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Topsham: Kimberly Ann Eder, 63, died Saturday, August 28, after a long and courageous battle with multiple sclerosis.

She was born in Bath, Maine, Aug. 20, 1958. She later attended schools in Sanford and graduated from Sanford H.S., where she was vice president of the student council. She went on to receive a bachelor’s degree from the University of Southern Maine, summa cum laude.

She began her teaching career at Woolwich Central School in 1986 after finishing an internship at the Fisher-Mitchell School in Bath and also serving as a consultant to the Carousel Nursery School in Topsham.

She took a hands-on approach to teaching First Grade, in which visits to the barnyard, the forest and the pond were frequently integrated with classroom instruction. After health issues forced her to retire from full-time teaching; she became active in literacy projects and tutoring individual students.

In her young adult years she was physically active, hiking parts of the Appalachian Trail, trekking in the Canadian Pacific Northwest and camping in the Hawaiian Islands. She also rafted the Colorado River and helped to manage a white-water rafting company on the Kennebec River. She loved nature and, after the onset of her illness, passed many idyllic hours at her family’s cottage on Sebec Lake.

She had a gift for music, having sung at numerous wedding ceremonies. She was also a member of a female choral group, The Woolites, which she helped to establish with colleagues from Woolwich Central School. Further, she was a volunteer parent with the Boys Singers of Maine.

She was a devoted mother, daughter and partner who worked tirelessly to promote family values. She cherished family traditions and reveled in hosting family gatherings, celebrations and dinners. Integral to her devotion to family was her love for animals. She was especially fond of her aloof Persian-Maine Coon Cat mix, Ashes, and her irascible teacup Yorkshire terrier, Kaly.

Even though she suffered a pernicious disease which slowly imprisoned her in an increasingly defective body, she never lost her infectious sense of humor or her indomitable determination not to allow the disease to destroy her life.

She is survived by her mother, Donna Russell-Beals of Topsham, her son, Elias Eder and his husband, James Lydon, of Windham, her brother, Donald St. Cyr and his wife, Michelle St. Cyr, of Milo, and her longtime partner, David Gilbert, of Topsham.

You can share a memory of Kimberly, or send condolences to her family, here.

Please consider a memorial donation to the National MS Society, P.O. Box #91891, Washington, D.C. 20090.

A memorial service will be scheduled for a later date.

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