KENNEBUNK — Jeanne Merrow decided in the months before she died on April 29 that she wanted her ashes scattered in some of the countries she had traveled during her life.

Mrs. Merrow, 84, was a travel agent and former owner of Travel Company of Maine in Kennebunk. In her 25 years at the helm, she traveled throughout the Greek Islands, northern Italy, Russia and China, among other places.

On Monday, some of her ashes were aboard a sailboat with her close friend, Meredith Rogers, who will scatter them in the Bahamas, one of her favorite places to visit. Another close friend, Pat Weare, is taking more ashes to Paris in November to scatter them in the Seine River. Mrs. Merrow had also asked that her ashes be scattered in Russia and China. So far, no takers.

Her family plans a private ceremony to scatter most of her ashes three miles off Ogunquit Beach.

“This is about her,” said Melissa Libby of Richmond, the oldest of her three children. “These are her wishes. We’re just following through. It makes me sad for the loss of my mom, but it’s what she wanted to do and it’s so right.”

Mrs. Merrow was described by her daughter Monday as a strong and independent woman who ran a successful business and catered to some of the area’s most prominent and wealthy residents. She worked with both Weare and Rogers, as well as Nina Durgin and Barbara Meserve, two other close friends. Her daughter said she worked six days a week well into her 70s. She retired in 2003.

“She was a world traveler and an amazing human being,” her daughter said. “She loved the business and the amazing women in her office.”

For the past six years or so, Mrs. Merrow lived at Ross Corner Woods, a retirement community in Kennebunk.

She was previously married and raised three children. Libby said she was a generous and thoughtful mother who inspired many in her family.

“She adored her family,” her daughter said. “She was a remarkable woman. She was the matriarch of the family. We have a long line of really strong women. I’m the oldest and there is no way in hell could I fill those shoes. I won’t even try.”

Mrs. Merrow had a passion for cooking and gardening, and was an avid Boston Red Sox and New England Patriots fan. As her health declined over the past few years, she left instructions that she wanted to be cremated in her Patriots sweatshirt and Gloria Vanderbilt jeans.

“She lived in that same outfit from the start of the Patriots training camp to the end of the season,” her daughter said. “She loved Tedy Bruschi and Tom Brady. She just wished Brady would cut his hair.”

 

Staff Writer Melanie Creamer can be contacted at 791-6361 or at: [email protected]