Jane Christison Rector Coles
South Portland — Jane Christison Rector Coles died peacefully at her home in South Portland Monday, Aug. 25, with family and friends by her side.
She was born May 11, 1926, in St. Paul, Minn., the only child of Clinton Wight Christison and Rose Zdarsky Christison. Jane was proud of her father’s long career with the then-new Land O’Lakes dairy cooperative, which allowed her to attend schools in Syracuse and Buffalo, N.Y., as well as West Newton and Needham, Mass.
Jane graduated from Radcliffe College in 1947 and married Frederick Rector in 1948. She was a stay-at-home mom for her four children, and was active in the Christ Episcopal Church and the Needham Council of Churches. She was a Sunday school teacher, a co-founder of a healing prayer group, and a member of the church group that established and ran a thrift shop in an inner city parish. She set up the library and served as librarian for Christ Church until the family moved in 1970 to Rockport, where she became a communicant of St. Thomas Episcopal Church. There she served on the vestry, the altar guild, library committee and other groups. She held the role of director of Religious Education at one time.
Jane enjoyed working as personal secretary for Stormy Bok for a number of years. Later in Camden she worked 15 years for the Realty Development Group and then in Portland when the company moved there.
In 1988 she married Ralph Coles and moved to Cape Elizabeth and later to South Portland. Ralph died in 2004.
She became a communicant of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Portland and was on the healing team, served as a volunteer for St. Elizabeth’s Essentials Pantry each week and had been on the vestry and active in several other groups over the years. She was a weekly volunteer in the library at the Governor Baxter School for the Deaf for 14 years. For many years he was a volunteer and participant in the Osher Lifelong Learning Center at University of Southern Maine.
Throughout her life, family, church, friends, and gardens were her greatest treasures.
Jane is survived by her four children, their spouses and their children: Rick and his wife Karin of Camden, granddaughter Amanda Blazek of Union, her husband Matt and great-grandson Maxwell, grandson Matthew of New York City; Christopher and his wife Betsy of Thomaston, grandson Sam and his wife Kelly of South Boston, grandson Luke who is attending college; Timothy and his wife Mary of Waterville, granddaughter Sarah Wheeler of Appleton, Wisc., grandson Nate of Waterville; Melissa Rector Bourque and her husband Michael of Portland, twin grandchildren Will and Kate.
Fred Rector and his wife Marian were always good friends and stayed in touch with her often and at family gatherings. She was grateful for the company of Jill Hooper, her dear friend, on their many excursions.
Jane is also survived by stepson Julian Coles of Cape Elizabeth and his family and stepdaughters Gay David and Melody MacDonald of the U.K.
A service will be held Friday, Aug. 29, at 11 a.m. at the Cathedral Church of St. Luke, State Street, Portland. Burial is private in Camden at the convenience of the family. Memorials in Jane’s name may be sent to St. Luke’s cathedral or your favorite charity.
Arrangements are under the direction of the Conroy-Tully Crawford Funeral Home, 172 State St., Portland, ME. Online condolences may be expressed at ctcrawford.com