Virginia Spiller

DOVER, N.H. – Virginia Spiller was welcomed into the arms of God on April 26, 2022. She was the wife of Dexter T. Spiller of York, Maine.

She was born in Portland on Aug. 20, 1936, daughter of Mabel Francis Rose Smolen and Andrew Smolen. She was the granddaughter of Katherine Ondas Smolen and Joseph Smolen of Krumpa, Czechoslovakia and the granddaughter of Daniel Otis Rose and Mary Francis Hodgins Rose from Ballincollig County Cork Ireland. She was a first generation American for which she was always very proud of her father’s heritage as a Czech and the Hodgins Irish heritage.

Virginia and her husband, Dexter, were members of the following organizations: Piscataqua Pioneers Society, Maine Genealogical Society, Maine Historical Society, Museums of Old York, York Land Trust, National Wild Life Society, Maine Small Woodlot Owners, Maine Old Cemetery Association, Libby Family Association, Junkins Family Association.

She graduated from Deering High School, Portland, class of 1954. She graduated from Keuka College, Keuka Park, N.Y., class of 1958 where she was class president and a member of Who’s Who of American College Students. She taught biology at Northfield School for Girls, Northfield, Mass. and Anchorage High School, Anchorage, Alaska. She was Mother Advisor of York Rainbow Girls #26, Past Worthy Advisor of Portland Assembly #1 and Cross of Colors Recipient.

Virginia was a den mother for York Boy Scouts of America and active in Boy Scouts for 16 years where she received York County District Award. She was a “Curved Bar” Girl Scout and a life member of Girl Scouts of America.

She was elected to the town of York’s School Board for two terms and elected to the Board of Selectmen for two terms having served as chairman of both boards. She was secretary of York’s Budget Committee. Mrs. Spiller was the first woman in the town’s 350 years to be town moderator and was elected for 16 years.

Mrs. Spiller was appointed to the Maine State School Board by Governor Jack McKernan for seven years where she was Vice Chairman of the board and served as the liaison to the University of Maine Trustees, Chairman of the school construction committee for the state of Maine. Governor Angus King appointed Mrs. Spiller to the Maine State Museum Commission where she served as Vice Chairman for six years.

Virginia worked at the Museums of Old York for 35 years in numerous capacities. She served as the librarian archivist for a number of years, and was awarded the title Librarian emeritus.

She and her husband researched a number of ancestors listed on the Maine 1790 census which were published by the Maine Genealogical Society’s book series entitled Maine Families in 1790. She was the editor of the book, 350 Years As York, Focusing on the Twentieth Century for the Town of York’s 350 celebration. She also published Colonial Ramblings Hiking, Biking Trail of York. She was fortunate to assist a number of authors, artisans and students.

In 2005, the York Rotary Club presented Virginia with the Martin Ulan Citizenship Award saying Ginny personifies the Rotary motto, “service above self”. The Greater York Regions Chamber of Commerce honored she and her husband with the 2009 Citizen of the Year award which honors those individuals who’ve given their time and talent for the benefit of the York Community. Keuka College in Keuka Park, N.Y. presented Mrs. Spiller with the “2010 Community Service Award” recognizing exceptional volunteer service on local, regional, state, national, or international levels.

Mrs. Spiller was a member of the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution. She was elected for many offices at the local level in Old York Chapter NSDAR and is a Past Chapter Regent. She was elected to three Maine State offices of the Maine Society Organization of the Daughters of the American Revolution and is a Past Maine State Regent. Virginia is a lifetime member of the Mayflower Association, member of the Maine Mayflower Chapter and the Alden Society. Virginia was an active communicant of St. John’s Episcopal Church in Portsmouth, N.H. and St. Peters Episcopal Church at Bald Head Cliff, York.

Virginia and Dexter were married in Portland in 1959 and traveled to Fort Richardson, Alaska by car, camping all the way. Their life has been one as partners in all they do. Ginny was co-owner/manager with her loving husband Dexter, of Spiller’s Restaurant in York Beach for 23 years. While she was a Den Mother of two dens, Dexter was the Den Dad. While he was Boy Scout Master of Troop 301, she was the merit badge counselor. While she was Mother Advisor to York Rainbow Girls he was the Masonic representative.

Their love of the outdoors provided many delightful hours of camping and canoeing throughout Maine after selling their restaurant. Family times were spent out of doors snowmobiling, skiing, sledding, and hiking during the winter and working as a family in the restaurant … all three children worked at the restaurant for a number of years.

Virginia is survived by Dexter Spiller, her husband; and their children Bert Appleton and wife Maria Marchese-Spiller, Seth Andrew and wife Heidi Schoff Spiller and Joy Rose Spiller Norkin (deceased husband Andrew Norkin); her grandchildren Shea Rose Spiller, Nicholas Marchese Spiller, Elizabeth Alden Spiller, Irina Norkin, Mae Grace Milo, Sophia Rose Milo, Jonah Paul Dexter Norkin, and Noelle Ada Norkin spent many wonderful years playing, reading, and enjoying the outdoors together.

*The above obituary was written by Virginia Spiller. Her death resulted from severe complications due to a broken hip. A private graveside service will be held for the immediate family. A celebration of life for family and friends will be held June 17, at 10 a.m., at St John’s Episcopal Church, 100 Chapel St., Portsmouth, N.H. 03801.

The Cremation Society of New Hampshire has been entrusted with arrangements. To view an online tribute, leave a message of condolence or for more information please visit

In lieu of flowers:

Make a check payable to “The Nature Conservancy in Maine”, write “in memory of Virginia Spiller” on the memo line, and mail check to

14 Maine St., Suite 401,

Brunswick, ME 04011;

or make a memorial gift online here:

Virginia Spiller

Share your condolences, kind words and remembrances below. You must be logged into the website to comment. Subscribers, please login. Not a subscriber? Register to comment for free or subscribe to support our work.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.