Carol Cutbill, loving mother, grandmother, artist

May 12, 2021

Carol Christine Cutbill, devoted mother and grandmother, artist, lover of animals, a Delaware and early American history buff, died Saturday, May 8, 2021. Born Carol Christine Comlish, she was 88. 

A longtime resident of Lewes, she served as a docent at the Zwaanendael Museum for years, earning recognition from the Delaware Division of Historic and Cultural Affairs for her contributions. She was also a volunteer at the Lewes Historical Society. Her smiling, engaging ways and her love of people meant she never met strangers, only new friends. 

Carol Cutbill filled her historic home on Shipcarpenter Square with local antiques, family photos, and her own beautiful oil paintings, watercolors and charcoal sketches. Beach vistas, lighthouses and other ocean scenes were the subject of her artwork, out of a love for the shore which started as a child growing up in the tight-knit community of Lordship, Conn., in a home just a few minutes’ walk from the edge of Long Island Sound. 

Mrs. Cutbill attended Lordship School for both elementary and middle school classes, and then Stratford High School, graduating in 1950. As a child, she was baptized at Our Lady of Peace Roman Catholic Church, also in Lordship. 

While working at an employment agency, she met her future husband, Keith Cutbill. The two married at Our Lady of Peace in 1956. Mrs. Cutbill wore a wedding dress she designed, the elegance of which won her recognition as Bride of the Month by the Bridgeport (Conn.) Post. 

The young couple started their family in Sandy Hook, Conn., later moving to a home that Mrs. Cutbill loved in Acton, Mass., for its historical accuracy of a colonial sea captain’s home. They eventually settled in Cold Spring Harbor, on the North Shore of New York’s Long Island. 

She loved to dance, frequently bursting into sweeping tap dances and other forms of dance as she tended to her growing family of six children. Mrs. Cutbill volunteered for the Cultural Arts Committee of Cold Spring Harbor and Huntington. Her efforts helped bring arts enrichment programs to local schoolchildren. 

The Cutbills moved to Lewes from Cold Spring Harbor in 1988, where Mrs. Cutbill refocused her considerable energy and enthusiasm on Mid-Atlantic art and history. She was particularly fond of Andrew Wyeth’s artwork, and prominently displayed “The Giant,” a Wyeth print of children playing on the beach under towering clouds. She also worked part time at Auntie Em’s Emporium, a well-known Lewes antique store, where she was known for helping browsers find unique discoveries – and for frequently regaling visitors with stories about her children and grandchildren. 

Her family was the recipients of both her dry and observation-based wit, and relentlessly themed gifts; most of all, her love and support.

A proud and loving mother, Carol Cutbill is survived by all six of her children, Catherine Cutbill, Christy McCormick, Laura Cutbill, Lynda Cutbill, Charles “Chaz” Cutbill (Corie), and Cecily Thorne (Christopher), and her five grandchildren, Elizabeth Mead McCormick (Darrell Cameron Brett Jr.), Parker Cutbill, Caroline Thorne, William Thorne and Bentley Cutbill. Her children and grandchildren were the center of her life, and she loved them each dearly and deeply.

Her only sibling, Donald Comlish, was a constant in her life until his passing. Both had six children and enjoyed sharing not just the same quirky sense of humor, but a constant stream of phone calls and letters with updates on their families. Mrs. Cutbill loved her nieces and nephews.

She is also survived by her best friend from birth, her longtime confidante and cousin, Joan (Horkheimer) Platt of Huntington. The pair were inseparable as children, and their bond continued as they grew up, married and raised children. They spoke constantly by phone, and wrote to each other frequently, sharing news and views about their children, grandchildren and UCONN women’s basketball. 

After her husband of 63 years passed away in November 2019, Mrs. Cutbill moved to Montgomery County, Md., to be cared for by her family. Held by family in her final moments, she passed peacefully as she looked at photos of her children and grandchildren. 

Carol Cutbill was preceded in death by her parents, Helen and Charles Comlish; her brother Donald Comlish; as well as her husband, Keith Cutbill. She will be interred alongside Mr. Cutbill in St. Peter’s Episcopal Cemetery, Pilottown Road, Lewes, following a service at Good Shepherd Episcopal Church in Silver Spring, Md. 

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in her name to the American Heart Association (, the Lewes Historical Society (, or the Zwaanendael Museum (checks payable to: Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs; mail to: Zwaanendael Museum, 102 Kings Highway, Lewes, DE 19958).

Subscribe to the Daily Newsletter