Obituary: Jean Tilton Wilkinson – Portland Press Herald


Jean Tilton Wilkinson

FALMOUTH – Jean Tilton Wilkinson passed away peacefully at the age of 91 on June 15, 2020 at Ocean View in Falmouth. Jean truly loved life and lived his life to the fullest. She was known for her elegance and embodied her favorite sayings: “make the most of every day”, “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 large circle of friends, her 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, NH, in her parents’ “new home”, built next to the home of her beloved grandmother Kate Chase Tilton and uncle Philip Tilton. From this Old Tilton farm, eight generations of Tilton have farmed, raising quality Holstein dairy cows and potatoes. John often remembered that the first money she made was pulling weeds in rows (“long rows”) of potatoes at 10 cents a row, and that she had learned to drive in a truck loaded with bales. of hay. Jean graduated from Sanborn Seminary in Kingston and received a BA in Economics from Wellesley College, class of 1949. After Wellesley, Jean was a securities analyst for Scudder, Stevens and Clark in Boston, after the tobacco and household products industries . During this time, Jean shared a memorable apartment in Beacon Hill with summer friends from North Hampton Beach and classmates from Wellesley, until she met and married Samuel A. Wilkinson III, a lawyer from Brookline, Massachusetts and Dartmouth class of 1948.Sam and Jean moved to Manchester, Massachusetts, where they commuted together to Boston until the birth of the first of their 4 daughters, at which time Jean was stayed at home to raise the girls. The family moved to Maine in 1964, where their passion for the outdoors was central to the family’s life. The summers were spent sailing on Casco Bay and enjoying a cabin they built on Moshier Island and the winters skiing. Jean’s solid education in New England instilled in him an incredible work ethic, economy and passion for the job. In the mid-1970s, Jean returned to business, becoming a sales representative and ultimately district manager for Doncaster, a custom clothing line for women. After Jean and Sam’s divorce, Jean became a tax partner for Robert P. Hazzard, CPA, and in 1980, a partner at Corporate Finance Associates. In 1982, Jean became Vice President and Director of Personal Trust Relations for Fleet Boston Financial Private Clients Group. She retired from Fleet Boston in 2000. A longtime student, Jean loved to learn. She had a keen interest in financial markets. She was passionate about art and museum visits, music and theater. She received a Master of Science in Education from the University of Southern Maine in 1981 and a certification from the New England Trust School of Banking in 1984. Deeply dedicated to her community and to the State of Maine, Jean has been a volunteer life and member of the board of directors. . She was appointed to two terms on the Maine State Board of Environmental Protection. She was a member of the board of trustees and then chair of the board of trustees of the University of New England and the Anthem / Blue Cross of Maine. Other boards of directors included: the Portland Symphony Orchestra, the Aids Project, the Trustee of the Portland Savings Bank, the Maine College of Art, and the Maine Humanities Council. John was an administrator of the Episcopal Diocese of Maine and was actively involved in the Episcopal Church of St. Mary the Virgin of Falmouth, as a parishioner and a member of the sacristy and finance committees. Jean was a member of the board of directors and administrator of the Chewonki Foundation. She has also been a long-time member of the board of directors of the North Yarmouth Academy, the Maine Historical Society and the Wellesley College Alumnae Association. In recognition of his civic and professional contributions to Maine, Jean received several honorary degrees and awards, including the UNE Deborah Morton Award. Jean had an incredible ability to balance his strong work ethic with his great passion for a fashion active outdoor life. Staying inactive was not a strong point. She loved being on the water – canoeing, kayaking and sailing. She was an avid tennis player, cyclist and skier until she was 80. She loved beach walks year round and swam in the ocean no matter how cold it was. The family has fond memories of sailing adventures, cycling trips in Europe, as well as skiing and hiking trips to Jackson Hole, a place Jean cherished as much as Maine. Jean’s joy of traveling has taken her to Africa, India, Ireland and Nepal among many other places. She also had wonderful adventures with dear friends of White Mountain ski racers and Washingtonians. Above all, Jean had a tremendous love for his 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 immense joy. Even though she was fiercely independent and had strong opinions, she was warm and engaging and truly thrilled to connect with people. She was cherished by all who had the privilege of knowing her. Jean is survived by his four daughters and their families, Kate Wilkinson and Peter Stoops in Falmouth; Sarah and John Bird in Piedmont, CA 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 his former son-in-law, Edward Leary in Portland. Jean’s family warmly thank everyone who has been so kind and caring in her later years, especially the staff at Ocean View’s Falmouth House who made her ‘happy as a clam at high tide. “Due to COVID-19, a small family service will take place. Please visit to view John’s tribute page. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to the Chewonki Foundation 485 Chewonki Neck Rd.Wiscasset, ME 04578

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