Jean (Patton) Cole

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Jean Patton Cole, 86
BRUNSWICK - Jean Patton Cole, 86, of Brunswick, passed away peacefully in her home on May 9, 2018. surrounded by family.
Jean was born in Hollsopple (really!), Pennsylvania to Jack and Alice Gurley in 1931. She attended Syracuse University and became a medical secretary. While working at the Mary Imogene Bassett Hospital in Cooperstown, NY, she met her first husband, pediatrician Dr. Charles H. Patton. In 1956, the two settled their family in Brunswick, Maine, where Dr. Patton, along with several colleagues, founded the Merrymeeting Medical Group. Jean and Charlie had four children together before Charlie died in 1963.
Jean subsequently married journalist/author/conservationist John N. Cole.
Over the next decades Jean served variously as the commissioner of the John's Point Volleyball Association, the executive secretary of the Charles Vanorski Recalcitrant Society and the Senior Vice President of John's Non-Company. She also mastered 9-wicket croquet, and was, for a time, the Maine State Champion in singles-Claremont Rules. Jean was also a surrogate mother for multiple cats and assorted teenagers, as well as a willing listener and confidante to her numerous good friends.
Jean was an avid reader and she authored several books, including biographies of actor Gary Merrill and painter Stephen Etnier. She was also transcriber and chief proof reader for John Cole's books. For a time, Jean provided transcripts to the CIA (really!).
With her keen fashion sense, Jean also helped outfit generations of midcoast women with the perfect ensemble, working locally at the Casco Bay Country Store, Coldwater Creek and TJ Maxx.
In the 90's Jean and John lived in Key West, FL, where Jean served as the proprietor of the Key West Angler's Club, a bed and breakfast establishment that showcased her culinary talents and her social graces.
A visit with Jean was always much anticipated. Her warmth, presence, and engaging conversation were as much enjoyed by her friends and family as were the excellent, sumptuous meals she prepared.
Jean was a consummate gardener. Both vegetables and flowers flourished under her care, and she had no patience for weeds. Whether it was in her own garden or a random flower pot she happened upon, no weed was exempt. Also a lover of stone, Jean was an inveterate rock wall builder and took delight in collecting the perfect flat rock to create a peaceful perch from which to enjoy the bloom.
Loved by all, only one thing feared her presence - squirrels on her bird feeders.
Jean, we will remember your grace, warmth, intellect, and beauty. You will always be with us.
Jean is survived by her brother Bob Gurley and wife Virginia of Prattsville, NY, sons Chris Patton and wife Ann McCartan of Holliston, MA, Bob Patton and wife Kim Block of Falmouth, ME, Sam Patton and wife Amber Goolbis of Madbury, NH, daughter Tracy Longo and husband Vince of Cohasset, MA, stepson Marshall Cole of Freeport, ME and stepdaughter Darrah Cole and partner Jill Ruge of Rockport, MA. Jean was a loving grandmother to Ben and Emmet Patton, Henry Cole, Miles and Molly Patton, Marina and Christopher Longo, and Quinlan Patton.
After cremation, visiting hours will be at Brackett Funeral Home in Brunswick on Sat. May 19th, 3-6pm. A private burial will be held at a later date.

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Funeral Home
Brackett Funeral Home
29 Federal St
Brunswick, ME 04011
(207) 725-5511
Published in Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram on May 11, 2018
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