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Anita (Cooper) Stickney

1925 - 2016 Obituary Condolences
Anita (Cooper) Stickney Obituary

YARMOUTH - Anita Cooper Stickney died peacefully at age 90 on June 6, 2016, at Bay Square in Yarmouth.

Born in Rome, Ga., in 1925 to Andrew Allgood Cooper and Anita Stetson Cooper, she had lived in Maine since marrying her spouse of 63 years, Charles E. ("Stick") Stickney Jr., in 1948.

In 1950, she and Stick bought Cutter House, the Yarmouth home that they loved and would live in for the next 61 years. There, they raised Andy, Anne, Alice and Beth, and pursued many passions, including keeping horses to ride and drive, gardening, clambakes, and hosting their children's friends, local friends and neighbors, and friends and family from across the country and around the world.

Anita was a graduate of The Master's School in Dobbs Ferry, N.Y., and Vassar College. In 1975, Anita was one of three women of 104 business leaders in the first graduating class of the Small Company (now the "Owner/President") Management Program at Harvard Business School.

In 1962, Anita became president of Deering Ice Cream Shops, Inc., which grew to include 28 stores and nearly 500 employees in Maine, New Hampshire and northern Massachusetts during her 25 years at the helm. She was also a lifelong volunteer, and served numerous nonprofit, business, and civic entities, including as a corporator of Maine Medical Center, a board member or trustee of Northeast Hearing and Speech Center, Boys and Girls Clubs of Southern Maine, Portland Symphony Orchestra, Portland Museum of Art, the Maine State Chamber of Commerce, Depositor's Trust (now Key Bank), North Yarmouth Academy, Westbrook College (now UNE), Husson College and Thomas College, among many others.

She was on the Yarmouth Planning Board, was appointed to the Maine Advisory Committee of the U.S. Commission for Civil Rights, and served several terms on FAME, the Finance Authority of Maine. As a feminist who inspired her children to follow in her footsteps, Anita was a founding board member of the Maternal Health Clinic of Greater Portland, which evolved into Planned Parenthood. Well aware of the challenges faced by women in business, she was a founding member of the Committee of 200, of the Maine Chapter of the International Women's Forum, and of the Maine Women's Forum, organizations supporting female business leaders and entrepreneurs.

In recognition of her civic and professional contributions to Maine, Anita received several honorary degrees and awards, including the Deborah Morton Award from Westbrook College (UNE).

Despite the Alzheimer's disease that diminished her capacity over the past decade, Anita will always be remembered by her family for her independent and pioneering spirit, her Southern hospitality, her passion for fairness, education, music, art, horses and travel, her integrity, her commitment to "giving back" and philanthropy, her constant "glass is half-full" attitude, and her love for her family and friends. Even when she no longer recognized them, she greeted visitors with the refrain that they made her day, and repeatedly told those caring for her how good they were to her and how lucky she was to have them.

Anita was predeceased by her husband Stick, as well as by her parents, her sisters Nancy Berry and Alice (Bo) Griffin and their spouses, and her grandson Peter Stickney. She is survived by her four children and their spouses, seven grandchildren, three great-grandchildren, her sisters-in-law Virginia (Ginny) Cooper, Lorraine Stickney, Phyllis Stickney, and Hortense (Horty) Warren; and numerous nieces and nephews and their families.

Anita's family offers their heartfelt thanks to all those who were so gentle and caring during her last years, especially the staff at Bay Square's Harbor Unit, and also her good friend Linda Sanders of Hair Essentials, who always accomplished "Mission Impossible."

A memorial service will take place at St. Bartholomew's Episcopal Church in Yarmouth on June 29, 2016, at 3 p.m. Online condolences can be given to the family by visiting: www.lindquistfuneralhome.com

Because Anita was capable of being transported by a live symphony long after Alzheimer's had robbed her attention span for anything else, and because it was her longest enduring outside interest, in lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to:
Portland Symphony Orchestra
50 Monument Square, 2nd Floor
Portland, ME 04101

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Published in Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram on June 9, 2016
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