SOUTHWEST HARBOR – Jennie S. Sawyer of Southwest Harbor passed away peacefully on Dec. 30, 2016, after enjoying her last Christmas with loving family and friends at her bedside, and the amazing care of Courtland Rehabilitation and Living Center.
Born on Feb. 12, 1920, in Orland, to Joe and Clara Soper, her almost 97 years were truly enriched and happy, although predeceased by many loved ones: her husband, George R. Sawyer; her daughter Sally Harper; her brother Don Soper (and Zelma); her sister Thelma Doughty (and Granville); and her stepson George C. Sawyer.
Jennie enjoyed sharing stories of her enviable, country childhood; swimming and skating Alamoosook Lake; romanticizing the one-room school house that stands today; horseback riding with cousin Phyllis; and delighting in spending time outdoors with her brother Don, fishing and hunting, leaving her sister Thelma and mother with their preferred household chores. She later became a wonderful cook and very talented at handiwork. She could “turn a heel” with the best, knitting, and taught many to make her treasured biscuits, chocolate pie, and rum cake.
Always working joyfully, Jennie enjoyed a wide variety of jobs on Mount Desert Island, in summer estates, the Moorings Inn, Stinson Cannery, and retiring from Jackson Laboratory as a supervising animal caretaker … making lifelong friends along the way. One of her favorite experiences was on the Rockefeller farm on Bartlett’s Island, where her husband, George, was caretaker. It was a pastoral country setting that she adored. Her endearing nature earned the friendship of the Rockefeller family and a reserved seat next to Mr. Rockefeller at their annual Christmas party honoring employees.
She and George built their retirement home in a large Seawall field with views of the Great Harbor of Mount Desert. They enjoyed pastimes such as church suppers, country fairs, and even raised a couple of donkeys, but their biggest smiles came from visits with family and friends from all over the country.
Jennie is survived by her devoted stepson Jim and wife, Cessie Sawyer, granddaughter Hayley and great-grandson Cash; daughter-in-law Grace Sawyer, grandsons Michael and Don, with great-grandchildren Julianna, Joshua and Allison, with great-great-grandchildren Will and Kinlee; granddaughter Ellen and husband, Bobby Nolan, with great-grandson Conrad Strout; as well as Jennie’s loving nieces, nephews and cousins: Joanne and Gene Sanborn, Dianne and Bruce Gray, Ritchie and Vicki Henderson, Lee and Tiffany Henderson, Lance Hutchins, Alton Mitchell, Alice Clair, Ielda, Norman and Nola Parker, Edith Parker, Anna-lee Eldgridge and Phyllis Wardwell. Jennie is also survived by many dear friends … some more like family, Karen and Steve Keiser, and by loving neighbors that meant far more than proximity.
With the enormous loss of this dear lady, there is also her enduring love and lasting legacy of a joyful outlook and grateful appreciation of life.
Graveside services will be in Orland, late spring, with a celebration of life on Alamoosook Lake. Donations in the memory of this cherished lady may be made to the Southwest Harbor-Tremont Ambulance Association. Arrangements under the direction of Mitchell-Tweedie Funeral Home, Bucksport. www.mitchelltweedie-young.com.