PORTLAND — Jean Taylor Cardwell Anton, 94, of Greenwood, died Thursday, Nov. 30, in Portland, after a brief illness.
Jean was born July 18, 1923, in Lynchburg, Va., the eldest child of Bennett Cardwell and Olive Taylor Cardwell. She graduated from Randolph Macon Women’s College where she excelled in mathematics. After graduation, she supported the war effort by using her skills to test airplane wings in wind tunnels for the United States Air Force.
While attending a dance, she met Capt. Alexander Anton, a dentist serving In the U.S. Army. Jean and Alexander married in 1944 and spent time in Tacoma, Wash., before moving to Biddeford and then to Cape Elizabeth in 1949, where Jean raised her four children.
Jean returned to the workforce in 1972 as manager of the Mt. Abram Ski Area in Locke Mills, with her longtime partner, Donald Cross.
Jean was a gracious, adventurous, upbeat woman who always greeted everyone with a warm smile. An accomplished artist at heart, she showcased her work at the first WCSH-TV Sidewalk Art Festival in Portland in 1965. Her paintings reflected the beauty of everything she saw in all of nature. In addition to her exceptional talent as an artist, she had a passion for anything that grew from God’s Earth. When driving with Jean, she might surprise you by suddenly stopping, wading through the brush and clipping a bit of flora she found unusual or attractive. To her last days, Jean loved working in her greenhouse, overseeing her woodlot, pampering her flowers and caring for her beloved pets.
Despite her many years in Maine, Jean was always extremely proud of being a native Virginian and her Southern heritage. She spoke often and with great fondness of her days growing up on what was then a dirt road on the family farm in rural Virginia surrounded by many aunts, uncles, cousins and siblings. It was a simpler life in a simpler time which she never forgot.
Jean is survived by brothers Samuel Cardwell and William Cardwell and their families in Lynchburg, Va.; daughter, Constance Anton Price and her husband, Greg of Emmitsburg, Md.; son, Eric Anton and his wife, Elizabeth of Falmouth; grandchildren, Alexandra Barker, Pamela Shockey, Eric T. Anton and Marilyn L. Anton; six great-grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews.
Jean was predeceased by her brother, Bennett B. Cardwell; daughter, Stephanie Anton; daughter, Andrea Anton; and granddaughter, Olivia Barker.
Jean was able to live independently in the comfort of her home due to the support and love of her family, friends, neighbors and caregivers. Her children, Connie and Eric, thank each of you for your unyielding support and caring of this wonderful and talented lady. We will miss her greatly.
Jean C. Anton