2012-03-21 / Obituaries

Gwendolyn Binks Moore

TOPSHAM — Gwendolyn Binks Moore died of cancer on Saturday March 17, 2012. She had been a resident of Maine since 2001.

During her years here she devoted much of her time to managing the Gwen Moore Children of China Fund, a nonprofit whose mission is educating children in one of the poorest, rural areas of China. She also served on the Board of Directors of Androscoggin Bank and chaired the Bank's charitable MainStreet Foundation.

Moore was born on September 30, 1947, in Guelph, Ontario, Canada, where her father attended Ontario Veterinary College. She came to the United States with her parents in the early 1950's and assumed United States citizenship when her parents did in the mid 1950's. During her childhood she enjoyed accompanying her father to tend sick farm animals throughout Anderson County, Kentucky.

She attended both elementary and high school in Kentucky before moving to Maryland where she graduated from Parkton High School in 1965. Moore held two degrees from the University of Massachusetts: a M.Ed. (research and statistics, 1976) and an MBA (business policy, 1978). In 2000, she received a Master of Divinity degree from Harvard Divinity School. During her time at Harvard, Gwen served as a ministerial intern at The First Parish Church in Lincoln, MA. She authored many published articles and a book on information technology in health care.

Gwen began her professional career in 1978, serving as a business policy analyst at the U. S. Government Accountability Office in Washington, D.C. In 1982, she began working as a management consultant, first in Washington and then in Boston, an occupation that defined the remainder of her career. Her last position was as a partner with the firm Accenture (then called Andersen Consulting) where she helped large businesses around the world to operate more effectively and to use information technology to achieve business objectives.

Gwen resigned her partnership in 1997, the same year she founded the Gwen Moore Children of China Fund (www.childrenofchina.org), which she is endowing with her estate. Her dramatic change was prompted a 1996 New York Times article on the plight of poverty-stricken children and their peasant parents in rural China. As she said in an interview in the Maine Woman's Journal in the spring of 2006, "When I was struck by the plight of [the poor peasants] in remote, rural China, all logic argued against trying to help. If I had analyzed the obstacles, I undoubtedly would not have acted at all. Today I am astonished at how many lives have been changed for the better, including my own."

In 2006, Gwen received the prestigious " First Decade Award" from Harvard Divinity School (HDS). This award recognizes a graduate within ten years of their graduation whose professional pursuits have demonstrated the values and skills developed at the Divinity School, and who is an inspiration and encouragement to all graduates to rededicate themselves to the values, hopes, and visions that led them to study at HDS and reflected truth, compassion, and service in the world.

Gwen loved gardening, reading, spending time with friends and family, sewing, and the coastline of Maine. She was a member of the Chinese & American Friendship Association of Maine and did pro bono consulting for a number of small businesses and nonprofits in Maine. She was an active supporter of the Bowdoin International Music Festival.

Gwen was predeceased by her mother Verna Craig Binks in 1961, by her father Hugh E. Binks in 2010, by her stepmother Rachel Rogers Ripy Binks in 2004, and by two stepbrothers Michael and Bruce Ripy.

Survivors include her brother Douglas Binks and his wife Joann of Anderson, South Carolina; a nephew, Michael Elliott Binks, of Burlington, IA. She has many aunts, uncles, and cousins from both her mother's and father's family.

A memorial service will be held at the Brackett Funeral Home, 29 Federal Street, Brunswick, ME, at 11a.m. Saturday April 14. Rev. Mary Baard will preside. There will be no viewing or visiting hours. Gwen will be cremated and interred between her father and mother in Lawrenceburg, KY. A graveside service on April 27, at 10AM will be officiated by Rev. Rosemary Lloyd and will be held at the Lawrenceburg Cemetery, KY.

Brackett Funeral Home in Brunswick, Maine and Ritchie & Peach Funeral Home in Kentucky are making arrangements. Condolences may be made online at www.brackettfuneralhome.com.

Gwen specifically requested that no flowers be sent. If desired, a memorial donation honoring her life's dedication to the children of rural China can be made to the Gwen Moore China Endowment, c/ o Give2Asia, P. O. Box 193223, San Francisco, CA 94119-3223, or to a charity of your choice.


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