With profound sadness, we announce the passing of Jeanne Heyl Hovance, loving wife, mother, grandmother, and friend. She died in Camden on Aug. 19, 2020, at the age of 77.
Jeanne was born and raised in Green Village, N.J. The second of Roberta and Arthur Heyl’s three children, she grew up working in the family business, Heyl Roses, where she developed a lifelong love of flowers and a tenacious work ethic. She was educated at Newark State Teachers College, where she met the love of her life, Joseph Hovance, whom she married in 1968. She worked as a grade school teacher before becoming the proud mother of three children.
Jeanne and Joe moved to Maine in 1984 and ran the Brannon Bunker Inn for 30 years. There, she shared her legendary blueberry muffins and love of Maine’s natural beauty with thousands of guests. She returned to teaching in 2017 and worked in the Special Education Department at Wiscasset Middle High School.
She accepted and loved people as they were, and was always the first to offer help and the last to leave a party. She loved the ocean, lobster rolls, and polo shirts with a popped collar. She was an avid baker, knitter, Halloween costume–maker, and sock-hopper.
She was sweet, patient, and the family’s secret weapon during Trivial Pursuit games. She hated peas with an intense rancor; was suspicious of meatballs (they might contain raisins); and when nervous, she had an endearing, high-pitched giggle. She loved holidays. She would dye lemonade green for St. Patrick’s Day and cut peanut butter sandwiches into hearts for Valentine’s Day, and she made, at minimum, a dozen kinds of cookies for Christmas.
She adored Cary Grant-era movies, vanilla ice cream, and long drives on the coast or in the forest. She had a huge, generous heart and loved nothing more than spending time with family and friends. She will be very missed by many.
Jeanne is survived by her husband, Joe; her brother, Art Heyl, and his wife Val; her sister, Mary Gordon; her three children and their partners, Michael Hovance and Jessica Plotin, Jemma Hovance and Anne Russell, and James and Tracy Hovance; grandchildren, Sophie, Maddie, Ari, Calvin, William, and Heidi; and her many nephews, nieces, cousins, and friends, whom she loved deeply.
She was preceded in death by her parents and a grandson, Henry.
A memorial service will be planned when travel and gathering restrictions due to COVID-19 allow for a celebration of Jeanne’s life.
Should friends desire, the family suggests contributions be made to the Ovarian Cancer Research Alliance, 14 Pennsylvania Plaza, Suite 2110, New York, NY 10122.
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 her memorial page at stronghancock.com.