Cynthia Callahan Belair died Jan. 30, 2010, at Eastern Maine Medical Center from complications associated with multiple sclerosis. She and her husband, Jean R. Belair Jr., were married in Hamilton, Bermuda. They enjoyed successful business careers in Connecticut and in 1993 retired to Camden.

Cynthia was born in Springfield, Mass., on Oct. 29, 1949, the only child of Charles Christopher and Mary McMaster Callahan.

A third generation graduate of Catholic education including Springfield’s Cathedral High School, she attended Massachusetts’ Westfield State College on scholarship where she obtained her bachelor of arts degree in elementary education. After a brief teaching assignment she joined the Massachusetts Department of Social Services as first a social worker and then as a field supervisor. During these years she obtained her master’s in business administration in finance from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst and decided on another career change — into the banking world.

Employed by Mass Mutual for several years as a real estate analyst, she evaluated and underwrote corporate property investments throughout the United States while gaining particular insight and market knowledge of the southeastern states. Moving from Mass Mutual, she joined the international investment house Barclay’s as a real estate investment officer and commercial lender. During this period in her career she completed all of the requirements for certification as an MAI, the most prestigious professional designation available to real estate investors.

Moving into a more operational role, she joined Martin, Belair & Company, a Hartford, Conn., developer and consulting firm with business investments throughout New England, as director of real estate investments. In this position she was responsible for all consulting work undertaken by the company on behalf of national and regional investment clients. Her specialties included syndication of tax sheltered investments and financing of historic tax credit renovations as well as maintaining relationships with large institutional investment partners. It was while working at Martin, Belair & Company that she met and married her husband, Jean.

Before the onset of her multiple sclerosis, Cynthia was an avid skier and enjoyed skiing the mountains of Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont as well as the west where she particularly enjoyed skiing Park City, Utah, and Vail, Colo. She was very proud of her Irish heritage and frequently traveled to Ireland to visit relatives and family friends.

First diagnosed with degenerative multiple sclerosis in 1990, Cynthia devoted all of her remaining strength and energy to raising her beloved daughter, Elizabeth Maura Belair, currently a sophomore at Camden Hills Regional High School. During her illness and unable to leave her home, Cynthia constructed and maintained elaborate scrapbooks of memorabilia documenting Elizabeth’s accomplishments and the time spent with her family. Cynthia’s last major outing was a family road trip through Canada to visit close friends in Alaska, returning cross country with a memorable stop at Niagara Falls. This spring she took great pleasure in watching from her wheelchair and photographing Elizabeth as she marched in Camden’s 2009 Memorial Day Parade as a member of the high school band.

During the last years of her lingering illness, Cynthia received extraordinary home care and support from staff of the Camden District Nursing Association.

She is survived by her husband, Jean R. Belair Jr.; her daughter, Elizabeth; and her mother, Mary Callahan, all of Camden; one aunt, Rita Dawson of Topeka, Kan.; her mother-in-law, Marina J. Belair of Berlin, N.H.; two brothers-in-law, Keith Belair of Arden, N.C., and James Belair of Laconia, N.H.; three sisters-in-law, Melissa Belair of Berlin, N.H., Paula True of Nottingham, N.H., and Cynthia Cormier of Westford, Mass.; and many nieces and nephews. Throughout her life she was fortunate to have several dear lifelong friends whom she considered sisters, Lois Reed, Margaret Banas, Susan Gallagher and Barbara Tourtellotte.

She was predeceased by her father.

Calling hours will be Friday, Feb. 5 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Long Funeral Home, 9 Mountain St. in Camden. The funeral Mass followed by a reception will be held Saturday, Feb. 6 at 10 a.m. at Our Lady of Good Hope Catholic Church in Camden. The Rev. Mark Reinhardt will officiate.

Memorial donations may be made to the Camden District Nursing Association, P.O. Box 547, Camden, ME 04843.

Expressions of sympathy to the family may be sent to