Jeanette E. Hamilton

jeanetteJeanette E. Hamilton, 84, of Chebeague Island, died peacefully at Island Commons on Tuesday, March 8, 2016. She was born in South Portland on July 5, 1931, to Paul E. MacVane and Phyllis (Boyce) MacVane of Cliff Island, the second of seven children.

Growing up on Cliff Island, Jeanette loved the adventure of island life. A self-proclaimed tomboy, she was happiest when hand-hauling traps in Casco Bay, working the bait smack with her father, or assisting him as coach of the Cliff Island baseball team. She was a natural athlete. She excelled in tennis, swimming, and skiing, and she received the Blue Ski Club's highest award during her senior year. Jeanette's true love, however, was baseball. In a Portland Press Herald article recognizing her skiing accomplishments, she asked, "Has there ever been a girl manager in the major leagues?"

After graduating from Portland High School in 1949, she attended an airline stewardess school in Boston. As fate would have it, she was not tall enough to become a stewardess, and so returned to Maine where she would soon meet her future husband at a Chebeague Island dance. She worked in the office at Sears Roebuck & Co. until marrying Kenneth H. Hamilton of Chebeague Island on August 8, 1952. Together, they proudly raised four children, two girls and two boys. They were best friends and enjoyed 63 years of marriage, despite Jeanette being an avid Yankees fan.

She was a member of the Ladies Aid, served as Treasurer of the Chebeague Island Methodist Church, and taught Sunday School. For 18 years, she ran the office of the Chebeague Transportation Company from her home. After retiring, she most enjoyed gardening, quilting and walking the island in the early morning. She was a strong supporter of the Chebeague Recreation Center and its mission, and she loved spending time there both as a volunteer and as a patron. On any given day, she could be found weeding the garden, painting the Teen Room, swimming laps in the pool, or showing the younger generations how to spike a volleyball.

An adventurous spirit paired with an unrivaled energy, Jeanette's life was exciting because she made it that way. Cross-country skiing through the woods of Chebeague, leaf-peeping around New England, whale watching in Alaska, or exploring European cities, she made her own adventure wherever she went. But her favorite adventures took place at home with her family. Christmas Eve dinners and 4th of July picnics --- so long as there was a house full of grandchildren, her heart was full and she was at ease.

She is survived by her children, Kendra McKinnon and her husband Ronald of Bowdoinham, Vicki Emery and her husband Clifton of Westford, Mass., Jeffrey Hamilton of Chebeague Island, and Jason Hamilton and his wife Lori of Chebeague Island; nine grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren; siblings, Judith Thibodeau of Enfield, Conn., Gordon MacVane of Lincoln, Calif., Paula MacVane of Portland, Gary MacVane of Cliff Island; and numerous nieces and nephews.

As well as her parents, Jeanette was predeceased by her husband, Kenneth Hamilton, and her brothers, Paul MacVane Jr. of Cliff Island, and James MacVane of Lincoln, Calif.

A celebration of Jeanette's life will be held on Saturday, June 11, at the Chebeague Island United Methodist Church at 1 p.m., followed by a reception at the Parish House.

In lieu of flowers,
donations can be made to:
Island Commons
132 Littlefield Road
Chebeague Island, ME 04017, or:
Chebeague Recreation Center
382 North Road