Betty Jane “BJ” (Durgin) Banton

NEWPORT – Betty Jane “BJ” (Durgin) Banton, 93, passed peacefully Oct. 2, 2019 at Clover Healthcare. She was born April 24, 1926 in Bingham, a daughter of Leslie and Jane (Kennedy) Durgin. She attended Gould Academy and graduated from the University of Maine at Orono with a B. S. Degree in Education. She was a member of Chi Omega and named All Maine Woman for her service to the campus. While at the University of Maine, she met the love of her life, Richard Banton, and waited for him to return from World War II while continuing her college education. Upon his return, they celebrated her graduation and were married on June 19, 1949. They were married for almost 70 years.She was devoted to the community of Newport, investing her time in many different organizations as well as spending time with friends and family. She maintained beautiful gardens on Barrows Point and enjoyed many hours watching wildlife on the lake. Traveling, boating on the lake, and spending time with friends at Sugarloaf were fond memories that she spoke of often. She was a member of the High Street Congregational Church, the Newport Women’s Club, and the Sebasticook Lake Association. She spent countless hours volunteering and serving on the board of the Sebasticook Valley Hospital Auxiliary, where she brought joy and comfort to many patients.She is survived by family members, Jennifer Durgin, Lyn Brackett, Leslie and Rick McKenney, Gloria and Lawson Magruder, and Loy and Mark Leslie; in addition to great nieces and nephews. She was predeceased by her husband Rick on May 20, 2018.A graveside service will be held 11 a.m., Monday, Oct. 7, at the Riverside Cemetery, Newport, with Pastor Al Worden officiating. Those who wish may leave written condolences at

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