Stella Jennie Borkowski Patten passed away on July 11, her mother's birthday, with her daughters by her side.
Stella was an unforgettable combination of brains, strength, and stunning beauty. Born in Old Town Maine on March 12, 1926, she was the only daughter of Polish immigrant parents, Janina Tyczkiewicz and Antoni Borkowski. Throughout her life, the story of how her family toiled on the farm and in the nearby mills to build a life in America remained a key inspiration guiding her life.
She attended Old Town schools and then the University of Maine at Orono, where she graduated in 1947 with a degree in mathematics, and later a Masters in education. In the summertime during college, and then for several years after, this tall striking young woman from Maine lived in New York City, staying with relatives, and became a professional model. In the late 1940s, she left the modeling world to teach, and spent her first year teaching in a one-room schoolhouse in East Woodstock Connecticut. Then she returned to the Bangor area, where she began a 30 year career teaching high school math, first in Bangor and later in Cape Elizabeth and South Portland.
In 1953 she met and married a charming and prominent Bangor citizen. Her wedding to Robert Patten was called "Bangor's wedding of the year," and lasted for 63 years until his death in 2015. Throughout their marriage, they were involved in far too many organizations and activities to list, but which included the University of Maine Alumni Association, Rotary International, local government, church, and many arts and civics organizations. Together they were a handsome, outgoing, and memorable couple.
In 1961 they moved from the Bangor area to Cape Elizabeth, where they remained until moving to Topsham in 2004 to be near family. During that time, Stella continued to be involved in countless civic and educational activities at the state and local level, including a stint as the first woman on the Cape Elizabeth town council. She never hesitated to become involved in local government, and enthusiastically worked alongside Bob during his years as District Governor of Rotary. Together they were dedicated to their alma mater, University of Maine, and were honored as top alumni.
Stella's passions included classical music, good food, and travel. Among their most significant travels were several trips to Poland to visit her family. They relished winters in the Virgin Islands and summers on Chebeague Island.
Stella was a remarkable woman and will be sorely missed.
She was predeceased by her husband Robert Patten in 2015, and by all of her brothers: Eugene Borkowski of Old Town, Walter Borkowski of South Berwick, and Stanley Borkowski of Florida/Arizona.
Feeling the enormity of her absence are her two daughters, Dr Deborah Patten of Bath, Maine and Lisa Patten of Alameda, California, and her two grandsons, Nicholas Patten Mesrobian of Rochester NY, and Benjamin Patten Mesrobian of Bath.
Friends are invited to join family at an informal celebration of her life at the Highland Green Community Center in Topsham on Sunday July 24th from 4-6 pm.
Gifts in her memory may to sent to the University of Maine Foundation, Two Alumni Place, Orono ME 04469-5792 to be added to the 'Stella Borkowski Patten '47 Scholarship Fund.'
Condolences may be expressed to the family at www.FuneralAlternatives.net.
Arrangements are under the care of Funeral Alternatives, 155 Bath Road, Brunswick.