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Jean Traquair Dellert
1919 - 2018
GARDINER - Jean Dellert passed peacefully Friday, March 16, 2018, after a very brief illness. She had lived in Gardiner since 1954, and lived alone in her own house there from 1994 until she was 97.
She was born May 3, 1919, in Melrose, Mass., a suburb of Boston, to Jean Guthrie of Glasgow, Scotland, and Walter Traquair of Edinburgh, Scotland. Her parents emigrated separately into the United States around 1915, coming through Ellis Island. They met and married afterwards.
Jean attended public schools in Melrose, was an active Girl Scout and spent summers in Oak Bluffs, Martha's Vineyard, Mass., with her family, coming by train from Boston and then the ferry to the Vineyard. Neither her father nor her mother drove and they never owned a car.
She commuted on public transportation to Boston University where she received her B.A. in liberal arts in 1941. After graduation she worked for the Arc Wright Corporation, a textile firm, in their personnel department, relocating from Brooklyn, N.Y., to Fall River, Mass., in 1942. There she met and married W. David Dellert (1909-1994) of Pittsfield, a YMCA administrator and a social worker. During the war while they were stationed in Phoenix, Ariz., she had her first child, Annie (Lois) Dellert Raskin. Two more children were born in Connecticut, William III and Peter, before the family moved to Gardiner in 1954.
She taught girls swimming at the Augusta YMCA for many years and would be reminded and thanked years later when meeting women whom she had instructed.
Summers, David ran the State YMCA Camp of Maine in Winthrop and Jean took many jobs there, including director of the waterfront and director of the crafts program, besides tireless hours of volunteer work. Around 1974, David retired and they began traveling to see sights and friends in England, Scotland, Europe and especially Switzerland. Jean kept up contacts and correspondence with many of the men David had hired to work at the summer camp from both here and abroad. Still active, in the 1980s they spent summers working at Camp Forest Acres in Fryeburg, where Jean had many jobs including driving a school bus for the campers.
Jean was elected to the Maine State Legislature representing the Gardiner District for the 112th and 113th sessions in the late 1980s. She then went on to become a city councilor in Gardiner for many years until she was 89.
She was very active in the Boys and Girls Clubs of Kennebec Valley (formerly of Greater Gardiner) since its inception and was on the board until recently. She believed in educating and training children from the youngest age and befriended many of the local children in her neighborhood well after her own children had left home. Some of her dearest friends in her later years were teenagers whom she mentored into college and beyond. She will be loved and missed by them as well as her family and community members.
She is survived by three children and their families: Annie Raskin of North Bennington and Shelburne, Vt.; William Dellert III of Augusta; and Peter Dellert of Holyoke, Mass.; one grandchild, Laura Raskin, of Brooklyn, N.Y.; as well as nieces and nephews: Kevin Blanchard of Ashfield, Mass.; Heather Blanchard Tower of Northfield, Mass.; Virginia Traquair Vitones of Tenants Harbor; Russel Traquair of Boothbay; Peggy Traquair Carlson of Shirley, Mass.; and Glenn Traquair of Newmarket, N.H.
A memorial service is planned for the future.
In lieu of flowers or gifts,
contributions would be gratefully accepted in her name to
the new building fund of the
Boys and Girls Clubs
of Kennebec Valley