Florence R. Sillen

Florence R. Sillen 1938 – 2021 BATH – Florence Ruth Sillen, of Bath, passed away on Thursday, July 8, 2021, at the age of 83. Florence was born and grew up in Brooklyn, N.Y. She studied art and art history at Pratt Institute, The School of Visual Art, and Empire State College, and received an MSW degree from Hunter School of Social Work, a proud accomplishment in her 60th year. Florence lived in New York City for many years, representing professional photographers, while painting at night and on the weekends. At one point, she took advantage of an opportunity to live and paint in Paris, staying three years while attending workshops at the Atelier de la Grand-Chaumiere. She studied portraiture and still life, and often found her subjects among interesting French street characters. Upon returning to New York, she once again focused on abstract painting. Florence moved to Maine in 2002 with her partner, Charles Rusnak, where they settled in Bath. She worked for a time as a social worker at Sweetser, a Brunswick mental health service, and pursued her art through abstract collage and watercolor. Florence enjoyed competitive dancing, drumming, walking, kayaking, her dogs, meditation, and all forms of theater. She enjoyed people, made friends easily and was deeply committed to politics and social change. She also volunteered for CHANS Hospice. Florence spent the last years of her life at Sunnybrook Senior Living and Avita of Brunswick, where the caregivers and staff created an atmosphere of comfort and love during her final difficult journey, and provided a feeling of ease and security for those of us who loved her. CHANS Hospice also contributed their invaluable expertise to this effort. Florence is predeceased by her parents and her partner, Charlie Rusnak. She is survived by her brother, Larry Sillen, of Brooklyn, N.Y.

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