Jeanette G. York, age 97, passed away at her home on Orr’s Island on Nov. 7, 2017. Harpswell lost but Heaven gained a sweet, loving, kind and courageous soul who had a special warm friendship with many lives she touched.

Jan York, daughter of Dr. Ralph A. Goodwin Sr. and Helen Pulsifer Goodwin, was born in Auburn, ME, on April 5, 1920. She graduated from ELHS in 1938. She then attended Colby Jr. College for two years before attending Sargent College of Boston University with a major in Women’s Physical Education and Dance. For several years she taught at 3 private schools for girls before teaching for 4 years at University of New Hampshire.

In 1955, she received a Master’s degree from Springfield College and in the fall of that year she joined the faculty of Gorham State Teachers College.

Jan was truly dedicated to the modern dance movement in her community, state and beyond. In 1965 she participated in a six-week course visiting 11 European countries with emphasis on modern dance. In 1978 during a sabbatical she had conferences with staff at six leading American universities to share and learn about Modern Dance.

In 1967, she was promoted to Associate Professor. From 1970 to her retirement in 1981 as Emeritus Professor Jan taught dance courses exclusively.

In 1975, Jan married Dean Robert M. York of the University of Southern Maine. Upon her retirement in 1981, they winterized Jan’s childhood home on Orr’s Island which became their year-round home.

Jan was inspired at age 10 to pursue a career in movement education. By the time she retired, she was recognized in Maine as one of the pioneers and evangelists of Modern Dance with her emeritus status.

Jan grew up on Orr’s Island starting at age 3 when her Dad bought “Spruce” Cottage in 1923. Jan and her twin sister, Peg, would row or take the ferry to Bailey Island before the Cribstone bridge was built to pick blueberries, under the instructions of their Mom (and it was not their most favorite chore).

Jan was fortunate to have Peggy and a dozen girlfriends around her age to play with during the summer on Orr’s Island while growing up. They loved to get dressed up to meet the steamboat from Portland that landed on Orr’s Island several times a week. Jan and her pals would also frequent the Bailey Island Beach to swim, picnic and then play games during the evenings.

Jan accompanied her Dad, on his Mathews Cabin Cruiser, “Peggy – Jean” on many day trips and an occasional overnight adventure. Her Dad, Dr. Ralph A Goodwin Sr., along with several good friends, established the Orr’s Bailey Sporting Club which later became OBYC on the same location. Jan and her husband Bob York became very active in OBYC. They met and became lifetime friends of John and Jean Chiquoine.

Jan’s brother, “Spood” Dr. Ralph A Goodwin Jr. and wife, Edie spent summers on Bailey Island after building a seasonal log home off Cedar Beach Road in the early 1960s. Jan’s twin, Peggy, settled in Ann Arbor, Michigan, after marrying Reverend Dwight Anderson. They visited Orr’s Island every summer for several weeks until she could no longer travel

Jan was a longtime member of Orr’s Island Library Association and served as president for three years.

Jan and Bob were tennis enthusiasts, playing at Maine Pines as well as the clay court on Orr’s Island. Loyal friend, Barb Rondeau served as their coach and has kept a very close friendship over the years. Rob Manter was also a great friend. He enjoyed having many lobster stew dinners with Jan and Bob at their home on Orr’s Island.

Jan also enjoyed skiing at Sunday River and Sugarloaf. Most of the time she would enroll in a group lesson to improve her skills and have fun with people. She recalled a great ski trip to Kitzbuhel, Austria in her younger years with her USM co-worker, Nancy Willard.

Jan’s finest moments were: Earning her Golden Eaglet, highest award in girl scouts (and playing the bugle at Girl Scout Camp), finishing her education with a Master’s from Springfield College, meeting Bob York and enjoying a very happy marriage, growing up on Orr’s Island with a wonderful group of childhood friends and performing acrobatic tricks with her twin, Peggy.

Jan was a longtime member of First Parish Church in Brunswick. She became longtime friend of Irma Howard who would visit as often as she could. Senior Pastor Mary Bard met Jan in the 1970s and has many fond memories visiting Jan on Orr’s Island. Mary noted Jan was a special and delightful friend who will be sadly missed and appreciated Jan’s support of the church over the years.

In recent years Jan enjoyed her friends who visited including her Grassy Road and Goodwin Lane neighbors, playing scrabble, spelling challenging words, card games, writing post cards every week to twin Peggy letting her know the type of day on Casco Bay , reading monthly stories from Ann Agan, Bob’s daughter, keeping up with the latest news, sitting on her deck in the warm sun, eating chocolates and having conversations with Cathy Goodwin, a niece she adored and also was her dance instructor way back at USM and holidays at her home with family.

Some of Jan’s famous quotes include, Well, I’ll be jigged, You’re a peach, Be careful of your thoughts, You should not talk in a negative way about anyone (it is wise not to), Be happy in the situation you find yourself in …

Many thanks to the caring people of Neighbors Inc., Jennifer Hanson of CHANS Private Duty Care who enjoyed Wednesday afternoons with Jan, Anne Woodbury whom Jan met at USM and First Parish Church. Anne never missed her monthly visit with lunch even during the winter months. Jan was especially grateful to her great nephew, Jesse Goodwin, who has been Jan’s caregiver for the past four years. She called him her “Star” and enjoyed his company very much. Without his love and constant companionship Jan could not have stayed in her childhood home in recent years.

Jan loved her family, friends, people, her activities and life. She gave the greatest gift, Love to everyone she touched. It seems most appropriate to conclude with some words from 1 Corinthians 13 so many of us can be inspired to try to live like Jan for a happy and God fulfilling life … Love is patient and kind, love is not jealous, it does not brag and it is not proud. Love is not rude, is not selfish, and does not get upset with others. Love does not count up wrongs that have been done. Love is not happy with evil but is happy with truth. Love patiently accepts all things. It always trusts, always hopes and always remains strong. Love never ends.

In memory of Jan, along with her late husband, Robert York, World War II hero, whom Jan deeply loved, donations may be considered to: The Travis Mills Foundation, 89 Water St., Hallowell, ME 04347. Travis- Mills.org