Jean's Story

LEDYARD, CONNECTICUT - Jean H. Goheen passed away on December 31st from stomach cancer. She liked to sing, and she loved people, animals and the beauty of the natural world.

Born on April 27th, 1937 to Barbara (Goodenough) Holdridge and Carl Holmes Holdridge, Jean grew up in Ledyard, Connecticut where she attended a one-room school for 6 years, graduated 8th grade from the Ledyard Consolidated School and from Norwich Free Academy in 1955. She received an Assoc. of Arts degree from Colby Junior (now Sawyer) College in 1957 and a B.S. in Education from Boston University in 1961.

After junior college, Jean travelled to North Dakota to be a summer counselor at a Congregational church camp (Pilgrim Park) on Lake Metigoshe. There she met Royal L. Goheen. They were married in Ledyard on June 7, 1958 and settled in North Dakota where she taught the middle grades and started a family.

She and Royal relocated to Presque Isle, Maine in 1969 where they raised their three children. Jean chose a life-time focus on church activities (United Church of Christ) and the arts. She was a member of the Corporate Board of the United Church Board for World Ministries and later of its Board of Directors, and she also served as a Trustee of the Bangor Theological Seminary. She was President of the Maine Conference UCC and Moderator of the Aroostook Association from 1977-1979 during which time she personally visited many Maine UCC churches. In 1989, she and Royal were part of the successful "Save Rockcraft Lodge" movement while she was interim manager of the Maine UCC Retreat Center on Sebago Lake.

Jean was honored at the UCC General Synod XXI in Columbus, Ohio in 1997 for her exemplary service to the mission of the UCC. "Mission," said Jean, "is love in action. Mission is limitless and has no boundaries. It is you and me and the peoples of the world and how we relate to one another. It is those who give and those who receive."

Jean joined the Student Activities staff at the University of Maine at Presque Isle in 1984 to organize arts and cultural programs while representing UMPI on the Board of the Maine Arts Sponsors Association. She established, with an associate, the Aroostook Partners in the Arts, to bring art programs for children to Central Aroostook schools. She was also on the Board of Women, Work and Community, whose mission is to help Maine women achieve economic empowerment.

She was an enthusiastic 4-H leader for 10 years, sang in the choirs of every church she belonged to, and joined choral groups including the Braintree Choral Society, the Caribou Choral Society and the Sea Glass Chorale of Kennebunk. She played handbells both at the Presque Isle UCC and the Dennis Union Church, Dennis, MA. She was a docent for two historic homes through the Dennis Historical Society, treasurer of the Old South Dennis Village Association and long-time president of Eventide Arts Inc., a theater arts non-profit in Dennis.

Jean was predeceased by her brother, Alden Holdridge of Ledyard, CT in November 2014.

Jean leaves her husband of 56 years, Royal, daughter Cynthia Goheen (Christine Turner), daughter Shannon Goheen (Thom Huettner), son Peter (Leah Buck), grandchildren Eleanor and Clinton Goheen, sister-in- law Louise Holdridge of Ledyard, CT, sister-in-law Avis Tvedt (Ronald) of Bottineau, ND and nieces and nephews.

A memorial service will be held on January 29th at 1:30 at the Presque Isle Congregational Church.

In lieu of flowers, please send donations to Grace Interfaith Food Table, 11 Industrial St., Presque Isle, ME 04769 or your local food bank.
Published in Bangor Daily News
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