Jean Eleanor Ramsdell Atherton

WINDHAM – Jean Eleanor Ramsdell Atherton, 86, died on July 31, 2020. She was born in Sanford, Maine on September 27, 1933, the daughter of Robert and Doris (Johnson) Ramsdell.

Jean attended Sanford High School Class of 1951, then went on to Maine General Hospital School of Nursing, graduating in 1953. Jean’s 45-year career as a nurse in Maine Medical Center’s Emergency Department included 20 years as Head Nurse. She went back to college as an adult learner and earned her BSN at Westbrook College of Maine (University of New England). Jean prided herself on educating future health care workers who came through “her” ER.

Nana’s greatest joy in life was spending time with her family and friends. She delighted in her grandchildren as they grew up, especially enjoying their visits at the lake on countless summer days on Little Sebago. It was important to her to be part of their lives. She loved boat rides around the lake, watching the loons, the friendship of neighbors, and the changing of seasons. You often would find Jean in the summer heat, getting her mitten knitting quota done for Christmas. She was famous in her circle for her chocolate chip cookies, refrigerator cookies, and needhams. She loved rocking chairs, reading, and being in charge.

She is survived by her children, Gail (and Al) DiFiore, Kenneth (and JoEllen) Atherton, Dennis (and Julie) Atherton. She has many beloved grandchildren and great grandchildren, as well as a sister, Connie Kerrigan Ramsdell, and a brother, Robert (and Marietta) Ramsdell. She was predeceased by her husband, Kenneth Atherton, and her partner of many years, Clem Dodd.

Due to Covid-19 there are no funeral services. Arrangements are in the care of the Windham Chapel of Dolby Blais & Segee, 434 River Rd., Windham, ME 04062. To express condolences or participate in Jean’s online tribute, please visit

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