ORONO – Jean Grindle Carville, 82, passed away July 10, 2014. She spent the last weeks of her life surrounded by friends and family at her home in Orono. She was born July 12, 1932, in Bangor, the daughter of Alton Dexter and Marian (Dunbar) Grindle.
Jean graduated as Valedictorian from Bucksport High School in 1950 and received a Bachelor of Arts Degree at the University of Maine at Orono where she was a member of the All Maine Women Honor Society, a member of the Alpha Omicron Pi Sorority, and served as treasurer of her class. During her time at the University of Maine, she met Linwood Carville of York, and they were married October 9, 1954. Their first home was at Fort Dix, New Jersey, where she taught in the public schools during her husband’s army assignment. After moves to Waterville, ME and Laconia, NH, where her husband was a teacher-coach, they returned to the University of Maine in Orono, where for the next 53 years, they resided and raised their family.
During the early years of their marriage, Jean taught for nine years in Old Town school systems as a substitute teacher. Following that, she was employed for fifteen years in the University of Maine Foreign Language Laboratory as an audio-visual equipment instructor. Her personal interest in the work-study students whom she employed was genuine, and many of them kept in touch with her even after she retired.
Following her passion for theatre and the Arts, she served on the Board of Directors for the Penobscot Theatre, the Orono Community Theatre, and Artsapalooza Planning Board. Jean was also a leader in the American Field Service fund raising program for 15 years directing delightful variety shows that inevitably included members of the local community, often in unlikely roles. Jean was a dedicated member of The Church of Universal Fellowship and served in many leadership roles on the Board of Directors and Trustees, as well as using her creative organizational skills to organize activities that supported the church’s various missions. For many years she and a talented group of friends created exquisitely decorated dried flower arrangements and wreaths for sale at their annual church fair. She was a founding member of the Orono Land Trust Board of Directors and worked diligently in fund raising capacities for many years to ensure open space for future generations. One of her most satisfying achievements was being instrumental in reviving the 40 year old Orono Thrift Shop run by the Orono Health Association. She took great pride in the Thrift Shop’s success in recent years in raising money to support local organizations.
In 2004, Jean received the prestigious Block M Award from the University of Maine for her participation and leadership in many Alumni activities and projects. She was elected Chairman of the Class of 1954 Reunion Committee and was planning their 60th reunion when taken ill. She was a generous supporter of the Don Tavener Non-Traditional Scholarship Program and had the privilege of serving for many years on its selection committee. As they were avid travelers, Jean and Woody experienced many adventures such as riding an elephant in Thailand, driving a van along the tulip fields in Holland, parasailing in Nassau, navigating a boat through the locks on French rivers, exploring Paraguay, Bolivia and Mexico with friends on local buses and pickup trucks, and flying to Alaska seated beside the boom operator as jets were refueled in flight.
Summers were spent at Toddy Pond in East Orland, a cherished place that has been in her family for over 65 years. Her favorite memories include spending time there with her two grandsons in their early years. She was never happier than being at Toddy entertaining her friends and families, their children, and in later years, their children’s children. Jean was generous with her time, her energy, and her hospitality. Her wit, her grace, and sense of humor made her a charming hostess in a role which she enjoyed so very much.
She was very fortunate to have a wide circle of friends in her life. In the last several months, a devoted group of them organized a weekly “Dominoes and Lunch Group” in order to spend a delightful morning with her in fun and laughter, sharing current news and happy memories, several fierce rounds of Dominoes, and ending with a delicious lunch. She looked forward to this gathering each week, and was so grateful for the joy that these good friends brought to her.
The Carville family expresses their sincere thanks and appreciation to New Hope Hospice for the loyal and loving care that was given Jean during her illness. Special thanks to Stacy, Debbie, Mary, Pat E., Pat S., Christi, Christine, Ashley and Felicia for their support and concern.
Jean is survived by her husband, Linwood Carville of Orono; her daughter, Deborah Carville-Welton of South Boston, MA, her son, Douglas Carville and his wife, Karen of Hudson, NH; two grandsons, Christopher Carville and his wife, Brittany of Dover, NH, Brian Carville of Portland and his companion, Eden Cianciolo; her sister, Norma Patterson of Englewood, FL; her brother, Robert Grindle of Clarkes Green, PA; and several beloved nieces, nephews and cousins.
A Celebration of Life will be held 1 p.m. Friday, July 18, 2014 at the Church of Universal Fellowship, 82 Main St., Orono. The family invites relatives and friends to share conversation and refreshments at the church fellowship hall, following the service. Those who wish to remember Jean in a special way may make gifts in her memory to The Don Taverner Non-Traditional Student Scholarship Fund, 2 Alumni Place, Orono, ME 04469 or to the Orono Health Association, P.O. Box 25, Orono, ME 04473. Condolences to the family may be expressed at www.BrookingsSmith.com.