GRAY — Janet Burke Thorne, 67, passed away peacefully on Wednesday, Oct. 27, in Gray.
She was born in Portland on April 18, 1943, the daughter of Millicent Sanborn and Joseph Burke. A 1961 graduate of Portland High School, she excelled as both a student and an athlete. She received many awards at Portland High including a Brown Medal and the Maine State Athletic Award, given for the best female athlete in the state which she was the first junior ever to win.
Janet graduated from Gorham State Teachers’ College in 1965.
She had three children with her husband, Walter Thorne. She taught for four years before leaving the profession she loved to devote more time to her children. Janet worked at the ferry terminal in Portland for the U.S. Customs Service and the U.S. Post Office, first as a rural letter carrier and later a clerk. She loved conversing with her many regular postal customers in South Windham and greatly valued their camaraderie. She retired from the post office after 23 years of service.
Janet was an intelligent and compassionate woman who loved children and animals, especially dogs. She was happiest when surrounded by her children and grandchildren at family gatherings. In her spare time, she enjoyed reading, cooking, scrapbooking and quilting. Janet imparted her love of athletics, the outdoors, and history to her children. She was very proud of her Irish heritage and liked to work on her family genealogy with her sister, Linda. Her lively sense of humor and “tourist smile” will be missed by family and friends alike.
Janet is survived by three children, Craig Thorne and wife, Beth, of Standish, Michelle Tucci and husband, Mark, of Casco, and Rae-Ann Griffin and husband, Shawn, of Gray; five grandchildren, Julie Pelletier, Patrick Thorne, Meghan Griffin, and David and Maria Tucci; two sisters, Linda Small and husband, Harry, of Turner, and Mary Kelsey and husband, Greg, of Brandon, Fla.,; her nieces, Jennifer Small and partner, Justin Carver, of Minot, and Jessica Small and partner, Matt Dufault, of Livermore; uncle and aunt, Bill and Gloria Sanborn, of Cumberland; and her dear friends, George, (Aunt) Charlotte, and Barbara.