PORTLAND -- Caroline Duby Glassman died on July 10, 2013, at Maine Medical Center, after a long and remarkable life.
Caroline was born on a ranch in Baker, Ore., the sixth child of Caroline and Charles Duby. She graduated from Eastern Oregon College of Education and attended law school at Willamette University College of Law in Salem, Ore., where she was one of only two women at the school. Caroline graduated from Willamette summa cum laude in 1944 with a bachelor of laws degree.
After passing the Oregon bar exam in 1944, Caroline briefly worked for the Salem Title Insurance Company, then moved to California where she became an associate of Melvin M. Belli in San Francisco in 1952. In 1953, she married Harry Paul Glassman in San Francisco. Their son Max was born in 1959.
Caroline and Harry moved to Maine in 1963 when Harry became a member of the faculty at the University of Maine School of Law. Caroline began extensive involvement in the Portland community, including work with the task force to secure funding for Portland through the federal Model Cities Program.
From 1967 to 1968 Caroline lectured at the University of Maine School of Law, and returned to practicing law in 1969, first as a sole practitioner, then with the firm of Glassman & Potter, and eventually founding the firm Glassman, Beagle & Ridge. Her husband Harry served on the Maine Supreme Judicial Court from 1979 until his death in 1981. Caroline served as the president of the Cumberland Bar Association in 1982 and was on the Maine State Bar Association's board of governors from 1982 to 1983.
On July 7, 1983, Maine Governor Joseph E. Brennan nominated Caroline Glassman to serve as a member of the Maine Supreme Judicial Court. She was confirmed by the Maine State Senate on Aug. 4, in a unanimous vote. Caroline was sworn into office on Aug. 30 as the 93rd justice in the Court's history and became the first woman to serve on Maine's highest court.
While on the bench, Caroline received several honorary degrees, including those from the University of New England in 1985, Bowdoin College in 1986, Husson College in 1989, and finally in 1994 from her alma mater, Willamette University College of Law.
Caroline served two seven-year terms on the Supreme Court, retiring in 1997. After leaving the bench she was involved with the Russian American Rule of Law Consortium, a group of legal scholars and judges in Portland working with their counterparts in Portland's sister city of Archangel, Russia to develop a network of Russian leaders with firsthand exposure to America's democratic form of government.
In retirement Caroline also was a long-time volunteer at the Iris Network, every week reading and recording local newspaper stories for the visually-impaired.
In 1993 the Women's Law section of the Maine State Bar Association created the Caroline Duby Glassman Award, given each year to a woman lawyer in Maine who has worked to advance the position of women in the community or in the profession.
Caroline is survived by her son Max and his wife Karen of Chesapeake, Va.; as well as four grandchildren; three great-grandchildren; and several nieces and nephews.
Friends will be invited to attend a celebration of her life to be held at the Cumberland Club in Portland.
In lieu of flowers, the family
suggests that donations may be made in Caroline's memory to the Justice Harry P. Glassman
Memorial Scholarship Fund at the University of Maine School of Law.