Jean O’Meara, ‘tireless’ supporter of Ellsworth hospital, homeless shelter, dies at 91

Posted Jan. 15, 2014, at 5:21 p.m.
Last modified Jan. 15, 2014, at 5:59 p.m.
Jean Cameron Adams Hillman O'Meara.
Jean Cameron Adams Hillman O'Meara.

HANCOCK, Maine — A local woman whose support of many area charitable organizations and causes dates back to the 1950s when her husband founded Maine Coast Memorial Hospital in Ellsworth has died.

Jean Cameron Adams Hillman O’Meara passed away Monday at Maine Medical Center in Portland, according to an obituary published by the Bangor Daily News. A longtime resident of Hancock Point, she was 91 years old.

O’Meara was born July 9, 1922, in Ellsworth and raised five children with her late husband, the doctor Edward S. O’Meara, according to the obituary. Dr. O’Meara, who passed away in 1990, is credited with founding Maine Coast Memorial Hospital in Ellsworth, which opened in 1956.

The founding of the hospital, the obituary noted, was an effort “to which she devoted herself tirelessly.”

Jack Frost, executive director of the Maine Coast Healthcare Foundation, said Wednesday that O’Meara was known to entertain potential donors “on very short notice” when Dr. O’Meara would bring them home to have dinner with his family.

“She was right behind him,” Frost said of her support of the cause.

O’Meara stayed active well into her later years, even helping to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Eleanor Widener Dixon Memorial Clinic in Gouldsboro in 2012, when she was 90 years old, Frost said.

Edward S. “Ted” O’Meara Jr., her son, said Wednesday that his mother was a “remarkable lady” who had friends everywhere. She was a descendent of some of the first European settlers in the area and instilled that pride in her children and grandchildren, he said.

“We will miss her greatly,” he said.

Sister Lucille MacDonald, director of the Emmaus Center in Ellsworth, said Wednesday O’Meara also was an ardent supporter of the Ellsworth homeless shelter. O’Meara was a “marvel,” who was known to stop by the shelter or to call just to check and see how things were going, according to MacDonald.

“I feel honored to have known such a thoughtful and compassionate person,” the director said. “She’ll be a great loss.”

A funeral service will be held 1 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 18, at the Union Congregational Church in Hancock.

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