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May 20, 1910
Jul. 8, 2008
Isabel Mae Condon, 98, died July 8, 2008, at Island Nursing Home, Deer Isle. She was born May 20, 1910, in North Brooksville. Daughter to Charles S. and Lena (Grey) Grindle.
Isabel was a loving and caring mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother. She taught school for 37 years in several towns including Winterport, Sedgwick, Stonington and Brooksville. She was a member of Maine Teachers Association, a member of the South Brooksville Methodist Church for many years serving on the committees and member of the Brooksville Historical Society. She was the proud recipient of the Boston Post Cane. Isabel was very fond of flowers and gardening.
She was predeceased by her husband, John R "Dick," in 1987.
Isabel Condon Is Still Signing Books at 92 After 70 years in the same house, Isabel Condon says, at 92, she could do with one slightly smaller.
But she reckons she'll stay in the roomy, white clapboard house on Cornfield Hill Road, just up from the Bucks Harbor Market.
"I am right here where it's handy," she said. "I'm right near the church and the store and the garage. And my son stops by every morning and afternoon to see if I need anything."
Nor does Condon, living alone now, lack for other company. Many take the time to look in on one of Brooksville's oldest residents.
She also qualifies as the person about town with one of the best-known names. That's because Condon's Garage is across the field near Bucks Harbor—all made famous, of course, by Robert McCloskey's children's book, "One Morning in Maine."
The widow of Dick Condon, the longtime owner of the garage, Isabel Condon handles all the autograph-seekers these days.
"I signed three books just the other day," she said.
Few of those passing through realize that the Condons are one of Brooksville's original families. The name is found in local records as early as 1768.
The town has changed plenty since Isabel's childhood, when she remembers the days of steamboats.
"The town has changed—oh, terribly!" she said. "We have had lots of people who have moved in: You can just see the dirt roads going to their new homes off the main road."
While Dick worked the garage, Isabel had her own career—37 years as a teacher. After early years in Winterport and Sedgwick, she taught for 21 years in Brooksville and nine more in Stonington.
Then, she thought, it came time to retire.
"Dick stayed at the garage until he said to me one day that he wanted to retire," she said. "I said that if he retired, then I would, too, because I thought we both needed a little time to rest.
"So I retired, but he didn't. He just kept going down to the garage every day."
Shortly before Dick Condon died in 1987, he received a citation from the Legislature for 60 years of service.
Isabel Condon's only regret is that she and Dick didn't travel.
"I was fine, as long as Dick was happy," she said. "It didn't matter, because I had lots to do around here. We had a vegetable and a flower garden."
She still cans and she still cooks for the church dinners. She also sends over cookies to her bachelor neighbor, who last year bought and renovated the old high school building that has stood empty since closing in 1961.
She has gone to the same Methodist church for 70 years, and has been treasurer there for 33 years. For the last 25 years—until two weeks ago, when Judy Parker agreed to take over—she was treasurer of the Lakeview Cemetery Association.
"There are so few people around here, that if you get a job, you tend to stay with it," she said.
Like Condon's Garage. It is still in the family, now handled by cousins Phillip Condon and Donald Condon.