HOULTON - Jeanette Benn Anderson, 75, peacefully passed away on June 3rd, 2015 while a patient at the Eastern Maine Medical Center with her husband, Robert (Bob) E. Anderson and family, by her side.
Jeanette was born on June 19th, 1939 in Houlton, Maine as the only daughter of Oscar Percival and Madeline (Peabody) Benn. Throughout her life she worked at being a wife, mother, Nana, teacher, cook, salesperson, traveler and a dedicated community leader. Jeanette attended Houlton High School graduating in 1957 furthering her education at Colby College in Waterville, Maine earning a bachelor's degree in English Literature in 1961. While at Colby, Jeanette was a member and vice president of Chi Omega sorority and secretary for the Inter-Faith Association. She returned to Houlton with Bob to carry out a fulfilling life mission. She taught English until her first child was born and then dedicated her time to family and community. She was a trustee of Houlton Regional Hospital, chairman of the Council of Ministries and Administrative Board of the United Methodist Church of Houlton. She became president of the Houlton chapter of the American Association of University Women (AAUW), president of Northern Regional Hospital Auxiliaries, president of Maine Association of Hospital Auxiliaries and board member of the Maine Hospital Association. Later in life her early work with the hospital auxiliary and love of cooking and good nutrition led her to chair a committee to publish Heritage & Health Recipe Collection raising funds for the local hospital. Tragically, in 1981, her life mission slowed significantly when she was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. True to form, she fought her disease just as she tackled all previous challenges and opportunities; head on and without hesitation. She became chairperson of the Southern Aroostook Chapter of the M.S. Society, published articles for the M.S. Society state newsletter, studied nutrition and mentored others with chronic disease. She also filled her days as a Shaklee Nutritional Supplement salesperson. In 2006, she was the recipient of Colby College's Distinguished Alumna Award in recognition of her character and the civic responsibility she demonstrated in her daily life. Jeanette loved to travel, write for pleasure and enjoyed time with her family at their beloved camp on East Grand Lake.
Jeanette was predeceased by her parents, her brother-in-law, Bud Anderson and sister-in-law Sandra Adams Anderson. She is survived by her spouse, Bob; a son, Christopher Benn Anderson of Houlton, wife Elizabeth and grandchildren, Aaron Robert, Lucas Jacob and Madelene Amelia; a daughter, Kathryn Lancaster of Charlotte, North Carolina, husband, Lance, and grandchildren, Austin Carruth and Elizabeth Marion; sisters-in-law Betty Y. Anderson, Judith Arnold and Betty L. Anderson; brothers-in-law William Anderson and David Arnold; several grandnieces, grandnephews and cousins. In addition, cousin-in-law, Ann Anderson, became Jeanette and Bob's dedicated long-time home care companion with her unyielding and loving care.
Friends may call at the Dunn Funeral Home Saturday, June 6, 2015 6:00 to 8:00PM. Funeral services will be held Sunday, June 7, 2015 2:00PM at the Houlton United Methodist Church with Rev. Victor Han officiating. A time of fellowship will be held following the service in the fellowship hall. Interment will be in the Evergreen Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, gifts may be made in Jeanette's memory payable to the Meduxnekeag River Park Project, the Houlton United Methodist Church or the charity of one's choice c/o Dunn Funeral Home 11 Park Street Houlton, 04730. Online condolences and guest book: dunnfuneral.com