Jeanne Whitaker Price, 92, passed away on Wednesday, August 10, 2016, in the care of her family, hospice, and the memory care unit of Winterberry Heights. She was born on May 15, 1924, in Baltimore, MD, the daughter of Harold Whitaker and Elizabeth (Meyers) Whitaker.
Jeanne graduated from Eastern H.S. in Baltimore. Her father was a consummate paper salesman who visited the mills in Maine, usually in the summer. Elizabeth was a championship bridge player on the Eastern seaboard, whose sizable collection of metal trophies was contributed to the war effort in 1941. Jeanne's Belgian Shepard, Lucky, played a guardian role in getting her to and from school as well as enriching her life. Jeanne's sister, Carolyn (Harper) and brother Hal completed an idyllic childhood and were lifetime buddies until they preceded her in death.
Carnegie Tech (now Carnegie Mellon) in Pittsburgh was Jeanne's choice for college and the pursuit of a major in drama. Her academic ambitions were eventually cut short after she met Walt Price, a Naval Academy midshipman. Through a steady correspondence with her submariner beau and intermittent visits, they sustained affections until their engagement in mid-April of 1945. A prolonged seven-day engagement preceded their wedding on April 28, 1945. After a weekend honeymoon in Atlantic City. Walt and Jeanne moved to Manitowoc, WI., where Walt's new submarine was under construction.
For the next 30 years moves followed about every two years - Hawaii, Washington, Norfolk, Charleston, Kittery, Annapolis, Hawaii, Montgomery, San Diego, Washington, and finally London England. After a naval career, Jeanne and Walt spent a glorious decade directing Gunston Hall Plantation on the banks of the Potomac near Lorton, Virginia. This historic home of George Mason, the drafter of the Bill of Rights, came with quarters, 600 acres of forests, two beagles, and, to Jeanne's delight, many nesting bluebirds.
Both sons, Winn and John, matriculated at the Naval Academy and visited their parents at the plantation as often as the Navy would permit.
In the early '80s Jeanne and Walt moved back to Hawaii, living in foothills behind Aiea where Walt could keep an eye on the Pacific Fleet and Jeanne could paint and play hostess to a stream of visitors.
After ten years in paradise, they decided to move closer to family and Jeanne chose Naples, Florida. Walt passed on in 2005. Both sons pressured her to move closer and Jeanne chose Bangor, ME. She learned to love Maine -- even snow storms (observed from indoors) after being snow-deprived for 30 years in Virginia, Hawaii, and Florida. Jeanne attended services at the First Church of Christ Scientists on Broadway, whose loving congregation made Sundays her favorite day of the week.
Jeanne is survived by John and his wife, Anita, who live in Park City, Utah. The elder son, Winn, and his wife, Leigh Hallett, of Newport, maintained her social calendar. All visited Winterberry often. Three grandchildren survive Jeanne, Stasha of Virginia Beach, VA, Lindsay Clark (Danny) and Andrew, both from Park City. A branch of Jeanne's Baltimore family, Dedi Whitaker, and Molly and Charlie O'Donovan, Kate and Courtney Chaplin, summer or live on Little Cranberry Isle.
In her waning years, Jeanne had two primary concerns - were her two boys safe? What is the news from the family? Those sons felt her love and watchfulness every day. Few of us have the opportunity to live such a rich, varied life as Jeanne. Even fewer take as full advantage, as did she, of those opportunities.
Donations in lieu of flowers may be made to Beacon Hospice of Bangor or the Alzheimer's Association.