M. “Jean” Cyr

TOPSHAM – M. “Jean” Cyr passed away peacefully on June 1, 2024. She was 80 years old.

Jean was born on Nov. 23, 1943, in Van Buren to Abel and Gertrude (Thibodeau) Cyr. She was raised on a farm with her brothers, Del and Jim, in northernmost Maine, bordering Canada. She graduated from Sacred Heart High School in 1961.

Upon graduation, Jean moved to Washington, D.C., to become a nanny for the children of U.S. Senator Frank Church (Idaho) and his wife, Bethine. Jean and Senator Church, hailing from rival potato growing states, were never able to convince each other of the superiority of their respective states’ potatoes.

Jean’s responsibilities encompassed many non-nanny related duties, including driving Marlon Brando to the airport after dinner with the Churches and picking up Lady Bird Johnson on Bethine’s way to meetings of the Senate Wives Club. Jean was also a surrogate nanny for then U.S. Senator Joe Biden (Delaware) and his two sons.

Following her time as a nanny, Jean joined the staff of Senator Church on Capitol Hill. She went on to spend her career as a systems administrator for many notable Senators, including Fred Harris (Oklahoma), Warren Magnuson (Washington), Edmund Muskie (Maine), George Mitchell (Maine) and Paul Sarbanes (Maryland). While working in the U.S. Senate, Jean obtained the autographs of John Lennon and Yoko Ono when they passed by Jean’s office on their way to attend the Senate Watergate hearings. Years later, Jean appeared on an episode of “Antiques Roadshow,” where the signatures were authenticated.

After retiring from the U.S. Senate, Jean and her dear friend and longtime roommate, Joyce Morgan, returned to Jean’s home State of Maine. Throughout their lives, Jean and Joyce had enjoyed the company of many beloved and very fortunate feline companions. Shortly after moving to Maine, they adopted two adorable kittens, Oliver and Charlie, who helped Jean and Joyce welcome and entertain their many wonderful friends and family who frequently traveled to Maine to visit them.

Jean believed in giving back to her community. She spent time in retirement as a valued volunteer at Mid Coastal Maine Hospital, and the Embrace a Vet organization where she assisted in training dogs to be placed with veterans suffering from PTSD; helped organize a very successful annual yard sale to benefit the Mid Coastal Maine Hospital, and hosted many rousing card games with her lovely neighbors in Botany Place and The Highlands.

As a young girl, Jean dreamed of traveling. She fulfilled her dreams by visiting such places as Russia, Italy, Austria, England, Scotland, Wales, Bermuda, the Virgin Islands and the Canadian Rockies. She also traveled widely domestically, especially enjoying hiking in Rocky Mountain National Park, Glacier National Park, Acadia National Park, Redwood National Park, the Arches, Canyonlands, and other wilderness areas throughout the United States.

Jean was passionate about music in all its many forms. She spent hours listening to a wide variety of music, eagerly attending live concerts, curating her vast personal collection of music, and recording wonderfully eclectic CDs for her many appreciative friends.

Jean is survived by her brother, Jim Cyr of Van Buren, her sister-in-law, Constance Cyr of Worcester, Mass.; her nieces Karen Holden of Charlton, Mass. and Wendy Connor of Worcester, Mass., her nephew, Jeffrey Cyr of Worcester, Mass.; her godson, Keith Larkin of Silver Spring, Md.; and many other family members and dear friends.

Jean’s family and friends would like to express their sincere thanks to the staff of the Highlands and of the CHANS Home Health and Hospice Care for the loving care, comfort and compassion they extended to Jean and her beloved cat, Charlie, during her final days.

Memories and condolences can be shared at http://www.brackettfh.com.

In remembrance of Jean, memorial contributions may be made to

Midcoast Humane Society,

5 Industrial Parkway,

Brunswick, ME 04011;

Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital,

22 Bramhall St.,

Portland, ME 04102,

and the

Highlands Resident Assistance Fund,

30 Governors Way,

Topsham, ME 04086

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