The Camden Select Board on June 7 dedicated the 2011 Annual Report to Garrett Elliott “Connie” Conover Jr. and Diane “DeeDee” Conover, caretakers of Curtis Island.

In presenting a copy of the report, signed by all members of the board, Select Board Chairwoman Karen Grove read the text of the dedication, which follows.

The town of Camden is pleased to dedicate this Annual Report to Garrett Elliott (Connie) Conover Jr. and Diane (DeeDee) Conover. Connie was born in Orange, N.J. in 1929 and graduated form the University of Vermont before serving as a Lieutenant in the Navy for four years. DeeDee was born in Greenfield, Mass., completing a degree at Springfield College. The two met on the ski slopes of Stowe, Vt., and soon discovered they also shared a love of the sea.

Connie and DeeDee raised four children in the Berkshire Hills of Massachusetts, David, Sue, Jen and Pete. They came to Camden in the mid-70s on the occasion of buying a 30-foot boat, which they lived aboard for a couple of summers. As Connie sold his home-heating oil business in Massachusetts, DeeDee approached Harbor Committee member Willard Wiuht with the proposal of caretaking the Curtis Island Light for the town, having grown quite familiar with the property as a haven of refuge. For the past thirty-two years DeeDee, Connie and family have continued with this seasonal responsibility. They’ve created and maintained trails, sited and maintained benches, painted and re-roofed buildings, cleared fallen trees, managed and welcomed thousands of visitors over this period.

In addition to his service on Curtis Island, Connie was a member of several maritime groups: the Camden Yacht Club, the Cruising Club of America, and the Ocean Cruising Club. He taught at the Wooden Boat School and both he and DeeDee volunteered at the Penobscot Marine Museum. DeeDee served on the CYC Board of Directors in the 1990s, in addition to her own membership in these same seafaring organizations.

DeeDee also was a volunteer with New Hope for Women and the Pen Bay Stewards, and an alternate member to the town’s Parks and Recreation Committee. In 1998 she was appointed by Governor Angus King to serve on the State Parole Board of Maine for a three-year term. More recently, she’s volunteered for Hospice and was a board member from 2007 to 2009.

Connie spent a final summer on Curtis Island before he died last October. DeeDee and family continue caretaking service on Curtis Island. Connie spent many days sitting, looking out to sea and being thankful for his family, friends and a life well lived. Boats from many ports sailed close to the island to wave a hat or sound a horn, bringing a smile to Connie’s face. Connie and DeeDee, with care and respect, have taken care of Curtis Island and preserved its history for the people of Camden. With heartfelt thanks, we honor their commitment with this dedication.