DEER ISLE — Janet Gordon Rosati, aged 79, passed away suddenly on April 5, 2017, at Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor. She was predeceased by her husband of 37 years, Albert Rosati; parents, David and Helen Gordon, and half-brother Clark Gordon.
Jan grew up in Wilbraham Mass., and attended the MacDuffie School, Wheaton College and American International College (AIC). At the age of 40, she completed her bachelor’s in education at AIC. She loved to learn new things. Teaching was always an important part of her life. She taught children about art, nature and compassion for wildlife. She had a penchant for teaching “outside of the classroom,” to family, friends, acquaintances or the occasional passer-by.
She spent summers in Maine as a child with her parents, David and Helen Gordon. In 1991, she and Al moved to Deer Isle. She enjoyed spending time with friends and family, and participated in the community as a member of churches and clubs in Wilbraham, Springfield and Holyoke Mass., Panama City Beach Fla., as well as in Deer Isle and Ellsworth. She had many hobbies and interests, and immersed herself in her avocations. Jan loved a good bargain, and she encouraged us all to repurpose or up-cycle. She had a lifelong interest in the outdoors: gardening, observing nature and fishing. She made filleting fish into an art, taught to her by her father and passed down to her children. She loved to travel, to square dance, and loved living by the ocean in the house her parents built, surrounded by mementos and family heirlooms, kids’ art, and arts and crafts projects and collections. She was “famous” for her spiced tomato jelly, watermelon pickle, and Concord grape jelly. She used to say that she inherited a love of laughter, storytelling and practical joking from her father.
Jan had an artist’s eye in all she did. She had a gift for composition and color, especially still-lifes, nature, or coastal landscapes. She made beautiful woven baskets and was a master quilter; she gifted heirlooms to the family that we will cherish. The quilt of which she was proudest was created in 1990: a free-hand art work called “The Oregon Trail,” which won first prize at a regional juried quilting exhibition. An avid collector of family memorabilia, she was passionate about continuing and honoring family traditions, including annual summer trips to a family camp in South Hero, Vt. She also enjoyed the family sports team rivalry: she, an avid Red Sox fan; Al, an avid Yankees fan. She supported causes such as aid to war veterans and their families, and felt it was important to welcome the troops’ return. Generous, kind, opinionated, passionate, outgoing, outspoken, creative, fearless, adventurous, loving, strong, spiritual, spirited…a force to be reckoned with. Jan lived life on her own terms; she was one of a kind. She will be dearly missed by her extensive family and friends.
She is survived by daughter Martha Barnes (Darren), daughter Bonnie Gordon (Tim), son Tom Wolcott (Sue), daughter Mary Wolcott and first husband George Wolcott; nephew Bruce Gordon and niece Laurie Stromberg; grandchildren Nicole, Jessica, Jordan, Katlyn, Quinn and many beloved friends and neighbors. A service in celebration of Janet’s life will be held at 2 pm April 29 in Wilbraham at Grace Union Church, and in Deer Isle in the summer of 2017 when we will honor her wish for her ashes.