Jane M.S. Moody, 87: Longtime civic leader, sailor, music-lover helped build community

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FALMOUTH — Jane McLane Smith Moody, 87, died April 24 at her Falmouth home.

Born in New York City on June 6, 1927, she was the daughter of Elinor McLane Bowdoin Smith, of Baltimore, and James Hopkins Smith, of Portland.

Jane spent her early childhood in Paris, France, where she was home-schooled. Following the death of her mother, she returned to Falmouth with her father, brother and sister. She then attended Waynflete School, in Portland, and went on to graduate from Connecticut College in 1949.

After college, she lived for two years in New York City, working for Time and Life magazines as a research editor. She served on the editorial staff of Life’s first book, “Life’s Picture History of World War II,” published in 1951.

In 1952, she married William “Bill” Milliken Moody. Following his tour of duty with the U.S. Navy during the Korean War, the couple raised their family in Falmouth.

As a young woman, Jane sailed competitively, and with her sister as part of her crew, won the Charles Francis Adams Cup, a national women’s sailing championship held at Larchmont Yacht Club in New York. In Maine, Moody loved sailing on Casco Bay with her family and friends, and was a longtime member and supporter of the Portland Yacht Club.

She also was a volunteer and supporter of the Portland Symphony Orchestra, serving as vice president and secretary of its board of trustees, as well as president of the Portland Symphony Women’s Committee. She was a fundraiser and committee member for the renovations of the Merrill Auditorium in Portland, and an editor of the “Portland Symphony Cookbook” in 1974. For her service to the orchestra, she received its Distinguished Service Trustee Award.

Moody also maintained close ties with both Waynflete and Connecticut College. She served as a member of both the Waynflete Board of Trustees and the school’s alumni association, and was a Connecticut College trustee and president of the Connecticut College Club of Maine. For her service, she received awards from both schools.

Lovers of Portland and its history, Moody and her husband were among the founders of Greater Portland Landmarks, a nonprofit organization devoted to preserving Portland’s architectural and cultural heritage. She served as a trustee and helped create several of the group’s publications.

In 1974, she was appointed by Gov. Kenneth Curtis to the Maine State Commission on the Arts and Humanities. She also served as a trustee of the Maine Historical Society, and in 1975 received its Elizabeth Ring Award.

For her dedication to many civic causes, Moody was awarded the 1976 Deborah Morton Award by Westbrook College, now part of the University of New England. 

Moody’s family extends heartfelt thanks to those who provided her with care at the Falmouth House at Ocean View, and to Care Tree and Life Choices.

Moody was predeceased by her husband, in 2010; her son, James McLane Moody; and her sisters, Elinora Bowdoin Bolton and Cecelia Bowdoin Hill Gardner.

She is survived by her son, William Milliken Moody Jr., wife Kimberly and their daughter, Caitlin O’Reilly, of New York City; daughter, Susan Hopkins Moody, husband Marc Weideman and their, daughter Elinor Christine Weideman, of Bozeman, Montana; daughter, Katharine Fairfield Moody and husband Kenneth Ernstoff, of Newington, New Hampshire; and grandsons, Benjamin James Moody and Christopher McLane Moody, of Falmouth.

She is also survived by her sister, Katharine Dana Smith Jones Poole and husband, William Whipple Poole; brother, Winthrop Noel Smith and wife Margaret Darcy Smith; and numerous nieces and nephews.

A memorial service was held May 2 at St. Mary the Virgin Episcopal Church, followed by a reception at the Portland Country Club.

Instead of flowers, contributions may be made to the Maine Historical Society, 489 Congress St., Portland, ME 04101, or to Greater Portland Landmarks, 93 High St., Portland, ME 04101.