SCARBOROUGH — Jane Skelton Taintor, 86, died peacefully Jan. 7, at Holbrook Health Center, surrounded by her loving family.
Jane was born in Boston, Aug. 4, 1926, to Harold and Agnes Skelton and raised in Lewiston. Born with spina bifida, Jane spent much of her youth in hospitals, in braces, casts and wheelchairs. Her doctors predicted that she would no longer be walking by age 9, and that she would be unable to have children. From the beginning, though, Jane decided to embrace, not run from, the challenges she faced.
She graduated from the Convent of the Sacred Heart, Elmhurst in Providence, and attended Manhattanville College, graduating in 1948. Jane then attended Yale Law School, one of the few women of her generation to earn a law degree. There she met Frederick G. Taintor, the love of her life. Jane and Fred were married on July 2, 1951, and they settled in Lewiston, where they raised their family.
Jane was deeply and passionately involved with numerous causes and community associations. She was an organizing member of the Maine Right to Life Committee, which she served as president, executive director, and a board member. She served on the board of the Lewiston-Auburn YMCA, the St. Joseph’s School Board, the Parish Council at St. Joseph’s Parish in Lewiston, and later at St. Maximilian Parish in Scarborough. She was a life member of the Women’s Hospital Association at Central Maine General Hospital.
The center and focus of Jane’s life, though, was her family. She cherished and supported her husband and her children, each in their own way. And her tenderness was matched by her strength and strength of will. She was the consummate caretaker — of her husband, her children, her parents, and her extended family.
Jane was a woman of deep faith, committed to the Catholic Church. Her religious beliefs were reflected both in her love of nature — she was a devoted gardener and bird-watcher — and in her celebration of humanity. She was a tireless advocate and supporter of the disabled, able to see the value of human life in all its forms at a time when few others were as open-minded.
These qualities made Jane loved by all who knew her. She was known for her beaming smile, welcoming manner and wonderful sense of humor. Jane loved jokes, the cornier the better, and laughed just as hard each time she heard the same joke. Her children grew used to hearing strangers say how much they admired her for the joy and serenity she brought with her wherever she went.
Jane is survived and will be greatly missed by her children, Frederick S. “Rick” Taintor and his wife, Sheila, of Newburyport, Mass., Anne Taintor and her husband, Nathan Janoff, of Portland, Elizabeth “Liz” Taintor of Steamboat Springs, Colo., Christopher Taintor and his wife, Colleen, of Cape Elizabeth and Ellen Taintor and Duke Levine, of Malden, Mass.; seven grandchildren, Nathaniel, James and Margaret Taintor, Hannah Lemieux and Michael, Emily and Brian Taintor; five great-grandchildren; and her sister, Mary L. Ames.
She was predeceased by her beloved husband, Fred in 2009; and her brothers, William B. Skelton II and Harold S. Skelton.
Online condolences may be expressed to the family at www.ctcrawford.com.