Josephine Young Pendleton passed away Nov. 15, 2017, at her home in Belfast with family at her side. She was 85. Jo, as she was known by family and friends, died less than two months after her beloved husband, Skip. They were married for 65 years. Jo had been in declining health for several years, enduring the crippling discomforts of a form of palsy for several years with dignity, grace and good humor.

Jo was an active member of the Belfast community and took on many volunteer roles in her life, serving as a Scout leader, an AIDS Project volunteer for Waldo County Aids Coalition, a ward clerk at the election polls, a founding member of the Belfast Co-op and Belfast Bay Watershed Coalition, a trustee of Belfast Public Library, a member of various city committees and the Belfast Area Children’s Center Board of Incorporators. Jo was also a gardener on civic beautification projects around Belfast, an active member of Pen Bay Stewards, a local bridge club and the Senior College, attending classes despite the speech and mobility challenges of her disease.

All who knew Jo were touched by her extraordinary exuberance for life, her warm welcoming smiles and hugs, her spunk and her love of conversation. Her ready laughter continued with her to the end, even as her ability to speak had become impaired. Jo was known for her open acceptance and desire to meet people of all ages and from all walks of life. Jo, with her husband Skip, had a wide, diverse network of friends — from those they grew up with in Belfast to those “from away.” Greeting newcomers with exceptional generosity and genuine interest, Skip and Jo’s guidance to them has become a memorable part of many community members’ stories of how they learned to navigate and contribute to the good life in Waldo County.

Jo was always up for an adventure, with her husband, children and friends, be it in travels, on a sailboat, on the downhill ski slopes, backwoods camping or keeping up with the small farm she and Skip raised their family on. She and Skip traveled abroad to Wales, Czechoslovakia and Germany after his retirement and spent many weeks out on Penobscot Bay roughing it together in modestly sized sailboats. As long as she was able, she seized every opportunity to dance with her husband — be it at the Blue Goose, Summer Nights or other local dance events. Jo cherished time with her children and grandchildren and one of her greatest gifts was her ability to make each one of them feel nurtured, loved and worthy of their dreams.

Jo loved the outdoors and nature, especially at her family camp on Lake Quantabacook in Searsmont. She enjoyed bird-watching and attend many Audubon trips. She was also an avid gardener who loved plants and flowers and grew and harvested a huge vegetable garden during her years living on Crocker Road. One of Jo’s special qualities was her love of beauty; she was gifted in her capacity to share her aesthetic eye through the many beautiful hand-knitted and hand-sewn creations she made for her children, grandchildren, and friends. She also loved and recognized the beauty in language — sharing poetry, rhymes and songs with her children from the time they were born.

Jo was born in Fairlee, Vt., Jan. 26, 1932, to Irving Greenleaf Young and Alice Mary (Davis) Young. She moved to Belfast from Lancaster, N.H., in 1944. She graduated from Crosby High School in the class of 1950 and attended Westbrook Junior College where she earned an associate’s degree, before getting married to her high school sweetheart, Skip. She also worked for a number of years as a secretary to the guidance counselor at BAHS and later as a classroom aide in the Special Education Program in Belfast.

Jo was predeceased by her husband Skip; and her two brothers, Melvin and Malcolm Young.

She is survived by five children, Tom and husband Ken Wilson of Putnam Valley, N.Y., Bindy and husband Tom Maycock of Belfast, Denise and husband John Lightner of Belfast, Andrew and wife Janaki of Kauai, Hawaii, and Brianna (aka Sally) Pendleton and husband Eduardo Luna of Annapolis, Md., and Ecuador; grandchildren, Abigail and Lila Maycock, Babette, Cy, and Rosemary Pendleton-McGeady, and Audrey and Luke Lightner, as well as several nieces and nephews.

The family wishes to thank the many friends and caregivers whose generous and dedicated support during Jo’s illness was invaluable. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Belfast Area Child Care Services, 1025 Waterville Road, Waldo, ME 04915.

Jo’s life celebration will be combined with Skip’s, at the Blue Goose event scheduled for Friday, Nov. 24, which includes a program of reflections from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m.; a potluck from 6 to 7:30 p.m. and a dance until 10:30. Cards of condolence may be sent to: The Pendletons, 46 Bridge St., Belfast ME 04915.