Frederick G. Taintor
1923 – 2009

SCARBOROUGH — Frederick G. Taintor, 86, died peacefully on Aug. 21, at the Holbrook Health Center, surrounded by his loving family.

Fred was born in Cambridge, Mass., March 14, 1923, the son of Charles Wilson Taintor II and Elizabeth (Taber) Taintor. He grew up in college towns around the country where his father taught law, graduating from high school in Oxford, Miss., in 1941. He enrolled as an undergraduate at Yale University in the fall of that year, but in January 1942, a month after Pearl Harbor, he left college to enlist in the army. He was commissioned as a second lieutenant in anti-aircraft artillery and served as a training officer in Panama and Puerto Rico. After the war, he returned to Yale and graduated in 1948 with a bachelor of arts degree. From 1948 through 1951, he continued his education at Yale University Law School, supporting himself by teaching French language and literature at Junior College of Commerce (now Quinnipiac College) in New Haven, Conn.

While at Yale Law, he met Jane Skelton, one of the few women of her generation to attend law school and they began a lifelong romance. He and Jane were married on July 2, 1951, moved to Lewiston and started a family. He joined Jane’s father and grandfather in the firm of Skelton and Mahon (now Skelton, Taintor and Abbott). He practiced with the firm, first in Lewiston and later in Auburn, from 1951 until his retirement in 1989.

Throughout his four decades in Lewiston-Auburn, he was a prominent figure in the community. He served as a trustee, director, or officer of corporations and civic organizations too numerous to list. He was long-time counsel to Bates College and Central Maine Medical Center and both institutions were shaped by his wisdom, vision and good counsel over more than 30 years.

A “lawyer’s lawyer” and a man of unimpeachable integrity, he took pride in his service as a trusted advisor to his many clients.  He valued his relationships with business people, educators and people from all walks of life. He was esteemed as a tireless advocate and tenacious negotiator, who never allowed the adversarial process to erode his fundamental decency, civility and good humor.

He was truly a man of old-fashioned values. He never spoke ill of others or to others and was never even heard to raise his voice. He thought and spoke with precision and he had the highest regard for those who did the same. Never loud or expressive, he nonetheless had a way of unmistakably conveying admiration and affection for family and friends. He was generous of spirit, someone who could be counted on for quiet strength and unshakable support in times of adversity.

Even above his love of practicing law, he cherished spending time with his family. He served as pack leader in the Cub Scouts and as commodore of the Taylor Pond Yacht Club and traveled with his family on memorable trips to Boston, Florida, and the Caribbean. He also loved working with his hands, whether building sailboats and kayaks for his children, baking his famous breads and rolls for family dinners, or turning hundreds of custom wooden bowls on his lathe. In retirement, he and Jane lived in Scarborough and wintered in North Redington Beach, Fla., and enjoyed the many friendships they made in both places.

Heis survived by his devoted wife of 58 years, Jane; their children, Frederick S. (Rick) Taintor and his wife, Sheila, of Newburyport, Mass., Anne Taintor and her husband, Nathan Janoff, of Youngsville, N.M., 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; and five great-grandchildren; and his sister, Julia (Blackmer) Gnoza.

He was predeceased by his brother, Charles Wilson Taintor III.

He is greatly loved and will be missed by his family and friends. His children will always fondly remember his love of puns and his dry wit. As he himself would have said, “it was a great life… what there was of it.”

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