CAMDEN — Mary Borden Hall Bok of Camden died at her home Oct. 31, 2022, surrounded by her family. Mary was a devoted member of the Quasimodal Chorus, The MidCoast Community Chorus, the United Christian Church, the Proprioceptive Writing Center, Hope Springs Institute, the Vesper Hill Children’s Chapel Board, Tanglewood 4H Camp, Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association (MOFGA), Coastal Mountains Land Trust and Georges River Land Trust, among others.

Mary was born May 24, 1938, at Camden Hospital on Mountain Street, and lived almost all of her life in Camden. As a child, Mary lived with her parents, Ham and Emmy Hall, at ‘Red Chimneys,’ their house at the bottom of Central Street. She attended Camden public schools and graduated from Oak Grove School in Vassalboro in 1956. Mary received her Bachelor of Arts degree from University of Maine at Orono in 1960. After graduating, Mary moved to Brooklyn, N.Y., where she lived with friends and worked at the Cooper Hewitt Museum. During this time, she began dating Tony Bok, another Camden transplant who was living in Philadelphia. Tony convinced her to help him transport his two motorcycles from Philadelphia to Camden. The plan was that Tony would ride one and Mary would ride the other. The only problem was that Mary had neither ridden nor had plans to ride a motorcycle before. The lessons and the learning curve involved in that process set them up for what would be a remarkable marriage that lasted until Tony’s death in 2002. Marrying shortly after the motorcycle trip, Mary and Tony went on a honeymoon to Vinalhaven, which wound up lasting 10 years. When they returned, they had three children and a pile of farm animals.

Living in North Haven and Vinalhaven, Mary and Tony raised their children and began homesteading, raising animals, and growing fruit and vegetables, and teaching in the school on North Haven. In 1972 they moved to Hillside Farm on Barnestown Road in Camden. Mary helped to run the Camden Herald newspaper while running the operation of the farm with Tony. At the same time, she explored fibers and textile arts at Haystack School of Crafts as well as pursuing her own writing practice. Mary became involved with the Proprioceptive Writing Center in Portland, eventually becoming a Proprioceptive Writing Instructor both at the Center and leading workshops locally and nationally.

Mary was a regular contributor to the local paper, and also wrote a series of self-published books. Some of these written pieces were personal history that intersected with the history of Camden, while others were semi-autobiographical stories that at times had the feeling of magic realism or fantasy. They always reflected her endless good humor and wisdom. Mary very much enjoyed new experiences and working with and supporting the arts and artists, hosting many young and emerging artists and art students as well as established professional art pioneers in her farmhouse on Ragged Mountain.

Mary was adored by her devoted family and her many friends and will be sadly missed. She is survived by her children: Elizabeth Bok Kordek, Gideon Bok and his wife, Meghan Brady, Shannon Bok Orestis and her husband, George Orestis; her grandchildren, Adrianna, Nastasha, and Katia Kordek, Gideon, Jack, and Aiden Orestis, Ada and Helen Bok; her brother, Doug Hall, and her sister, Liz Hall; brother-in-law, Gordon Bok and his wife, Carol; as well as several nieces and nephews and innumerable casually adoptive kids and grownups who also called her “mom” or “Granna.”

There will be a memorial service followed by a reception at 2 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 19 at the First Congregational Church UCC, 55 Elm St., Camden. There will be a Vimeo of the service. The Zoom link is vimeo.com/event/2603000; it will be available live and archived to view at another time. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to MOFGA or the Coastal Mountains Land Trust.

Condolences and memories may be shared at longfuneralhomecamden.com. Arrangements are with the Long Funeral Home & Cremation Service, 9 Mountain Street, Camden.