Gail O. Preston

Posted Jan. 21, 2013, at 7:50 p.m.

MOUNT DESERT and BAR HARBOR – Gail Opal (Van Dyne) Preston, 79, died Jan. 21, 2013, at Collier’s Rehabilitation and Living Center, Ellsworth. She was born Aug. 27, 1933, to Arthur Vanderbilt and Opal May (Rowell) Van Dyne.

She was the second eldest of five children and graduated from Milo High School in 1952. That same year, Gail came to Mount Desert Island for a summer job at Somes House, Somesville. Little did she know that the journey would end 61 years later after a full life, a family and many lasting friendships. It was these friendships that provided her with the majority of her comfort in the last two years of her life. She wanted to say thank you for this. The cards, the visits and all the little things are what meant the most in the end. Gail worked until retirement at Jackson Laboratory and then part-time at Malvern Belmont Residence, Bar Harbor, where she lived for the last years of her life. She held her friends here in special regard.

She is survived by her three children, Sandy Willmott and husband, Dan, of Lincoln, England, Mark Preston and wife, Andrea, of Mount Holly, N.J., and Wendy Preston-Ward and husband, Ken, of Lamoine. She was a grandmother of two, Alexander Willmott of Bedford, England, and Élan Ward of Wilmington, N.C. She was also the proud great-grandmother of Roksana and Felix Willmott. Gail also leaves behind two sisters-in-law, Lee Van Dyne of Eddington and Susan Van Dyne of Henderson, Nev.; as well as several nieces and nephews. Gail was predeceased by both parents; sister, Ann Henderson; and three brothers, Roland, Tom and Arnold Van Dyne.

A memorial service will be held 10 a.m. Monday, Jan. 28, at Jordan-Fernald, 1139 Main St., Mount Desert, with the Rev. Victor Stanley officiating. Gail was a lifelong member of Mount Desert Woman’s Literary Club and contributions in her memory may be made to the club at P.O. Box 99, Mount Desert, ME 04660. Condolences may be expressed at www.jordanfernald.com.

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