Jean Patricia “Pat” Neely, of Bristol, passed away on her 92nd birthday, Sept. 11, 2020, surrounded by her family, after a bout with cancer. Pat was born in Albany, N.Y. in 1928 to Elizabeth Regina (née Paland) and Thomas Henry Neely. Raised primarily in Albany and Long Island, N.Y., she also lived for a year in 1942 in Florida at the beginning of World War II, where her father was stationed as harbor master for the Port of Miami before he was deployed to the Pacific theater with the Navy.
Pat graduated from Keuka College in New York in 1950 with a degree in sociology and English. She married Terry Maloney in 1951 and had three children. A strong advocate for children and creative education, Pat went on to earn a master’s degree in education and a certificate of advanced studies in reading from Syracuse University while simultaneously teaching full time. Pat had a satisfying 30-year teaching career.
She lived most of the time in Skaneateles, N.Y., a town she truly loved. She first retired to Cape Cod, then moved to Maine in 1998 to be close to family and with fond memories of visiting Maine as a young child in the 1930s. She first lived in Whitefield and then, at age 76, built a house in Bristol.
Pat was the consummate volunteer in her retirement. Her volunteer work included docent and seabird monitoring for the National Park Service on Cape Cod, voter registration both in Cape Cod and Maine, Chesapeake dog rescue, Damariscotta Mills Fish Ladder, Lincoln County Animal Shelter, and others. She was one of the first docent trainees for the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens.
Pat loved the outdoors and hiked, paddled, and swam, particularly in Maine. She was an enthusiastic member of the local Wednesday Walkers group.
Pat loved animals. In addition to caring for multiple cats and dogs at any given time, and volunteering for various animal organizations, she could be seen dodging cars trying to rescue turtles crossing the road during the egg-laying season and offering to take in any stray animal that happened to come down the pike.
She loved her upbringing, and maintained the optimism and innocence of that time throughout her life. At times her enthusiasm was reminiscent of the Andy Hardy movies of the 1930s, where a community could rally around any issue: “If we perform a musical we’ll raise enough money to save the … (fill in the cause du jour)!” She brought that energy to all of her volunteer endeavors.
Pat also had a wonderful sense of humor. She won a Long Island beauty pageant in 1941 and was crowned Miss Stewart Manor. WWII came along and they never had the Miss Stewart Manor Pageant again, so she liked to point out, laughing, that she was still a reigning beauty queen. Similarly, an early career dream was to be a Rockette. At 5 feet, 2 inches, when asked if she was too short, she would reply, “I’ll be the one on the end.”
Pat’s warmth, optimism, and willingness to help anyone in need will be greatly missed. She was predeceased by her parents, Elizabeth and Thomas Neely; brother, Thomas Charles Neely; husband, Terrence Maloney; daughter, Carol Anne Maloney; and grandson, Benjamin Vincent Koss.
She is survived by her daughter, Kathleen and husband Irwin Koss of Dewitt, N.Y.; son, Christopher Maloney and wife Michele Walsh of Round Pond; grandson, Seth Koss and partner Tina Maroni; and great-grandson, Jacob Koss of Lyncourt, N.Y.
A celebration of Pat’s life will be held both locally and in New York, at a later date.
Arrangements are under the direction and care of the Strong-Hancock Funeral Home, 612 Main St., Damariscotta. Condolences, and messages for her family, may be expressed by visiting stronghancock.com.