Rebecca Merrifield always lit up the room with her stunning smile, contagious laugh and unwavering positivity.

Known to family and friends as fun, thoughtful and caring, the 56-year-old Merrifield died in a fire on Bear Mountain Road in Fairfield early Saturday morning.

“She made you feel happy, joyous,” said Elizabeth Sylvester, who was the maid of honor at Merrifield’s wedding. “The cares of the world would just lift, as she was just a very positive, upbeat person.”

Rebecca Merrifield and Glenn Clausen with two of their dogs at their wedding. Merrifield died in a fire Saturday morning and Clausen was seriously injured and remains hospitalized. Courtesy of Elizabeth Sylvester

Merrifield lived at the home with her life partner, Glenn Clausen, 60, who remains hospitalized in serious condition at Maine Medical Center in Portland, officials said Wednesday morning. The family chose to have Sylvester serve as a spokesperson at this time.

Just under a mile past a gated area on a secluded dirt road, the house sat atop a hill overlooking a small pond. Firefighters responded to the call around 3:40 a.m. Saturday.

Merrifield’s autopsy was conducted Tuesday. Investigators are awaiting toxicology results and for the opportunity to interview Clausen, officials said.


Merrifield and Clausen “enjoyed a life well lived off the grid in Belgrade and Fairfield,” according to Merrifield’s obituary.

A 1982 graduate of Sanford High School, Merrifield earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Maine at Orono. She worked in banking and at Coca-Cola before spending a year in Europe.

Merrifield met Clausen upon her return. They worked reforesting land in the southern states and summered in Maine, where Clausen worked at L.L. Bean and Johnny’s Selected Seeds.

“You didn’t say Glenn, you didn’t say Becky, it was always Glenn and Becky,” Sylvester said. “Right now it’s hard for me to say just Glenn or Becky. It was just such a union. They were one.

“It was just such a shock and she will be incredibly missed,” Sylvester said. “To have a person with such light and such a joy of life to be taken so suddenly, for such an awful thing to happen, you always wonder why.”

Two animals named Otto and Izzi died in the fire, according to the obituary.

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