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Lindquist Funeral Home

1 Mayberry Ln, Yarmouth, ME

OBITUARY

Jean Tilton Wilkinson

November 9, 1928June 15, 2020

Jean Tilton Wilkinson

Falmouth, Maine - Jean Tilton Wilkinson died peacefully at age 91 on June 15, 2020 at Ocean View in Falmouth.

Jean truly loved life and lived her life to the fullest. She was known for her elegance and exemplified her favorite sayings: “make the most of everyday”, “never miss an opportunity” and “it’s not worth doing, if you don’t do it right.” She was deeply passionate about her family, her broad circle of friends, work and the community.

Born in Boston, Massachusetts on November 9, 1928, Jean was the only child of Margaret Corbett Tilton and Lewis Blake Tilton. She grew up on Tilton’s Hill in East Kingston, New Hampshire, in her parents’ “new house,” built next door to the home of her beloved grandmother Kate Chase Tilton and Uncle Philip Tilton. From that Old Tilton homestead, eight generations of Tilton’s farmed, raising prize Holstein dairy cows and potatoes. Jean often reminisced the first money she earned was pulling weeds in rows (“long rows”) of potatoes at 10 cents a row, and that she learned to drive in a truck loaded with hay bales.

Jean graduated from Sanborn Seminary in Kingston and earned a BA in Economics from Wellesley College, Class of 1949. After Wellesley, Jean was a Securities Analyst for Scudder, Stevens and Clark in Boston, following the Tobacco and Household Products industries. During this period, Jean shared a memorable apartment on Beacon Hill with summer friends from North Hampton Beach and classmates from Wellesley, until she met and married Samuel A. Wilkinson III, an attorney from Brookline, Massachusetts and Dartmouth class of 1948.

Sam and Jean moved to Manchester, Massachusetts, where they commuted together to Boston until their first of 4 daughters was born, at which point, Jean stayed home to raise the girls. The family moved to Maine in 1964, where their passion for the outdoors was the center of the family’s life. Summers were spent sailing on Casco Bay and enjoying a cabin they built on Moshier’s Island and winters were spent skiing.

Jean’s strong New England upbringing instilled in her an incredible work ethic, thriftiness and passion for work. In the mid 1970’s, Jean returned to the business world becoming a sales rep and eventually District Manager for Doncaster, a custom women’s clothing line. After Jean and Sam divorced, Jean became a tax associate for Robert P. Hazzard, CPA, and in 1980, a partner at Corporate Finance Associates. In 1982, Jean became a Vice President and Manager of Personal Trust Relations for Fleet Boston Financial Private Clients Group. She retired from Fleet Boston in 2000.

Forever a student, Jean loved to learn. She was keenly interested in the financial markets. She was passionate about art and museum visits, music and theater. She earned a Masters of Science Degree in Education from the University of Southern Maine in 1981 and certification from New England Trust School of Banking in 1984.

Deeply devoted to her community and the state of Maine, Jean was a life-long volunteer and board member. She was appointed to two terms on the Maine State Board of Environmental Protection. She was a Board Member and then Board Chair for both the University of New England and Anthem/Blue Cross of Maine. Other boards included: Portland Symphony Orchestra, the Aids Project, Trustee of Portland Savings Bank, Maine College of Art, and the Maine Humanities Council. Jean served as a Trustee for the Episcopal Diocese of Maine and was actively involved with the Episcopal Church of St. Mary the Virgin of Falmouth, as a parishioner and member of the Vestry and Finance Committees. Jean was a Board Member and Trustee of the Chewonki Foundation. She also had long board involvement with North Yarmouth Academy, Maine Historical Society and the Wellesley College Alumnae Association. In recognition of her civic and professional contributions to Maine, Jean received several honorary degrees and awards, including the Deborah Morton Award from UNE.

Jean had an incredible ability to balance her strong work ethic with her great passion for an active outdoors lifestyle. Sitting idle was not a strong suit. She loved to be on the water - canoeing, kayaking and sailing. She was an enthusiastic tennis player, bicyclist and skier into her 80s. She adored walks on the beach year-round and would swim in the ocean no matter how cold. The family has treasured memories of sailing adventures, bike trips in Europe, as well as ski and hiking trips in Jackson Hole, a place Jean cherished as much as Maine. Jean’s joy of travel took her to Africa, India, Ireland and Nepal among many other places. She also had wonderful adventures with dear friends from the White Mountain Ski Runners and Washingtonians.

Above all, Jean had tremendous love for family and friends. She was forever the most gracious and consummate hostess; her door was always open and a full dining room table gave her enormous joy. Much as she was fiercely independent and had strong opinions, she was warm and engaging and truly delighted in connecting with people. She was treasured by all who have had the privilege of knowing her. Jean is survived by her four daughters and their families: Kate Wilkinson and Peter Stoops in Falmouth; Sarah and John Bird in Piedmont, California and their children Kate and William; Laura Wilkinson and Scott Dugas of Yarmouth; and Anne Wilkinson and Fran Norris and their two sons, Henry and George of Falmouth; as well as former son-in-law Edward Leary in Portland.

Jean’s family offers their heartfelt thanks to all those who were so kind and caring during her last years, especially the staff at Ocean View’s Falmouth House who kept her “happy as a clam at high tide.” Due to COVID-19, a small family service will be held.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Chewonki Foundation www.chewonki.org, 485 Chewonki Neck Road, Wiscasset, Maine 04578.

Services

No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.

Memories

Jean Tilton Wilkinson

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Pat Lyons

June 22, 2020

Anne, Laura, and Sisters,

Please know that I join all of those who reach out with love and support as you deal with the loss of your precious Mother. What a lady! So many accomplishments; so much love. I read about her and see how “the apples did not fall far from the tree“. May you each find comfort in the great memories you have made, and the pride that you must feel. Your greatest way of honoring her will now be caring on the love of your special sisterhood. I send my prayers to God for his comfort to the Wilkinson Four, and your families.

Every butterfly you see— every sunrise over Casio Bay — every song that you hear: She’ll be with you.

Pat Lyons

Jill McGowan

June 21, 2020

David and I read Jean's obituary this morning and are deeply saddened by your loss.
We loved seeing Jean at all the boys' games and so admired how devoted she was to her family.
She will be sorely missed.
Sending love and condolences to family and all who were touched by Jean's long, wonderful life,
Jill, David + Theo

Samantha Johnson

June 20, 2020

Anne, My condolences to you and your family on your mother’s passing. What a fabulous life she led! May her memory be a blessing.

Warmest Regards,
Samantha Johnson

Helene Plourde

June 19, 2020

Kate,

My condolences to you and your family on your dear mother’s passing. She led quite a life and was blessed with a loving family.
May your memories bring you comfort now and in the days ahead.

Holly Bernstein

June 19, 2020

I knew Jean through St. Mary’s Episcopal Church. She was interesting, engaging and full of life. Her very presence exuded confidence, trust and warmth. Jean will be missed but not forgotten.

Chuck McCatherin

June 19, 2020

Laura, Sarah, Kate and Ann,

I am sorry for your loss. Growing up in Cumberland, (and a middle-roader riding the Rt 88 school bus) I have always admired your family as a wonderful blend of kind, caring, and very successful individuals in this journey we call life.

As I have always seen it, this all began with your moms amazing spirit and inspiration. Her ability to rise to being a top business leader in our region at a time when opportunities for women in the business world were practically non existent is remarkable. Furthermore she did this while raising a beautiful family, treating others with warmth and respect and in the end used her seemingly endless energy to give generously give back to her community.

I am saddened when thinking about how the pandemic most likely limited the time you were able to spend with her in these final months(Although, I am guessing the amazing Wilkinson ladies found a way).

Lastly, its important to say I typically don't make such posts. With the exception, and good fortune, to run across Laura (and Scott) or Kate around town, I have not kept in contact with your family at all. However, due my long standing respect for your mom I was inspired to write this (yes, she will continue to inspire).

Love to you all,

Chuck McCatherin

Richard Barnes

June 19, 2020

I served on the Maine Humanities Council Board of Directors alongside Jean for many years. She was both gracious and thoughtful in her contributions to the Council's work. Jean would often raise questions that might make one squirm in one's effort to respond to what was an obviously difficult issue that she felt was being too lightly glossed over or dismissed. She had a keen sensibility for financial matters especially, and kept me and others on our toes, but always did so with kindness and never with a "gotcha." I was pleased to have her as a colleague.

Larry Willis

June 19, 2020

It was a joy to know Jean. She often stepped over to our house on Studley Street to say hello when she was visiting her daughter Anne. I delighted in making a favorite dish for her. It was a chicken liver pate. I always decorated it special for her and she was always grinning when I delivered it. In her later years she knew it was not healthy for her but I used to "sneak" one to her when I could. She was loved and will be missed. It was an honor to have known her.

John Tumiel

June 19, 2020

My heartfelt condolence to all family and friends who are grieving the loss of wonderful Jean Wilkinson. What a loss it must be. Thank you Jean for all you have done for UNE, my cherished place of work for 35 years. Thank you as well for how you made me feel valued and important each time we met through the decades. I will miss you very much.

FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY