Deborah Phillips Brewster died peacefully at her home in Brooklin on Aug. 26, 2021. She was 71.
Born on March 8, 1950, in Boston, Mass., Deborah was the third of five children of Kingman Brewster Jr. and Mary Louise Phillips. She grew up in Cambridge, Mass., and New Haven, Conn. Deborah attended Vassar College for two years before moving to Sedgwick, Maine in 1971 with her first husband, Grady Holloway, and their son, Eachan. While raising Eachan and his brothers Benjamin and Will, Deborah worked a variety of part-time and seasonal jobs ranging from wreath-making and blueberry-harvesting to sales and floristry, before taking a job at WoodenBoat in 1983. There she met her second husband, Benjamin Mendlowitz. Deborah and Benjamin built a house in Brooklin, where they lived for the past 34 years and raised their two children, Samuel and Hannah. During this time, she worked as a partner in her husband’s small publishing company, NOAH Publications. In 1994 she completed her bachelor’s degree at Lesley College, and since then exercised a love of the written word through her work as Brooklin school librarian and a freelance editor for various local publishers and authors. She was tirelessly devoted to her family and friends, and an avid reader, writer, beekeeper and gardener. A talented helmswoman, she spent many summer days sailing with family on Eggemoggin Reach and surrounding waters.
Over her 50 years on the peninsula, Deborah was a passionate advocate for education and the local community, driven by her belief that an individual can have a significant and lasting impact. Her grace and finesse as a leader and communicator allowed her to advocate for change while always respecting varying points of view. She served on and chaired the Brooklin School Board, Friend Memorial Public Library Board, George Stevens Academy Board of Trustees and the Brooklin Select Board. She was instrumental in the creation of Brooklin’s renewed library and new elementary school. She co-founded the Mountain Ash Nursery School and served on various other boards on the peninsula, including those of the Sedgwick School and Blue Hill Memorial Hospital.
Deborah is survived by her husband, Benjamin Mendlowitz of Brooklin, Maine; her son, Eachan Holloway of Redondo Beach, Calif.; her son, Will Holloway, his wife Gabriela Anastasio, and their son Owen of Torrington, Conn.; her son, Samuel Mendlowitz, his wife Natalie Whaiapu, and their daughters Sienna and Noah of Auckland, New Zealand; and her daughter, Hannah Mendlowitz of New Haven, Conn. She was predeceased by her son, Benjamin Holloway.
An outdoor service will take place at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 25, 2021, at Flye Point in Brooklin, Maine. In lieu of flowers, gifts can be made to the Deborah Brewster Memorial Scholarship at George Stevens Academy, 23 Union Street, Blue Hill, ME 04614 or at www.georgestevensacademy.org/onlinegift. Please designate your gift in memory of Deborah Brewster. The scholarship will provide financial support for a community-minded college-bound GSA student annually.