light & Power District). During her tenure at KLPD, she introduced two solar-powered electric vehicle charging stations as well as a green power option for KLPD customers. In 2010, she was selected by the American Public Power Association to join the Solar Electric Power Association’s fact-finding mission to Japan. Sharon retired from KLPD in 2015.

Sharon was an active member of the Northeast Public Power Association, American Public Power Association and Kennebunk’s Energy Efficiency Advisory Committee.

Recipient of American Public Power Association’s Seven Hats Award and James D. Donovan Individual Achievement Award, as well as Northeast Public Power Association’s Francis “Skip” Willey Individual Achievement Award and Person of the Year Award, Sharon served on American Public Power Association executive committee and board of directors, the first person from Maine to do so, and as chair of American Public Power Association’s membership committee, chair and vice chair of the American Public Power Association legislative committee and a member of the organization’s Twenty First Century Task Force. In addition, she was a long-serving member of Northeast Public Power Association’s Board of Directors and chair of Northeast Public Power Association’s Legislative Committee.

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At the state level, Sharon was the secretary and legislative liaison of DIRIGO, Maine’s consumer-owned utilities organization, a member of the Governor’s Maine Energy Council and the Governor’s Renewable Energy Task Force. At the time of her death, Sharon was a committee member of Our Power, a coalition of Maine ratepayers, business leaders, and others committed to putting the Pine Tree State’s energy future in the hands of Mainers.

After several years as a consultant, she joined the board of The New School and recently became the vice-chair of the board of directors. She was a member of the Kennebunk Skate Park Ad Hoc Committee and treasurer of the former MaineStage Shakespeare group.

Sharon was an enthusiastic and committed volunteer at the United Way of York County, Kennebunk, Kennebunkport, Arundel Chamber of Commerce, Altrusa of Biddeford/Saco and the Merrymeeting Nature Center of Camden.

Sharon worked tirelessly for organizations and programs designed to help feed and educate children in need and families who needed a hand during tough economic and emotionally trying times. Her commitment to the greater Kennebunk community was recognized as recently as 2019 when she was presented with a Model of Positive Living award by The Center.

Sharon was predeceased by both her parents. She is survived and fondly remembered by numerous friends who became family, including Tim Pape, his wife Lydia and their two children, Adalynn “Addie” and Theodore “Teddy” whom she adopted and spoiled as her own grandchildren; and Mark Dufoe, her former head lineman in Kennebunk, his wife April, their daughter Raven Fulford, her husband Jonathan and daughter Winslow.

Memorial contributions in Sharon’s honor may be made to:

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· Kennebunk Free Library, 112 Main St., Kennebunk, ME 04043;

· Camden Public Library, 55 Main St., Camden, ME 04843;

· Portland Ovations, P.O. Box 17573, Portland, ME 04112-8573

A celebration of life will be planned at a later date.

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