1944 – 2014

SANTA FE, N.M.— Nancy Jean (Smith) Deane, 69, passed away peacefully on Thursday, June 12, at her home in Santa Fe, N.M., surrounded by family. For 4½ years, she faced cancer with optimism and valiant courage.

She was born on Aug. 24, 1944, to Clement and Mary Ellen (Buck) Smith of Monmouth. After graduating from Monmouth Academy in 1962, she went to the University of Maine, from which she graduated in 1966, with a bachelor’s degree in English.

Over a 20-year period, beginning in 1976, she was employed by the state of Maine in several advocacy positions, including volunteer services coordinator, affirmative action officer, vocational trades instructor and employment opportunities coordinator. In 1997, she received her master’s degree in literacy, with a concentration in English as a second language, from the University of Southern Maine.

She moved to New Mexico in 1998, and taught English language learners at Capital High School in Santa Fe for 13 years.

From a young age, she was an avid reader and developed an enduring passion for writing. Over the years, she composed many poignant poems and short stories. She recently completed a play on Edna St. Vincent Millay’s childhood in Maine. She found great joy in sharing her enthusiasm for literacy with her high school students and finding ways to support their learning, as well as being an advocate on their behalf when needed.

Among her artistic endeavors, were the beautiful quilts, wall hangings and other fiber and fabric creations, which she enjoyed giving as gifts to family and friends. Beloved as a daughter, sister, wife, mother, grandmother, aunt, friend and teacher, Nancy Jean delighted in spending time with family, friends and students. She was spiritually attuned to the beauty of nature, and found much peace and serenity through her gardening and hiking near lakes, forests, mountains, the desert and the ocean. She always held a special place in her heart for Chebeague Island and all the friends she made while working there as a teenager.

Nancy Jean is survived by her husband, Robert Deane, of Santa Fe, N.M.; her son, Anthony Dikeman, of Cornish; her granddaughter, Emma Jean Dikeman, of Crestwood, Ky.; her sister, Carol Lynn Davis, of Chebeague Island; her brothers, David Smith and Jeremiah (Myrna) Smith of Monmouth; several nieces and nephews; and many friends.

She was predeceased by her parents; her stepmother, Louise Otis Smith, of Monmouth; her sister, Linda Smith Dyer, of Winthrop; her son, John James Dikeman, of Scarborough; and her sister-in-law, Mary Gould Smith, of Monmouth.

Nancy Jean, with her vibrancy and zest for life and living, will be missed by all who knew and loved her.

Guest Book