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Zelma McCormick Huntoon
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Obituary for Zelma McCormick Huntoon

Zelma McCormick Huntoon, 87 of Bayside (Northport) Maine passed away peacefully on January 5, 2017 with her husband Jo by her side. She was a woman well before her time, a wife, mother, grandmother, aunt, mathematician, engineer, avid sports fan and amazing cook who had a lasting impact on all the lives she touched.

Zelma is survived by her husband of 61 years Josiah P. Huntoon, Jr; daughters Lindsay (Dan Doucette) and Wendy (Amro El-Jaroudi); two grandchildren Rasha and Nadim El-Jaroudi; niece Susan Woodrow, nephew Ken Lopez; and many grandnieces and grandnephews. Zelma was preceded in death by her sister Gwendolyn Lopez.

Zelma was born in the Bronx, New York on January 15, 1928 to the late Zelma (Morey) and George McCormick. She grew up in the Washington Heights neighborhood of New York City, graduating from George Washington High School in 1946. She attended Barnard College, graduating in 1950 with a BA in Mathematics with Honors. She received the Allen Award in Mathematics, allowing her to attend Columbia University and receive her MA in Mathematics in 1951. Zelma was a trailblazer in her field: equipped with her background in mathematics, she pursued a career in the field of electrical engineering specializing in secure military communications. She worked at New York University (1952-1957), the Rich Computer Center at Georgia Tech (1958-1966) and GTE. She retired in 1988 holding the position of Deputy Director Engineering, Electronic Defense Communications Directorate at GTE.

Zelma fell in love with Bayside during the summer of 1943, from then on spending every summer she could there, eventually retiring to Bayside during the summer and Belfast in the winter. She met her husband Jo in Bayside, in 1944, marrying 11 years later in 1955. Her favorite activity was sitting on the porch in Bayside entertaining generations of friends and family. Her cooking was legendary and she was known for her margaritas and family curry recipe. She was a wonderful storyteller, delighting her children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews with family and Bayside stories and history. She was a founding member of the Bayside Historical Preservation Society, working with others in the community to preserve the memories and history of Bayside for future generations.

In 2000, Zelma wrote the following for her 50th Reunion for Barnard: “the self-confidence I gained at Barnard and the encouragement I received from my husband (and two daughters) enabled me to deal with the almost totally male environment in which I worked. So thanks to my upbringing, Barnard and my husband, I have been able to do exactly what I wanted to do with my life. In retrospect it seemed so easy.”

The family wishes to extend their gratitude to the residents and staff of Tall Pines, for their dedication, care, and love for Zelma over the past 11 years.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Bayside Historical Preservation Society, PO Box 273, Lincolnville, ME 04849.

A memorial service will be held this summer.


To send flowers or a remembrance gift to the family of Zelma McCormick Huntoon, please visit our Tribute Store.

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