ROCKLAND - Constance Ross Painter, 94, passed away July 4, 2019 at Bartlett Woods with family at her side. She was born November 26, 1924 in Rockland, to Frank Edward and Evelyn (Learned) Ross.
Connie lived her entire life in Maine. She loved the outdoors, gardening, crafting, sewing, painting, history, reading and writing. She was a talented poet, author and artist. She loved to write short stories about and for her children and grandchildren. She was passionate about her family. She and her late husband, Lloyd M. Painter, raised four children. Connie designed and with Lloyd’s help, built four homes, often using the wood found on their land for construction.
Connie grew up in Owls Head next door to dozens of aunts, uncles and cousins. As a girl, she and her cousin, Margaret and aunt, Helen, would go sailing on Penobscot Bay. She attended local one-room schoolhouse before heading to Lee Academy. Upon graduation in 1943 the United States had just entered WWII. She learned that the government was seeking ways to make the military stronger and healthier. She had always been interested in cooking so inspired by these reports she decided to go to the New York Institute of Dietetics in the heart of New York City. In 1945 after the war she began her first job as a nutritionist at Rockland Knox Hospital. It was during this period that she was introduced to the love of her life, Lloyd. He was a young, handsome Coast Guardsman stationed at White Head light station. She fondly called him ‘her maple eyes’. From the moment they met, they became inseparable and thus began a 72 year marriage.
Connie and Lloyd started their family and built their first home. When they weren’t building something they were often off on an adventure either camping, boating, or just traveling around the country visiting family. Each trip and adventure she would take photographs to create family albums.
Connie was always an active participant in town communities. She was involved with her children’s education, dance, sports, scout leader, Beta Sigma Phi Sorority, various local historical groups including the Mussel Ridge Historical Society, American history and the Rockland Congregational Church. Connie had a passion for old buildings and often could be found drawing up plans that she had adapted from historical books, magazines, or by visiting a property. With Lloyd she planned and rebuilt the Old Homestead in Owls Head to be as authentic as possible. Connie was a creative individual and could refinish, re-paint, re-cane or reupholster furniture; create stone patio, stonewalls, gardens, sewing, quilting, braided and hooked rugs, cook, and bake wedding cakes. She was a talented artist and enjoyed seeking out techniques from the decorative arts and adapting it for her homes. After building their home in Owls Head, Connie painted each cabinet using a scrolling method to represent different countries important to her family. Each home they built included an art form that Connie had meticulously studied including the curved stairs, to the hand hewn beams, to even their fireplace. Her homes and landscapes were immaculate and beautiful.
Connie and Lloyd built homes in Waterville, Monmouth and two in Owls Head as well as a log cabin in Lincolnville. She wanted an authentic looking cabin in the woods, studied the old designs and with Lloyd cut the trees, had them sawed and hewn which they then put together. In fact, they did such a good job creating an old 1900’s cabin that people often mistook it for an original.
In later years Connie and Lloyd made the difficult decision to sell their beloved home in Owls Head, disperse their belongings to family and move to the retirement community at Bartlett Woods in Rockland. It turned out to be a good fit for them. Connie set out immediately to create a home in their apartment. She sewed slipcovers for her furnishings, and pillows, bed covers and table runners. She also found renewed interest in writing, drawing and painting. She created paintings of all her grandchildren and great grandchildren which she proudly displayed on the walls. She also joined the art program and was an active writer for the monthly newsletter.
Connie was rarely without Lloyd ‘her maple eyes’ until last September when Lloyd passed away at their home at Bartlett Woods. They had been together for over 73 years. We will always miss these strong, influential and inspirational people. They taught us about commitment, integrity, honesty, loyalty, tenacity, strength, artistry, and love but most of all they taught us about family.
Connie will be forever missed by her children and their spouses, Thomas Ross Painter, Rodney and Kathy (Fields) Painter, John Painter and Kati Vecsey, Kevin and Patty (Painter) Robertson; her grandchildren, James and Melissa Painter, Jo (Painter) and Jerry Portele, Jenny (Painter) and Sean Gavin, Jeff and Lisa Painter, Thomas F. Painter, Nick Painter, Sarah Robertson and Ron Daniello, Andrew Robertson and Maria Jose Amorin Schoo, Kelen Painter; great-grandchildren, Ross and Kloey (Cargil) Painter, Reed Painter, Samantha and Corrine Portele, Rory, Neve, Niall and Liam Gavin, Krista (Painter) and Nick Huff, Kailey (Painter) and Colton Corsetti, McKenna Painter, Gabriel and Evelyn Robertson; and one great-great-granddaughter Aurora Corsetti; her sister and brother-in-law Kay (Ross) and Edward Dodge; and many nieces and nephews.
Connie was predeceased by a grandson, Nathan Neal Robertson and two daughters-in-law, Deborah (French) Painter and Sarah (Key) Painter; and her brothers, Paul Ross and Frank Ross, Jr.
There will be a private celebration of life in the fall followed by interment at the new Owls Head Cemetery.
Donations may be made in her memory to either, Bartlett Woods Retirement Community (especially the art program), 20 Bartlett Drive, Rockland, Maine 04841, or Maine Children’s Cancer Program, 100 Campus Drive, Suite107, Scarborough, Main3 04074.
Arrangements are in the care of Burpee, Carpenter & Hutchins Funeral Home, 110 Limerock Street, Rockland.