Jeanette S. Spear

May 18, 2017
Jeanette Spear

Camden — Jeanette (St. Clair) Spear, 89, a lifelong resident of Camden, died Monday, May 15, 2017, at her home, surrounded by her devoted family. Born in Rockport June 16, 1927, she was the daughter of Eugene Francis and Mabel (Doucette) St. Clair. She attended local schools and was a member of the Camden High School class of 1945. After high school, she studied business at Hisser Business School in Manchester, N.H.

Following business school, Jeanette was employed as a telephone operator at New England Telephone Co., as a dental assistant to Dr. Walter Strang, secretary at Laite Funeral Home, and receptionist for Doug Hall at The Camden Herald.

Jeanette raised four sons and was a proud grandmother to seven grandchildren. Often described as a “spitfire,” she will be remembered for her witty comments, her knitting, canned goods, the cookie jar full of tootsie pops, and her delicious cooking.

Jeanette, an avid animal lover, was one of the founders of the Camden-Rockport Animal Rescue League (PAWS), where she also served as a member and volunteer. Devoting most of her life to animal rescue, Jeanette took in numerous animals and filled their lives with love. In addition to her own, she always made sure that the neighborhood pets, birds and other wild animals had enough to eat. For a number of years, she was delighted to discover on Christmas morning a large supply of bird food on her doorstep that had been anonymously delivered during the night.

She was predeceased by her first husband, Donald E. Cates, in 2001, by her second husband, Willis J. Spear,  Jan. 1, 2005, and her eldest son, Stephen E. Cates, in 1998. Jeanette is survived by three sons, Martin D. Cates and his wife, Edna, Daniel R. Cates and his wife, Kim, and Matthew R. Cates and his wife, Tammie, all of Camden; seven grandchildren, Jenny, Lindsey, Casey, Aimee, Chelsea, Rylan and Morgan; a brother, Eugene St. Clair; several sisters-in-law, Gail Spear; Louise Reynolds of Waldoboro, Eva Cushman of Port Clyde; and her former daughter-in-law, Mary Lebreve, with whom she stayed in touch.

Calling hours will be held from 3 to 5 p.m. Sunday, May 21, at Long Funeral Home, 9 Mountain St., Camden. A graveside service will be held at 11a.m. Monday, May 22, at the Mountain View Cemetery. If desired, memorial gifts may be made to PAWS, P.O. Box 707, Rockport, ME 04856 or to the Knox County Humane Society, P.O. Box 1294, Rockland, ME 04841.

Condolences and memories may be shared with the Spear/Cates family at

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