Portland-Marilyn Eliza (Lincoln) Spencer died on November 5th 2019 at age 90 surrounded by the love of her children. Born on March 1, 1929 to Mary and Earl Lincoln of Dexter Maine, she was a graduate of both Dexter H.S. and the Sister’s Hospital School of Nursing in Waterville, ME. Marilyn devoted her life to nurturing the people and natural world around her. Married to Walter B. Spencer Jr. in 1952, together they built a family with four children, Walter B. Spencer III of Portland ME., Mary L. Spencer of South Portland ME., Sarah S. Strickland (Robert) of Middlefield CT., and Katherine M. Donovan (Todd) of Franklin, MA. She is predeceased by her husband and survived by her 4 children and 3 grandchildren; Imogene, August and Cooper Donovan.
Marilyn will be remembered fondly by many beyond her family. A cornerstone member of the Loomis Chaffee School (Windsor, CT) community for 25 years, Marilyn was known for her strong voice and thoughtful ear. A founding member of ISHA (the Independent School Health Association) during her tenure as Director of the Health Center at LC, she was an untiring advocate for the importance of supporting both physical and mental health for high school students. Marilyn not only raised the stature of the Health Center head to a faculty position but was integral to making mental health education part of the total health conversation at LC and beyond.
If caring for others was her passion, caring for her garden was her therapy. The daughter of florists, Marilyn’s green thumb was evident everywhere she went. Pansies, roses, daffodils, delphinium; her garden was a cascade of blossoms and color. Indoors there were always fresh flowers and somehow, she could transform even a couple blossoms into an artful arrangement. As if Mother Nature herself was grateful, each spring crocus would poke up through the snow and bloom on her birthday at every residence we can remember! In retirement Marilyn found time to nurture her love of art through generously volunteering her time at the Portland Museum of Art and spending more time on her own painting. Marilyn devoted skill and energy to raise thousands of dollars for the restoration of the historic McLellan House in Portland through cookbook sales. A longtime member of the Longfellow Garden Club she contributed to Portland beautification through donation of plants and pies to the Annual LGC sale.
Marilyn and Walter’s children are forever grateful to the loving staff of the Barron Center in Portland who have respectfully and gently partnered with our family to care for our parents over the past years. We encourage those who wish to donate to consider the Barron Center Patient Activity Fund (1145 Brighton Ave, Portland, ME 04102) or a charity of your liking. The family will hold a private internment at the Old West Cemetery in Manchester, CT.
To send flowers to Marilyn's family, please visit our floral section.