Jean Louise Inman (Bennett) Smith

NORWAY – Jean Louise Inman (Bennett) Smith, 96, passed away peacefully on the morning of May 27, 2019, at Norway Center for Health and Rehabilitation, where she had lived for the past six months. Jean wanted to be with her beloved husband, Bill, where “it would be spring forever,” and now they walk again side by side, so happy to be reunited.

Jean was born July 24, 1922 to Edgar and Annie (Wardell) Inman in Bethel. She was an only child until she was 15 when her brother, Russell Nutting was born. Jean went to Gould Academy, as “a town kid,” discovering a real passion for the written word. Jean was taught to play piano at a young age by her mother, Annie, but also played “by ear” and was very adept at picking up any tune. She was an accomplished musician, playing both piano and accordion, and occasionally played in a traveling dance band. In her later years, she started playing the classics in earnest, but always returned to the favorites of her youth, “Up a Lazy River” and “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot,” to name a few.

Jean met and married Eugene “Bill” Smith in 1946. Jean and Bill proceeded to have a large family together, and run their own antique business, “Pigeon Hill Antiques” for many years. As the last child vacated the house in the early 1980s, Jean became interested in sewing and clothes designing again, having sewn all of her kids’ clothing for decades. She worked for and collaborated with several different local artists, ultimately working for Maralyce Ferree outerwear for nearly 20 years, and even appearing on an episode of “Made in Maine” with her husband in the 1990s.

Jean was an avid reader and devoured books by the dozen. It was tough keeping up with her reading schedule and making sure she always had plenty of new books on hand. Jean also loved doing the New York Times crossword puzzles, in ink, with her favorite giant dictionary in her lap.

Jean was predeceased by her husband, Bill, in 2005. She was also predeceased by three of her children, Richard, Diana, and Glenn.

Jean is survived by her remaining six children: Michael Smith of Norway, Brian Smith of Lewiston, Kerry Brine of Lewiston, Becky Smith of Litchfield, Lisa Smith of Portland, and Toni Lorom and her husband, Craig, of Boothbay. Jean is also survived by her brother, Russell Nutting of Limerick; as well as many beloved grandchildren; great-grandchildren; nieces and nephews.

An informal memorial service will be held at Chandler Funeral Home, 45 Main Street, South Paris, on Saturday, June 15, from 1-3 p.m. All are welcome to come celebrate Jean’s life.

Condolences and tributes may be shared with Jean’s family and friends at www.chandlerfunerals.com.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the

Responsible Pet Care

P.O. Box 82

Norway, ME 04268


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