Michele A. (Liberty) McInnes, known to her children as Ma Dukes, died on Saturday, October 20, 2018 at the age of 71. She left us peacefully after courageously battling Alzheimer’s disease for the last three years. Michele did not want to be defined by her disease. She fervently hoped for greater strides in Alzheimer’s research, and sought out various studies in which to participate. So great was her desire to help that one of her final requests was for her brain be donated for research purposes.
Michele was born on February 5, 1947 in Tucson, AZ, the daughter of Joseph L. Liberty and Ruth (Crawford) Kelley Shepard. She lived in many places around the country but loved living in the Seacoast of New Hampshire, where the ocean was always a quick ride away. She was a dedicated teacher at Oyster River Middle School for 43 years, where she taught math and english. Connecting with her students and their families in and out of the classroom was something she always strove to achieve. Michele was famous for her mismatched earrings, her love of really good coffee, collecting sea glass, and her amazingly quick wit. Most Saturday nights she and her family would gather with friends for homemade Mexican food and listen to “Prairie Home Companion.” She enjoyed singing in Voices from the Heart, settling in with a good book, and walking the dogs with her dear friend Bette. Recently, with the assistance of Serena, she re-discovered her love of painting with watercolors. She was infamously known to drive her standard transmission car and eat without any hands on the wheel or the shifter!
Michele is predeceased by her parents. She is survived by her brother Joseph L. Liberty and his wife Jan of Buckeye, AZ , and by her two children Katherine Liberty Potvin, and Duncan Charles McInnes Jr. She was loved by Kate’s husband, Chris, as well as her granddaughter Wyatt Ruth, who will always know her Nana.
Michele’s family would like to thank the incredible professional team that supported all of us: Dr. Marshall, Anne-Marie, and the team at Frisbie Memorial Hospital GeroPsychiatry Unit. Sally and Ronnie, who became so much more than just caregivers to Michele. We would also like to thank the entire staff, particularly the staff in “the Garden” at Sentry Hill in York, ME, for their compassion and care. A public celebration of Michele’s life will be held at the University of New Hampshire’s Elliott Alumni Center on Saturday November, 3rd, 2018 from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to The Alzheimer's Association at https://www.alz.org