WINDHAM — In the 33 years Nancy Jimino drove buses for Falmouth schools, she got to know most of the students, as well as their parents.

She was known across the school district for her strict approach to the rules and for putting students’ safety first.

“She was excellent,” said Topper West, facilities and transportation director for the Falmouth School Department.

“She did the job. She did it the way it was supposed to be done. She cared about the kids and she cared about their safety,” West said.

Mrs. Jimino died Thursday after a long and valiant battle with cancer. She was 74.

She began as a bus driver for the Falmouth School Department in 1978. She was remembered Friday as a friendly and courteous driver who was well-liked by the students.

She drove full time until she was 71, then drove part time until last year. She reluctantly left her job to focus on her health.

“The kids and parents just really liked her,” said Phil Dobson, West’s assistant.

“She had a closeness with those kids. She was stern but she was very fair, and I think all of the kids and the parents appreciated that,” Dobson said.

Mrs. Jimino was a fixture in the community. She grew up in Falmouth, the second-youngest of 11 children.

In 1957, she married Louis Jimino Sr. The couple lived on Winn Street in West Falmouth for many years and raised two children there. They moved to Windham in 1981. Louis Jimino died in 1994.

Mrs. Jimino’s son, Frank Jimino of Windham, said she was a strict yet nurturing mother who opened her home to kids in the neighborhood. He said she had a passion for cooking, and no one ever left the house hungry.

“Every Saturday, there was always something cooking,” he said.

Frank Jimino remembers the years his mother was a candlepin bowler, and how she won the women’s state championship.

He said his parents enjoyed racing cars at Beech Ridge Motor Speedway in Scarborough. Jimino said his mother used to compete in the women’s “powder puff race” twice a year.

The Jiminos also made and sold primitive wood crafts from the garage at their home on Roosevelt Trail in Windham. They called the business Kin Folks Crafts. He made the wood pieces and she painted them.

“She loved sitting there … especially painting the items and taking the time to decorate them,” her son said. “It gave (my parents) time together. They spent quality time together doing these little things. It was their hobby. They didn’t do it for the money, they did it for the love of making these things.”

 

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