Alice's Story

OAKLAND - Alice Janet Bartlett Easton, November 22, 1920-December 11, 2015.

Despite her first name, she was known all her life as Janet. On September 5, 1943, she married fellow UMO grad Thomas William Easton, and soon had the first of her four sons, Thomas Atwood, then Walter Charles (died May 31, 2003), James Colin, and Christopher Michael. She spent many years as a practicing RN, with several years at the infirmary of Colby College in Waterville, Maine. Ever since her husband died in 1987, she has dreamed that he was waiting to greet her on the other side. May it be so!

One notable element of her life was her 1959 diagnosis as a victim of nontropical sprue or coeliac disease, which requires that one avoid gluten if one does not wish to be chronically ill. Years later, once the Internet came along and the number of coeliac patients had vastly increased, she was the elder in the coeliac community who assured newly diagnosed people that "Yes, there is life after diagnosis. Would you like some recipes?" Her own diagnosis did not stop her from living an active life as nurse, potter, photographer, and weaver. In fact, she was delivering Meals on Wheels long after many others her age had retired to their rockers. More recently her activity was mostly mental. She greatly enjoyed her weekly mahjongg group, and she would beat anyone who would play her at Scrabble.

Among her recipes is one that has been popular for many years (and reliably in her cookie jar):

Colossal Cookies

1/2 cup oleo

1 1/2 cups each brown and gran, sugar

4 eggs beaten

1 tsp. vanilla

1-18 oz. jar chunky peanut butter

1-18 oz. carton old fashioned rolled oats

1-6 oz. pkg. chocolate bits

2 1/2 tsp. baking soda

Cream oleo and sugars together. Add eggs and vanilla, then peanut butter. Mix well. Stir in soda, oats, and chocolate bits. Mix very well. Drop by 1/4 cup about 4 ins. apart on ungreased pan. Flatten with a fork. Bake at 350 degrees about 10 minutes. Cool for a few minutes before removing from pan.

Janet Easton is survived by three sons, Thomas, James, and Christopher, their wives, Kate, Melissa, and Patti, six grandchildren, Joellen Easton Gaseidnes and her husband Geir Gaseidnes, Caleb Easton, Miriam Easton, Thomas Leo Easton, Robert Michael Easton and Marian Janet Easton, one great-grandson, Alexander Walter Gaseidnes, and a former daughter-in-law, Betty Sue Easton.

She will be remembered and missed by family and friends.

A memorial service will be held at 11:30 AM, December 19, at the Universalist-Unitarian Church, 69 Silver St., Waterville, ME.
Published in Bangor Daily News
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