Joan's Story

FALMOUTH - Joan (Pendleton) Steppacher, 88, known to many as Penny, died peacefully on February 8 at her home in Falmouth, Maine. Born in Brooklyn New York in 1926, to Pauline and Richard Pendleton, she moved to Bangor at the age of three and proudly considered herself a Mainer. She attended Dana Hall School and Smith College.

She enjoyed 65 years of marriage to John Steppacher, who predeceased her in 2013. In her early years of marriage she lived in NY City and worked for the Maine Tourist Bureau. She lived for 45 years in New York, raising her family in Chappaqua and subsequently living in Waccabuc. She leaves three children, Brian Steppacher of South Portland, ME, Jill and her husband, Rob Dewitt of Portland, ME and Lee and her husband, Dan Shepard of Concord, MA. She also leaves a sister, Sandra Bacon and a brother, Richard Pendleton, both of Bangor, Maine, and many nieces and nephews.

More than anything, Penny was known for her love of food. She was a gourmet cook and a connoisseur of fine food and worked for many years for Country Epicure and then Vie de France as a sales representative. She believed in farm to table meals long before they became popular and her interest in eating well was inspiring to many, including her children and friends. Her lemon bread was famous fifty years ago, and is still being made using the original recipe as far away as North Carolina today.

Penny cared deeply for her friends and her community. When her children were young she served on the board of the Cisqua School and made many lifelong friends there. She was active in her church community, in NY and in Maine and was a member of the session at the Mt Kisco Presbyterian Church. She served as a board member of the Native Plant Society.

She enjoyed travel (though she did not like to fly, she did it anyways!) and she and her husband saw much of the world, including living in Hong Kong and in Cairo for extended periods of time. Family trips, to celebrate significant birthdays, were the source of many good memories.

Penny always was deeply connected to her early Maine roots in Bangor and Isleboro. She reconnected with her love of the Maine coast at her home in Castine where she enjoyed wandering the back roads, seeing the lupin in bloom, picking wild raspberries or snipping wildflowers for a bouquet. Her family shared many happy memories together by Penobscot Bay; fabulous meals, playing tennis and taking in the view from the porch.

Her final years, living with Parkinson's Disease, were challenging. She continued to live with grace and strength in the face of many difficulties.

She was well loved and will be sorely missed by all who knew her.

Donations in her honor may be made to the Castine Trinitarian Church, Foreside Community Church or Hospice of Southern Maine.

Services will be held March 7, 1 P.M. at the Foreside Community Church, 340 Foreside Rd., Falmouth, Maine. Internment will be private in Castine, Maine. To share memories and condolences with the family, please go to
Published in Bangor Daily News
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