Jane Snitger Patton, 91, of Damariscotta, passed away peacefully Dec. 10, 2020 at Winship Green in Bath. She was born on June 25, 1929, in Rochester, Pa., daughter of William H. Snitger Jr. and Catherine Dunn Snitger of Beaver, Pa. She grew up in Beaver, where she met her future husband, James “Jim” Richardson, also from Beaver, who as a teenager saw her photograph displayed in the window of a local photography studio and vowed that he would marry her.
Jane graduated from Southern Seminary Junior College and attended Penn State University. She and Jim celebrated their marriage on Oct. 6, 1951. They lived in Chicago and Glen Ellyn, Ill., and Mt. Lebanon, Pa., before moving to Houston, Texas in 1968.
In Texas, Jane was hired as the librarian at Addicks Elementary School. During her more than 20 years working there she introduced hundreds of elementary school children to reading and inspired them with a love of books. She was a gifted and hilarious storyteller and assisted by Howie, her cowboy dog puppet, she read and dramatized stories to kids in the lower grades. Years after her retirement she continued to receive mail inquiring about how Howie was doing. And, when her grandkids were born, she delighted in reading to them.
Jane loved the arts. She was a docent at the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, took courses in art history, and, after she moved to Maine in 2000, she began to collect works by Maine artists. She was a patron of the Lincoln Theater, a regular moviegoer, and could sing all the lyrics to Broadway musical shows at the drop of a hat.
In addition to enjoying fine arts, Jane loved the outdoors and was an all-around athlete. As a teen she owned two horses and competed in horse shows; later on she played softball and tennis, and was a water safety instructor for Girl Scouts. In Maine, Jane Pitts introduced her to poke boats and the two would go kayaking and picnicking on rivers and lakes all over Lincoln County. She became a staunch supporter of the Damariscotta River Association (now Coastal Rivers Conservation Trust), and at 88 was still swimming “laps” in Duck Puddle Pond.
Imbued with a sense of adventure throughout her life, Jane traveled abroad to Morocco, Spain, Portugal, Machu Picchu, Turkey, Russia, Ireland, England, Paris, Italy, Puerto Rico, and Mexico. Her playful spirit and love of horses took her to Brunswick every May-June to place dollar bets for herself and her friends on the Triple Crown races. She studied the horses, their trainers and jockeys, and each year claimed some winnings.
More than anything else, Jane loved spending time with her children and their children. She bequeathed to all of them a rich sense of humor infused with a touch of mischievousness and a dash of irreverence.
In addition to her parents, Jane was predeceased by her husband, Jim, in 1992, and her brother, William H. Snitger III (aka Bill Glennon), in 2002.
Jane is survived by five children, Martha Jane (Marcie) of Bridgeport, Conn., James Richardson Patton Jr. (Jim) of Houston, Texas, Amy Catherine Trunnell of Readfield, David Grant Patton of Los Angeles, Calif., and Sarah Patton of Virginia; seven grandsons; and two great-grandchildren.
Those who wish may make donations in her memory to Coastal Rivers Conservation Trust. A memorial is planned by her children for next summer.
Memories or condolences may be shared with the family at directcremationofmaine.com.