BRUNSWICK — Joan Ellen Kincaid of Brunswick died peacefully on May 15, 2015, surrounded and cared for by her family. She left us all while still maintaining a grace and beauty that always withstood the cancer that took her life.
Joan was born on Nov. 1, 1952, in Boston, Mass., the daughter of Mary and Frank Kincaid. She grew up nearby in Alston, Mass., and was the youngest of four siblings: Diane, who predeceased her, Michael, and Betty. Whether as a child or an adult, Joan always was independent, strong-willed and an adventurer. She found her way and traveled around wherever she was, whether as a very young girl leaving the playgrounds to head off down city streets, as a teenager exploring Boston libraries and museums alone on city transportation, or as a woman traveling to Paris, Italy, England, Ireland, Scotland, Newfoundland and many places in between.
Joan earned her first bachelor’s degree from Simmons College in Boston, and her bachelor’s degree in nursing from Columbia University in New York City. She was a gifted nurse for many years, first at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital in New York, and then at Maine Medical Center in Portland. She was a careful listener to her patients and insisted on their personal comfort. Good mouth care, she said, could often make up for deeper aches and pains during a hospital stay! Joan also worked for a number of years at the Women’s Fitness Center in Brunswick, and made many nice friends there.
Perhaps most of all, Joan was an exceptional mother to her two children, Christopher (27) and Elizabeth (26). She loved them unconditionally through good times and bad and always stood with them both, wiping a tear or listening to an adventure. She also greatly enjoyed being Yia Yia to Elizabeth’s son, Silas (1½), during the time they all shared living together in Joan’s home. Joan was most sad about not being able to attend Christopher’s wedding to Lori Green this upcoming September. Joan was married for 25 years to Eric Herlan, and in the final two years of her life she welcomed him back into her home to share grandparenting and caregiving, a kindness for which he will always be indebted. They greatly enjoyed their trip to Scotland together, just a month before Joan passed.
Joan was also a best friend to her dear niece, Mary Jo. She will be missed by her many, many friends, and in particular, Liz Fickett of Lamoine, Laura Gordon of Scarborough, and Susan Schafer of Brunswick.
Joan kept and nourished many gardens in all the places that she lived. She was an avid reader, loving both mysteries and the classics. She knew music better than most, and was a great dancer in her day. She had an impeccable sense of style, and insisted on looking fabulous, no matter how she felt! Joan shared her later years with two beloved dogs, first Pip and then Moby.
Joan left a message near the end, saying tearfully, “Don’t be stingy. Love our children unconditionally. And remember that they aren’t like we were.” This is a thought good for all of us. This world will be a much poorer place without her. Oh, what larks we had!
Condolences messages can be sent care of Elizabeth Herlan, P.O. Box 115, Brunswick, ME 04011. Arrangements are in the care of the Brackett Funeral Home, 29 Federal St., Brunswick.
“Suddenly I realize that if I stepped out of my body I would break into blossom.”