Isabelle Levin Manahan, a beloved freshman at Lincoln Academy, passed away last Friday afternoon in a car accident. She's survived by her parents, Bryan Manahan and Carrie Levine, and her older brother, Aidan. She leaves behind a large and loving extended family and a devoted village of friends that reaches far beyond Lincoln County. In her fifteen years, she touched many hearts with her big smile and easy laugh, her lively mind and a pair of sparkling blue eyes that conveyed a contagious joy for living. She was a fun-loving and kind-hearted spirit.
Isabelle was born at home on River Road in Newcastle on December 6, 2002. She was welcomed into an active family that embraced the outdoors, and she found great peace walking in the woods with them and her dog Annie, particularly at the Dodge Point Preserve. She loved sailing on the coast and swimming at the Mills. She carved a path through the snow on the mountains of Maine and had a deep reverence for the natural world.
She attended the Sheepscot Valley Children’s House and the Great Salt Bay Community School, prior to entering Lincoln Academy. Early on, her love for music and dance was nurtured in the community. She played fiddle, often with her brother Aidan, at holiday concerts, community events, and family parties. Starting at the age of four, she took lessons with Kaity Newell and played with the Oyster Creek Fiddlers. In high school, she played percussion in the Lincoln Academy Band, most recently in the Newcastle Memorial Day Parade, marching behind a big bass drum.
She followed her parents and brother to the slopes as soon as she could walk and grew to be an alpine racer with the Ragged Mountain Ski Club, which widened her circle of friends to include this special community. Because of the support of many, she was able to ski competitively in high school.
Dancing was Isabelle's passion and she was devoted to the practice. She began her training with Melanie Pagurko, learning ballet, modern jazz, and hip hop. For the past three years, she studied at The Ballet School in Topsham with Elizabeth Drucker. This year, at Lincoln Academy, she had a great time performing in West Side Story. Throughout her life, she was a girl in motion with a song in her head, finding her balance.
Izzy loved to settle into a cozy spot with a good book and did her schoolwork by the fire. Very at home in the kitchen, she was happy to stir anything in a bowl from a very young age. She was lively at the dinner table and the longer the table the better. Her greatest joy was found in the time she shared with the people she loved. She was motivated by the skiers, dancers and musicians that drew her to the slopes, the studio and the stage. It was her family that held her close at home. Her ability to bring together and light up a room will be deeply missed by all.
A celebration of Isabelle’s life will be held outside, on the banks of the Damariscotta River, at the Damariscotta River Association, 110 Belvedere Road in Damariscotta at 11 a.m. on Thursday, June 14. Chairs will be available for those who need them, but people are encouraged to bring a blanket and share a space on the lawn. Since most of the seating will be on the grass, please dress comfortably and be prepared for the weather. Due to space limitations, we ask that people not bring folding chairs. Parking will be available within walking distance of the site. The family asks that guests carpool where possible, arrive early, and be prepared to walk a short distance. Limited parking for those with disabilities will be available on site.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to: the Ragged Mountain Ski Club (Box 967, Camden, Maine 04843); The Ballet School (799 Middlesex Road, Topsham, Maine 04086) www.theballetschool.com; or The Isabelle Manahan Fund at Lincoln Academy (81 Academy Hill Road, Newcastle, Maine 04553) www.givecampus.com/campaigns/2130/donations/new (select "Isabelle Manahan Memorial Fund").
Arrangements are under the direction and care of the Strong-Hancock Funeral Home, 612 Main Street, Damariscotta, ME 04543. Condolences, and messages for her family, may be expressed by visiting: www.StrongHancock.com.