SEAL COVE – Juanita “Nita” Stanley, 89, of Seal Cove, died Jan. 26, 2017, at Maine Coast Memorial Hospital in Ellsworth. A descendant of Joseph Hodgdon and Sarah Milliken, early settlers of Mount Desert Island, Juanita was born Nov. 11, 1927, in the village of Center in Tremont. She was the fourth of six children born to John Francis and Verna Foss Hodgdon.
Juanita attended a two-room schoolhouse for eight years in Center, and then went on to Pemetic High School in Southwest Harbor. She spoke fondly of her days in the small school, which was just across the pasture from her home; she enjoyed learning and valued the education that she received there.
In 1945, Juanita married Perley Lyman Stanley of Southwest Harbor, a recent graduate of the United States Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point in New York. Their home was a hub of social activity in the local community, and their door was always open, either for a cup of hot coffee and good conversation or a warm meal. Juanita will be missed by many for her generosity and lively spirit.
Juanita was very civic-minded. She helped inspire and organize the first PTA at the Tremont School, where nine of her 15 great-grandchildren are currently students. She was a member of the Tremont Historical Society and served as clerk and trustee of the Seal Cove Baptist Church, which was organized by her ancestors in 1816. She worked tirelessly to maintain the church building and its congregation. She was also chairwoman of the Center Cemetery Committee and worked to organize perpetual care and maintenance of the cemetery for the community.
Juanita felt that each season on Mount Desert Island was beautiful and felt fortunate to have lived there her entire life. She spoke fondly of growing up next to her grandparents’ dairy farm in Center and enjoyed the closeness of her childhood community. She especially enjoyed spending time with her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She found great pleasure in watching them grow and was proud of their accomplishments.
Juanita is survived by sons Stephen Stanley and wife, Margo, of Bass Harbor, Sherman Stanley and wife, Nancy, of West Tremont, daughter Wanda Ellis and husband, Don, of Seal Cove; six grandchildren, Shawn Stanley of Bass Harbor, Stacy Just of Bangor, Travis Stanley and wife, Charlene, of Seal Cove, Kristina Stanley of Southwest Harbor, Shane Ellis and wife, Emily, of Seal Cove, Anthony Ellis and wife, Noelle, of Bass Harbor; 15 great-grandchildren; and sisters Louise Lawson of Center and Anna Reale of Connecticut. She was predeceased by husband, Perley Stanley, sons Lyman and Perley Jr., and brothers Elwin, John and Frank Hodgdon.
Many thanks to the doctors and nurses at the Mary Dow Center for their wonderful care and comfort in Juanita’s final years.
A service of remembrance will be held this spring at Center Cemetery in Tremont. Donations in Juanita’s memory may be made to the Seal Cove Baptist Church or the Center Cemetery, c/o Wanda Ellis, 1260 Tremont Road, Seal Cove, ME 04674.