SEAL HARBOR - Jane Smith Zirnkilton, age 84, died of natural causes at her home in Seal Harbor, Maine on Saturday, April 30, 2016.
Josephine Jane Smith was born on April 26, 1932 in Baltimore, Maryland. She was the daughter of Beauchamp E. Smith and Josephine Donovan Smith. She was raised in York, Pennsylvania, where she continued to reside following her marriage to the late, Frank C. Zirnkilton in 1954. Following a divorce, Mrs. Zirnkilton moved to her summer home in Seal Harbor, Maine in 1976.
Mrs. Zirnkilton attended York Collegiate Institute, the Ethel Walker School, Mt. Vernon Junior College and was graduated from Skidmore College.
In her youth, Mrs. Zirnkilton was an accomplished equestrian. After numerous riding injuries, which continued to affect Mrs. Zirnkilton throughout her life, her father encouraged her to take up sailing. Mrs. Zirnkilton began racing her Luders 16, "Chinquapin", at the age of sixteen. Her newfound love of sailing, coupled with her quiet, competitive drive led Mrs. Zirnkilton to early success in competitive sailing. At the age of nineteen, representing the Seal Harbor Yacht Club, she won the Women's North American Sailing Championship, known as the "Adams Cup". Her sailing years included many more victories. Mrs. Zirnkilton's love of sailing and the sea would last the rest of her life. When the physical challenges of racing sailboats became limiting, she continued to spend as much time as possible on the water, traveling up and down the East Coast and the Bahamas with her Captain and companion, the late, Norman Sanborn, on the "Morning Star".
When not on the water, Mrs. Zirnkilton was an active volunteer in the community. While in York, she served on the White House Committee on Mental Health, the Board of Directors of the York Hospital Auxiliary, as Director of the York Hospital Fete, Christmas Seal Chairman of the York County Tuberculosis and Health Society and Vice Chairman of York Citadel Salvation Army among many other community leadership roles. After moving to Maine, Mrs. Zirnkilton was active with the Mount Desert Island Hospital, serving many years on the Board of Trustees, the Development Committee and the Hospital Auxiliary.
Mrs. Zirnkilton was a lifelong member of the Harbor Club and the Country Club of York. She was also a member of the Northeast Harbor Fleet and the Seal Harbor Yacht Club, where, to date, she is the only woman ever to have served as Commodore.
Mrs. Zirnkilton was known for always asking how she could be of help to others. She will be forever remembered by her children for her unconditional love and compassion. She is survived by her three children and their spouses: Frank C. Zirnkilton, Jr. and his wife Katie (St. Davids, PA), Stephen M. Zirnkilton and his wife Stephanie (Seal Harbor, ME) and Jane Z. Rouse and her husband Tom (Timonium, MD). She is also survived by seven grandchildren: Sarah Zirnkilton, Stephen Zirnkilton, Jr., Allison Rouse, Alexander Rouse, Beauchamp Zirnkilton, Heidi Zirnkilton and Peter Zirnkilton.
Memorial services will be announced at a later date. In lieu of flowers, contributions in her memory may be made to the Mount Desert Island Hospital, the Seal Harbor Village Improvement Society, the Seal Harbor Library Association, the United Church of Christ, Northeast Harbor and Seal Harbor, c/o Abby Chapel or The First Moravian Church of York, Pennsylvania.
Arrangements by Jordan-Fernald, 1139 Main St., Mt. Desert. Condolences may be expressed at www.jordanfernald.com