Mary Jean (Brinton) Swank died at Cove’s Edge Nursing Home in Damariscotta on Dec. 31, 2009, following a long illness. She is survived by her loving husband, Rod William Swank of Pemaquid, whom she married in August 1950. They moved to Maine in 1984, following active careers in education in Ohio.

Mary Jean was born Nov. 19, 1927, in Greensburg, Pa., to Maibelle (nee Hardy) and Mark H. Brinton, and grew up in nearby Jeannette. She graduated from Jeannette High School (1946), Ohio Wesleyan University (bachelor of arts, 1950), and Kent State University (master’s of science, 1977). In college, she was a member of Alpha Gamma Delta (social sorority), Mortar Board (leadership honorary) and Theta Alpha Phi (theater honorary), and served as president of the YWCA. She taught English and speech, served as an elementary school librarian, and directed nearly 50 high school plays in the Heath City Schools from 1962 to 1984. During that time, she was active in the Saturday Review Club (Utica) and Delta Kappa Gamma education honorary, and served one term as secretary of the Ohio Federation of Women’s Clubs. She and her husband were founding members of the Heath United Methodist Church.

Upon moving to Maine, Mrs. Swank became active in and eventually served as president of the Fortnightly Club, the Willing Workers, the local Delta Kappa Gamma chapter, and the Lincoln County Garden Club. She was a member of the New Harbor United Methodist Church, an active volunteer for Olde Bristol Days, and an annual participant in the Damariscotta Region Cancer Walk. She loved reading, theater, travel, gardening, playing the piano, music, and the dogs and cats under her feet over the years. Most of all, Jean loved her husband, daughters, sons-in-law and grandchildren, and her many students, colleagues and friends.

Mary Jean is survived by her husband, Rod Swank of Pemaquid; her daughters, Constance Swank of Tacoma, Wash., Ilene Garrett of Carmel, Ind., Kathleen Barkley of Roswell, Ga., and Carolyn Scroggins of Madison, Ala.; her sons-in-law, Dan Scroggins, Dan Barkley and Wayne Garrett; and her grandchildren, Benjamin, Chase and Lydia Scroggins, Jordan Barkley, and David and Abigail Garrett. One infant daughter, Janice, predeceased her.

All who knew Jean were blessed by her wonderful intellect, quiet but adventuresome spirit, generous heart, and deep values. She will be missed beyond measure.

A summer 2010 memorial service to celebrate Mary Jean Brinton Swank will be held at the Harrington Cemetery. The family has requested any gifts in her name be given to the Alzheimer’s Association of America.

Arrangements are with the Strong-Hancock Funeral Home in Damariscotta. Condolences for the family may be expressed at