Francis E. Hamabe, 84, of 145 Windward Lane, Bristol, R.I., died March 2, 2002, in Bristol after a brief illness. He was the husband of Phyllis (Green) Hamabe. He was predeceased by his parents, Frank and Emma (Tiedemann) Hamabe, and his wife, Sydney (Gardner) Hamabe.

A native of New  Jersey, Mr. Hamabe attended Newark School of Art and Rhode Island School of Design. He was an Army veteran of World War II, serving both in Europe and the Pacific. In 1948, he moved to Rockport, where he became associated with the Farnsworth Museum and was a cofounder of Maine Coast Artists. In 1950, he moved to Blue Hill, where he was associated with Rowantrees Pavilion, arranging exhibits of modern art. On the closing of the pavilion, he taught art locally at Blue Hill Consolidated School, at the Orono campus of the University of Maine where he was art director of Maine’s first TV station and at the University’s Machias campus. From the 1950s until 1980, the artist taught popular adult classes up and down the Maine coast. His commercial illustrations have appeared in The New Yorker, Down East Magazine, and Maine Life.

Mr. Hamabe was a popular artist who worked in silk screen, collage, oil and watercolor. His prints and paintings of Maine villages are sought after by collectors and are represented in public and private collections throughout the nation. His murals can be seen at Eastern Maine Medical Center and the University of Maine at Machias. In May 1996, Mr. Hamabe was honored by the University of Maine at Machias with an honorary degree of doctor of fine arts. A major retrospective exhibit of his work appeared there in 1994. The artist has maintained a studio at Blue Hill since 1950 and at Bristol, R.I., since 1994. His paintings and prints, as well as recently created sculpture, have been displayed at Rowantrees Pottery’s gallery for the past 15 years.

Mr. Hamabe was a member of the Blue Hill Country Club, the Kollegewidgwok Yacht Club, and Maine Coast Artists. He was a communicant of St. John’s Episcopal Church, Barrington, R.I.

Arrangements are private. A memorial service was held at St. John’s Episcopal Church, 191 County Road, Barrington, R.I., on March 8, 2002. A memorial will take place in Blue Hill at a later date. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Rogers Free Library, Bristol, R.I. 02809, or Peninsula Ambulance Corps, Blue Hill, ME 04614.


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