Joan Dean Winstanley

Jan 07, 2014
Joan Dean Winstanley

Rockport — Joan Dean Winstanley, born May 13, 1929 in Framingham Mass; died at home in Rockport.

To the communities of Camden-Rockport-Lincolnville, you may or may not remember us (and it is not necessary that you do, as we are from away), but we ask you to remember our mother, Joan Dean Winstanley, who passed away on New Year’s Day 2014, and our sisters, Dianne O’Connell, Deborah Winstanley Djuric, and Janet Ray along with their husbands and children who are part of your community.

We believe that our mother, Joan, might finally have been called a “Mainer” by the time of her death due to both the attitude she shared with you and her relative longevity in your community. Her attitude was that of the waitress from the Non-Sequitur comic strip but delivered from behind the desk at Dr. Hank White’s office. Her quips were sometimes sarcastic, sometimes flippant, occasionally gossip but always the truth as she knew it. Although she moved frequently during her early life, she returned to Maine in 1969 and called it home, lured by wonderful memories of childhood summers spent here. She (and we) lived in the yellow house behind the trees across the street from the Lincolnville-Islesboro Ferry. It was here that she continued dedication to raising Great Danes – no small task. After many years, she moved to the small white house on Camden Street in Rockport — up the hill from Maine Media Workshop. Her children bought this house so she could live there independently, which indeed she did. It was her wish to live out her life in this house, which in the end, was the case. In spite of the relatively small size of the house, she continued her love of Great Danes there and began to support Danes from the rescue society. Next to her children and grandchildren, one of the great joys of her life was her Great Danes. Lobo, her last, was a 160 pound, partially blind, deaf Dane from Great Dane Rescue.

Joan – she always pronounced it “Jo – Anne” (or Jowanne – since she was from Boston) and said the Joan Crawford had ruined the name. She was a voracious reader and eventually read everything of interest (to her) in the Rockport Library. She continued this appetite throughout her life and it was with some difficulty that her children kept it fed after she finally gave up her beloved Saab (old rattletrap car – that still drove but may or may not have passed the next inspection).

The legacy of Joan Winstanley will not be found in brick and mortar or on the land of Maine but rather in her grandchildren. That legacy is the emotional health that comes from making a supporting family; while we were certainly not a perfect family, and like all families sometimes fought like cats and dogs, there was little dysfunction passed on to us or our children. Like many of her generation, she instead made life better for her children and grandchildren. As a result, her grandchildren have become successful in their business and personal lives — Justin Ray and Jessica Ray Andrews graduates of Camden-Rockport High and successful in Navy Psychiatric Medicine and Banking respectively; Keely O’Connell still at Camden Hills Regional ready to blossom like her cousins; Adam and Alex Winstanley, engineers both like their father, with Erin Winstanley Stalzer, a true Catholic evangelist and mother; Ian Djuric, an honorable businessman in the best sense, with his sister, Rebecca Djuric finding her way in the para-legal profession.

Honoring her wishes, she will be cremated and, following a private memorial service this summer, her ashes scattered on the water. We will remember her in the face of her grandchildren and great-grandchildren and join together to raise a glass to her when we do so. If you would like to remember her in a special way, please consider making a contribution to Coastal Maine Great Dane Rescue, 9 Lady Slipper Lane, Topsham, ME 04086, or to the library of your choice.

With sincerity and fond memories,

David K. Winstanley – Gilbert, Ariz. Jan. 1, 2014.

Condolences and memories may be shared with the Winstanley family at Arrangements are with the Long Funeral Home & Cremation Service, 9 Mountain St., Camden.

Comments (4)
Posted by: Cynthia Mary Anderson | Jan 09, 2014 22:46

I had loads of fun with Joan while working as an RN at Pen Bay Medical Center. She was a hoot, and loved to laugh, (as I do!).  We had wonderful times laughing together, acting a little foolish now and then, and just generally, "whooping it up!".  What a lovely lady she was, and I loved reading about her life.  Very well written tribute, and thank you for sharing her with all of us.  Yes, she was "one of ours", and did earn the title of true Mainer; although my favorite nickname for her was "Maine-I-ac".  I cherish the fond memories.  I was fortunate to have her touch my life in such a fun way.  So sorry for your loss.

Posted by: Melinda Lindsey | Jan 09, 2014 21:30

What a lovely and loving tribute to a delightful lady. I did know her slightly as I was an RN at Pen-Bay for many years. I am sorry for your loss.

Posted by: Catherine Cooper | Jan 07, 2014 13:39

That was a well written tribute and one can feel the love and care that went in to those words. I am sorry for your loss.

Posted by: Margaret McCrea | Jan 07, 2014 12:13

What a beautiful tribute to a very loved mother and grandmother.  Your words give her life meaning and introduce her to those of us who never had the pleasure of meeting her.  Thank you, and please accept my condolences for your loss.


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