Evelyne Harper Neill died March 12 at the age of 93 after a brief illness. She was an artist, adventurous traveler, avid gardener, loving mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. She loved the ocean and her swimming was elegant to behold.
Raised in France, the eldest of 5 children to Donald and Francoise Harper, her idyllic childhood was ended by the Nazi invasion, when her family moved to the US. She had vivid memories of bombings as the family departed France, including holding a warm shell fragment found by the side of the road.
After high school, she attended college and traveled for two years in Mexico. On return, she met and married the late artist Harmon Neill in Ogunquit, where they raised four children and where she lived until her death.
Evelyne earned her Bachelors and Masters from UNH. She taught French and Spanish at Wells H.S., and then worked for many years with Perkins Realty.
Her family remembers how quickly people took to her, noting her graciousness and how drawn they were by her welcoming nature. Even decades later, her children’s friends fondly recall meeting her.
She was a decades-long active member and at times officer of the Ogunquit Art Association, where she made many wonderful friends. She painted primarily landscapes, often inspired by her wide-ranging travels and by her gardens.
She took great joy from her family. She is survived by four children, Monty, Frank, Cloe and Georgia; their spouses Shelley, Terri, and Joyce; three grandsons, Damian, Jason and Jeremy; three great-grandchildren, four siblings, and many cousins, nephews and nieces, and friends.
A celebration of her life is being planned.