Joan B. Williams, 92: Advocate for women, youth found good in others

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SCARBOROUGH — Joan Bayne (“Baynie”) Williams, 92, died peacefully Dec. 19 at her home in Scarborough.

Williams was born July 12, 1922, in Montclair, New Jersey, the only child of Lillian Shields Bayne and John Niblock Bayne.

She attended Bennington College from 1940-1942. Later, in 1980, she graduated from California State University, Dominguez Hills, with a bachelor’s degree in religious studies.

She married Alfred D. (“Bud”) Williams Jr. in 1943.

Joan had a lifelong association with Camp Runoia for Girls, in Belgrade Lakes, which began when she first summered there in 1929. She co-founded The Caribe School (now The Caribbean School) in Ponce, Puerto Rico, in 1954.

She also was a tireless advocate for women’s rights and family planning. While living in California, she volunteered through the Junior League, the Experiment in International Living, the Florence Crittenton Homes for Unwed Mothers, the Los Angeles Bishop’s Guild, Los Angeles Neighborhood Youth Association and the Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles.

In Maine, she devoted her time to the Maine Youth Center for juvenile offenders, among other organizations. Well into her 80s, she was still marching on Washington and elsewhere on behalf of women’s rights and the freedom to choose. Known for her generosity and infectious sense of humor, she enjoyed good company and found the good in others.

Besides California and Maine, she resided in Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico and Tennessee. She enjoyed traveling later in life to destinations including Europe, Russia, China, Kenya, Egypt and India.

Williams was predeceased by her husband and her daughter, Allie.

She is survived by her children: Bruce Williams and wife Patrice Janssen, of Searsport; Alice Williams Hunt, of Belgrade Lakes; and Matti Bradley and husband Chris, of North Yarmouth.

She also leaves behind her grandchildren: Evan Hunt, wife Anne and their children Ana and George, of Shanghai, China; Robert Hunt, wife Lucia and their children Jack and Lillian, of Yarmouth; Aislinn Williams, of Vermont; U.S. Army Lt. John Bradley, currently of Tacoma, Washington; and Maggie Bradley, of North Yarmouth.

A celebration of Williams’ life will take place on Saturday, July 11, 2015, at the Union Church, in Belgrade Lakes.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that any memorial donations be sent to one of the following: Camp Runoia Alumnae Organization, runoia.com/alumnae; Planned Parenthood, plannedparenthood.org/planned-parenthood-northern-new-england; or Union Church of Belgrade Lakes, P.O. Box 133, 67 Main St., Belgrade Lakes, ME 04918.

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