Patricia Sleamaker

WATERVILLE – Patricia Sleamaker passed away on Jan. 23, 2021. She was born on Jan. 26, 1931 to Warner and Mildred Danforth in Peoria, Ill. The family later moved east and settled in eastern Massachusetts.

Pat graduated from Boston University and began her lifelong passion for teaching young children in Sudbury, Mass. She took time away from the classroom to raise her own three children and then returned to teaching elementary grades in Keene, N.H.

On July 3, 1969, she married Bill Sleamaker and together they blended two families with a combined seven children (five still at home) and moved to North Vassalboro, Maine. Their children were unsure about the old farmhouse into which they were moving or life in a small country town, but in time it all came together nicely. Pat taught fourth grade at Pleasant St School before moving to Brookside School (later renamed George J. Mitchell School) where she taught kindergarten and first grade.

She retired from teaching in 1995 and enjoyed tending to her flower gardens, water aerobics, and painting. She also enjoyed traveling – to London, China, an Alaska cruise, and many other US destinations. She was a talented artist and seamstress, and loved making a variety of Christmas cookies to the delight of the recipients.

Her health took an unexpected decline in her later years and following a stroke, Pat lived at Lakewood Continuing Care where she received excellent and compassionate care. The wonderful team from Beacon Hospice helped make her final days and her passing more comfortable for herself and her family, for which we will be forever thankful.

Pat was predeceased by her parents; and three siblings, Warner “Dan” Danforth Jr. and his wife Marge, who Pat described as her best friend, Rev. Frank “Skip” Danforth, and her youngest sister, Martha Burgess.

She is survived by her husband W.V. “Bill” Sleamaker, her sister Mary Jenkins; and her children, Suellen Sleamaker of San Francisco, Gini (Tom) Mulligan of Center Strafford, N.H., Jay (Sue) Bradshaw of Belgrade, Jane Sleamaker Costello (Harvey Rivard) of Amherst, Mass., Betsy Glencross of Sabattus, Rob Sleamaker (Carol Sullivan) of Underhill, Vt., and Peter (Maria) Bradshaw of Keene, N.H. She also leaves 13 grandchildren and four great- grandchildren.

The following is one of her favorite literary passages. It speaks to the many, positive seeds she has planted and nurtured.

“If I had my way, I would have liked to have been a minister to children. When you give a man an idea – it’s jest, well – it’s jest an idea. It usually stays whole and intact. But when you give a child an idea, it’s like plantin’ a seed in the spring. It grows and grows. It’s watered by curiosity and it’s warmed by reflection. Young minds are rich soil… People are always talkin’ about the simplicity of a child’s faith. Sometimes they get that simplicity confused with gullibility. Why, bless it all son – a young mind accepts nothin’. Who is it who’s always askin’ what makes the grass green, or what holds the stars up, or why is the moon shiny? It’s always a child. Full grown people never ask those things, though most of them don’t know the answers. Yes sir, you let me plant the right idea in the minds of children, an’ I’ll reap a rich harvest.” (Stars in My Crown (1946) by Joe David Brown)

Her family will hold a celebration of life at a later time.

In lieu of flowers,

donations in her name

may be sent to:

Oakland Sidney

Methodist Church

PO Box 145

Oakland, ME 04963

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