HAMPDEN – Jane Elizabeth (Hinckley) Hanson was born in Bangor on June 26, 1928. She died 90 years later on December 26, 2018 - by her choice, at her home in Hampden. She was physically diminutive, but had a towering will. Her mastery of difficult circumstances is a source of pride for her children, who grieve all the more, remembering her courage.
Jane’s mother was Julia Harmon Hinckley, whose parents came from Standish. Her father, William Treworgy Hinckley, was a young man when he moved from Blue Hill to Bangor, after the death of his father. The Hinckley family lived on Chapin Park in Bangor East when Jane was growing up.
Jane graduated from Bangor High School, where she was a cheerleader. She met her husband Robert Hallett Hanson, also a Bangor native, at the University of Maine. Rob had resumed his education following his U.S. Air Force service in the Philippines during World War Two. After graduation from the University, Jane and Rob married at Saint John’s Episcopal Church in Bangor on February 2, 1952. They parted only fourteen years later, when Rob died unexpectedly on September 5, 1966.
Widowed at 38 years of age, Jane Hanson assumed the obligations of a single mother in the man’s world of 1966. She raised her three children in the family home in Hampden Highlands, which she and her husband acquired in 1954. Following Rob’s death, Jane and her children received much encouragement and support from Jane’s friends, among them Etta Deighan, Jean Heath, Louise Chiaparis, Joan Wiseman, Janet Bowler, and Judy Beebe. Jane also enjoyed years of membership in Bangor’s Shakespeare Club. There were many others who provided sustaining friendship, and we are all grateful to have shared Jane’s life with them.
Every summer during their marriage, except the final summer of 1966, Rob and Jane packed up the station wagon and moved to South Addison, renting a cottage from Stanley and Mary Looke. Rob worked peddling dry goods from Gouldsboro to Lubec during those summers. More than sixty years after that first Addison summer, the Lookes and the Hansons continue their friendship. Jane maintained a special place in her heart for South Addison, even in the final years when she was no longer able to visit.
Before she had children, Jane was a social worker in Bangor. She later succeeded her husband in the family business, Hanson’s Ski Shop in Brewer, where she worked for nearly twenty years. After the store’s closure, she operated a bed and breakfast invitingly named Bleak House. For a number of years she was on the board of directors of Visiting Homemakers, and was later a member of the board of Bangor Area Visiting Nurses. Jane was a hospice volunteer and also volunteered at Eastern Maine Medical Center and the Maine Veterans’ Homes in Bangor.
Jane is survived by her son Willam H. Hanson and his wife Margaret Wilbur Hanson of Hampden, daughter Rachel H. Rawcliffe and her husband Jeffrey A. Rawcliffe of Hampden, and son Walter King Hanson II of Whitefield, whose wife Susan Small Hanson passed away on March 18, 2012. Her four grandchildren are Kay G. Hanson of Portland, Katherine Jane Worster of Hampden, Robert C. Rawcliffe of Hampden, and Simon W. Hanson of Southwest Harbor. Jane had four great granddaughters, Addisan Jane Worster, Elise Catherine Worster, Quinn Rachel Worster, and Lilly Nicole Rawcliffe. She is also survived by several Bamford, Hanson and Leblanc nieces and nephews.
The family acknowledges granddaughter Katherine Worster’s skillful cooperation with Beacon Hospice nurses and staff during Jane’s final days. The attentions of others, particularly those of Jane’s daughter Rachel and the rest of the family, transformed a very difficult Christmas into a time to be grateful for family solidarity. Jane’s family is honored by the many expressions of sympathy they have received.
A memorial gathering will be held 1 to 3pm Saturday, January 12, 2019 at the Hampden Gilpatrick Chapel of Brookings-Smith, 45 Western Ave, Hampden. Those who wish to remember Jane in a special way may make gifts in her memory to the Bangor Public Library, 145 Harlow Street, Bangor, ME 04401. Condolences to the family may be expressed at BrookingsSmith.com.