Lurabel L. Colburn, a well-known and popular artist, died Sunday, May 20, 2012, in her home in Bemus Point. She was 95.
During her lifetime in Ohio, New York and Flori-da, she painted or drew more than two thousand portraits, landscapes and still lifes. Though she did commissioned sketches until age 92, her last major work was an oil portrait of Judge Robert H. Jackson, which she painted for the Jackson Center at the age of 86. A lithograph of the portrait hangs in the war trials courtroom in Nurem-berg, Germany.
Born Sept. 22, 1916, in Lakewood, Ohio, she was the only child of the late Francis and Cora Long, parents who fostered her talent early in life. She studied portraiture and fine arts at The Cleveland Insti-tute of Art, supplementing her scholarship by sketch-ing patrons at the Statler Hotel and the Great Lakes Exposition. Though offered post-graduate study in Paris, she chose to marry Walter J. Colburn and move to Western New York. When their three children were all in school, she resumed her art career, including teaching adult education art in a one-room school house for the Bemus Point school system.
As a member of the Swedenborgian Church, also known as the New Church, and an associate member of the Bemus Point United Methodist Church, Lurabel believed that we are defined by what we love and are called to a life of usefulness. Accordingly, she adored her husband of 59 years and her family, followed by her love of art, and then useful and enjoy-able activities such as dancing, sailing, traveling, sewing and singing. She particularly enjoyed being a member of the Bemus Point Study Club, serving as its president for two years. In her last four years, her home became a haven for Hospice workers, care-givers and visitors who were warmed by her love and humor.
Lurabel is survived by her three children: David (Jo Ann) Colburn, Bruce (Bonnie) Colburn and Mar-tha (Charles) Hill, all of Bemus Point; eight grandchildren: Laura Col-burn of Kisaichi, Japan, Charles Colburn of Seattle, Wash., Patricia (Kevin Ver-bosky) Colburn of New York City, Craig (Jill) Col-burn of Bemus Point, Jeff (Marian) Colburn of Bemus Point, Barry (Michael Dent) Hill of Amherst, N.Y., Greg (Ann) Hill of Falls Church, Va., and Elizabeth (Lou) DiMattia of Lawrenceville, N.J.; and 10 great-grand- children: Christine and Minori Hata, Colin and Frank Colburn, Caitlyn and Liam Colburn, Erin and Nathan Hill and Charlotte and Walter Hill. She will also be missed by her care-givers and Hospice workers who were also family to her, especially Jean Ander-son who cared for her lov-ingly for many years.
Lurabel was preceded in death by her husband, Walter J. Colburn, whom she married Aug. 13, 1938, and who died June 16, 1998.
A memorial service will be held at Bemus Point Un-ited Methodist Church the first week of July at a time to be announced by the Lind Funeral Home. A private family interment will take place in the Bemus Point Cemetery.
The family will receive friends from 6 to 8 p.m. this Thursday, May 24, in the Lind Funeral Home.
In lieu of flowers, dona-tions may be made to Hos-pice Chautauqua County, the Bemus Point Library or to the Bemus Point United Methodist Church.
You may light a candle in remembrance of Lurabel at www.lindfuneralhome. com.