GARLAND – Jean Ellen Rollins, 70, died June 7, 2014 at a Dover-Foxcroft hospital after a two-year battle with pancreatic cancer. She was born Jean Ellen Fern, March 29, 1944 in Dexter, the seventh child of Newell and Esther (Libby) Fern.
She graduated from Dexter High School in 1962 and graduated from Gordon College in 1966. Her teaching career stared with one year in Panama teaching Chiquita employees, followed by one year in Massachusetts before returning to the area to teach local children. She married Ralph Rollins in 1969 and moved to Garland. She taught fourth grade in Exeter for several years before retiring to help run the farm with her husband. Many people will remember her as “the apple lady” as the one who helped customers at Rollins Orchards. After her husband’s death in 2002, she ran the farm in conjunction with her son, Ernest until her death. She will also be remembered for her smile and infectious laugh. One of her great joys was singing, whether it was at church, Grange or with her barbershop group, the River City Harmonizers. She also loved singing with the Dexter Community Choir in the Christmas and Easter cantatas, which she did faithfully for 10 years. She loved cooking and baking, especially beautiful decorated cakes for many occasions. Jean was a member of Garland Grange #76 and Piscataquis Pomona #11, where she held several offices, most recently as secretary of the Garland Grange and Pomona Grange. She was also the Maine State Grange Junior Deputy for the area. She also served as the librarian of the Lyndon Oak Memorial Library, where she enjoyed volunteering her time. Previous positions included Garland Planning Board member for over 30 years and treasurer of Garland Community Baptist Church for over 25 years.
She is survived by her son, Ernest Rollins and wife, Andrea of Garland; 3 sisters, Jo MacDonald and husband, Paul of Carmel, Marian Wood and husband, Clair of Veazie, and Ethel Fern of Dexter; 3 brothers, Tom Fern of Clifton, Ron Fern and wife, Rosena of Dexter, and Bruce Fern and wife, Carol of Bridgeport, CT; 6 nephews; 7 nieces; their spouses and children; as well as several cousins. She was predeceased by her husband, Ralph in 2002 and a sister, Fran Libby in 1996. She will also be missed by special friends, Lynne and David Olson and their son, Ryker of Garland, as well as Cindy Emerson and daughter, Gemma of Winterport. The family would like to thank the staff at CancerCare of Maine, especially Dr. Catherine Chodkiewicz and the staff at Mayo Regional Hospital for the excellent care Jean received during her illness.
Visiting hours will be held from 5-8 p.m. Thursday at Crosby & Neal, 61 Main St., Dexter, where funeral services will be held 3 p.m. Saturday, June 14th with Pastor Clarence Arno officiating. Interment will follow at the West Garland Cemetery with a Grange burial service. All are welcome to gather at the Garland Grange Hall to share memories and refreshments following the burial. Donations may be made in her memory to Garland Grange #76, c/o Mr. William Bemis, Master, 102 Merrill Road, Corinna, ME 04928. Those who wish may leave written condolences at www.CrosbyNeal.com