Jean Skellchock passed away suddenly in her cherished summer spot, Bayside, Maine on Monday, July 5, 2021. She is survived by her loving husband of 41 years, Leo H. Skellchock and her four daughters, Patricia (Stephen) Wright of Westwood, MA; Jackie (James) Facey of East Granby, CT; Judy (George) Metcalf of Bath, ME; and Susan (Richard Schwermer) Sheehan of Salt Lake City, UT.
Born in London, England to Amelia and Leonard Norman Joyce, she had two older siblings, Norman (Frances) Joyce and Gertrude (William) Arckless, each of whom predeceased her. Her most cherished childhood memories grew out of the Blitz on London during World War II. She was one of thousands of children evacuated to the English countryside to protect them from the bombs. Only five or six years old, she was sent to Jordans, a Quaker Home for Girls in Buckinghamshire. There she developed her deep love for gardening and appreciation for nature. Ever since, she was never happier than when her hands were in some good growing soil, coaxing beauty forward.
At the end of the war, she and her family settled in Banbury, England. She finished her education there and developed life-long friendships.
Love led her away from this bucolic village to the far shores of the United States. She met and married an American serviceman, James L. Sheehan, while he was stationed in England. They moved to his hometown of Hartford, CT. They raised their four daughters in Hartford and Enfield. The real home they gave their girls was in the village of Bayside, Maine, where they bought a little cottage in 1967. The family has called Bayside home ever since.
When Jean married Leo in 1980, they settled in North Andover, MA and then Windham, NH. Every home she made was marked by her exquisite flower beds and dignified beauty. She transformed everything she touched into something lovely. Her homes were always immaculate but welcoming and warm. She and Leo settled in Exeter, NH at Riverwoods in 2011. They made many friends there.
Jean was a very hard worker. Her professional triumphs came through her sales for World Gift, a national company featuring hand crafted items from around the world. She was a top seller for the company for many years. Jean was feisty, funny and fierce. She was beautiful, with clear blue eyes. She encouraged each of her daughters in their varied ventures.
When Leo retired, Jean and he enjoyed traveling in style. They visited spectacular gardens wherever they went, from New Zealand to Italy to Scotland to British Columbia. Her favorite day trips invariably were those that featured a plant nursery. She brought back inspiration and memories.
She enjoyed fine meals, learning about people, and a good laugh.
She was predeceased by a cherished grandson, Frazier Metcalf. In addition to three great-grandchildren and her daughters, she is survived by seven grandchildren, Ryan (Jenny) Facey, Geoff (Patty) Facey, Emily (Doug Eickman) Wright, Stephen Wright, Annie Metcalf, Joshua (Joemey Ramsay) Schwermer, and Alyson Schwermer, all of whom will remember her with laughter and love.