On March 24, 2021 we lost our dear mother, grandmother and great grandmother, Barbara Van Waes (nee Schott). She is survived by her sons, Jeffery S. Dover (Susan) of Fountain Hills, George Kent Dover, Jr. (Joanne) of Sanbornton, N.H. and Mark S. Dover (Paloma) of Prairie Village, as well as seven grandchildren and seven great grandchildren.
Born on June 11, 1925 in Providence, R.I., to Isabel and Harold Schott, Barbara lived primarily in Rhode Island and Maine until, late in her life, she moved to Arizona. She graduated from Northfield School for Girls (now Northfield Mt. Hermon School) in western Massachusetts before graduating from Wheaton College in Norton, Mass., with a BA in economics and later, from the University of Maine with a master’s degree in library science.
Bobby, as she was known to her friends and acquaintances, worked first on the faculty as an English teacher for a short time, and finally as the school librarian for Bridgton Academy in N. Bridgton, Maine, for 28 years until her retirement from that position.
Her first marriage of 15 years to George Kent Dover ended in divorce in 1962. An accomplished artist in her own right, Bobby married noted Maine silversmith James B. Hamlin in 1964. Together they spent many happy years with other craftspeople from all over the country. They involved themselves in town, church and school affairs. Mr. Hamlin was a Bridgton Academy trustee. Bobby was an active Wheaton alumna as well.
Their home was a bit like a museum! Found there could be volumes ranging from oversize books on medieval European dress, done in watercolors, to late editions of rockhounding guides and everything historical, literary and “Maine” in between. Historical pieces such as handwritten communications from a U.S. president to one of his generals, the latter a friend, and an original document signed by Thomas Jefferson were among items which could be seen there.
The home’s lower level was Jim’s silversmith shop, where all his unique work was done, and his many students taught his craft. The pair’s intellectual curiosity, as well as their love of the outdoors in Maine, were key to their lives together. Mr. Hamlin, “Jim,” adored Bobby. So did their many friends.
Their dinner table was often a thing of wonder, with an always interesting variety of guests, people from all walks of life. They entertained friends who ranged from captains of U.S. industry to local carpenters. When Bobby put on a dinner it was never dull and always delicious – except perhaps for the time when she planned to serve chicken and dumplings and upon serving, discovered that the dumplings had dissolved and were non-existent. Holiday meals were amazing.
After Jim’s passing in 1992, Bobby married Bob Van Waes, a friend whose wife had passed a year prior. Not long after, they moved to Bobby’s seaside home in New Harbor, Maine, where they were active in local arts and history for several years until advancing age dictated a move to less wild and wooly environs. It was then that they moved to Arizona to be near to Bobby’s son, Jeff, and his family. Bob later passed on in 2010. Bobby continued to live an active life in Scottsdale and later, Fountain Hills.
Bobby’s ready sense of humor, her smile, gentility and grace will be sorely missed by her family and friends.
Memorial services will be private. Please send any donations in her memory to Hospice of the Valley or Habitat for Humanity.