2016-07-08 / Obituaries

Jean Reid

Jean Ethel (VanHouten) Reid died Friday, June 24, after a brief illness. She was a lively, sharp, independent 91 years old. Jean has asked that no one be sad for her, as she has lived a long, full, happy life and is now reunited with her beloved husband of 58 years, Wilfred.

Jean leaves behind her daughter, Wendy Jean Reid, of Grafton, Massachusetts, son Kevin and his wife Karen (Belyea), from Windham, New Hampshire, her grandchildren Alyssa Reid of Rumney, New Hampshire, and Matthew Reid of Westford, Massachusetts, and her brother Robert VanHouten and his wife Valerie in Essex, Connecticut, as well as sisters-in-law Virginia and Carol Reid of Kennebunk and Kennebunkport, numerous nieces and nephews, and many dear friends. We all miss her more than we can say.

Jean was born in Brooklyn to Wilbur and Ethel VanHouten and grew up in Baldwin, Long Island.

After her marriage in 1950 she moved to New Jersey, and then to Kennebunk in 1966. She started her career as a secretary at the New York Herald Tribune in the 1940s before meeting Will, and continued working after her children were no longer babies.

Locally, she worked first for the Downing Agency and then a dentist, but she is best remembered as a smiling bank teller at Maine Savings Bank in Wells, where she worked until her retirement.

As a member of the First Congregational Church of Kennebunkport, Jean was an active member of the Ladies’ Society. She worked tirelessly on charitable projects, both formally and informally, including Church and Community Outreach programs that provided food, financial help, and other support to those in need, and serving as a representative to the York Association of the UCC Church Women United .

Jean was a kind woman with a genuine concern for people and animals. With an open and trusting nature as well as a terrific sense of humor and an infectious laugh, she made and kept friends everywhere she went. She had the gift of gratitude, rarely wanted more than she had, and could always be counted on to contribute to a worthy cause.

Heaven’s gain is our loss.

Memorial service and celebration of Jean’s life at the First Congregational Church of Kennebunkport 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 10. In lieu of flowers, Jean would appreciate donations to the Nature Conservancy via their website, Safe Haven Cat Sanctuary at Box 91, Wells 04090, or the Elephant Sanctuary, Box 393, Hohenwald, TN 38462.

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