FARMINGTON – Joan Craig Brinkman passed away peacefully on Wednesday, May 26, 2021 with her family by her side.
The daughter of John and Bertha (Dustin) Craig, she was born on March 31, 1932, in West Farmington. Joan graduated from Farmington High School at the age of 16 and entered the Maine General Hospital (now Maine Medical Center) School of Nursing, graduating in early 1954 as the president of her class.
After finishing her training, she worked both as a clinical nurse and a teacher of microbiology at the School of Nursing. Jo married Paul Brinkman on Aug. 27, 1954, after which they moved to Boston, where she worked at Massachusetts General Hospital while Paul attended medical school. Jo was an active member of the Maine Medical Association Auxiliary (later becoming its state president), during Paul’s residency in Portland, while raising her young family.
In 1963, the family moved to Farmington where she served as a member of the SAD 9 School Board for many years. A second mom to many area young people, Jo was the leader of Cub Scout and Girl Scout troops, as well as a church youth group. In the early 1970s, Jo found great enjoyment in the challenge of being the first woman invited to serve on the Board of Directors of People’s Bank (now TD Bank).
For many years, she was a member of the Maine Chapter of the American Cancer Society, serving on the planning committee for the State’s first Annual Relay For Life and chairperson of the Board of Directors from 1982 to 1984. In the mid-1980s, Jo became the director of Volunteer Services at Franklin Memorial Hospital and later moved into the position of nurse counselor there. In this role, she worked with and expanded the Bereavement Support Group programs offered to the community. Jo also volunteered for the Tri-County EMS Critical Incident Stress Management team. She took great pride in all the volunteers she worked with and trained. During this same period she also accomplished her lifelong goal of earning her bachelor’s degree from St. Joseph’s College in Maine.
Jo was an avid reader and enjoyed watching countless basketball games and other athletic events, her many bridge partners, and time with her much loved family and friends.
She is survived by her four children: Michael (Sharon) of Camarillo, CA; Nancy Steele (Erik) of Yarmouth, ME; Chris (Debbie) of Farmington, ME; and Jan of Farmington, ME; grandchildren: Hilary Brinkman of Hermosa Beach, CA; Paul (Kaitlin) Brinkman of San Marcos, CA; Brianne Jo (Ryan Mountjoy) Steele of Cumberland Foreside, ME; Alexa Steele of Medford, MA; Addie Brinkman of Portland, ME; and Craig Brinkman of Farmington, ME; great-grandchildren: Quinn and Lydia Jo Mountjoy of Cumberland Foreside, ME.
She was predeceased by her husband, Paul; a sister (Thelma Hawes) and brother (Verne Craig) and her parents.
At Jo’s request, a private family burial was held on May 30, 2021, at Fairview Cemetery in Farmington. Services are being cared for and provided by the Wiles Remembrance Center of Farmington.
The family would graciously like to thank the wonderful, caring staff members at Edgewood Rehabilitation and Living Center and Androscoggin Home Healthcare and Hospice and a special thank you to Rhonda Wiles-Rosell. The family would also like to recognize the compassionate and loving care of Jo’s private in-home caregivers.
Those wishing to remember Jo may do so by donating remembrance gifts to: The Salvation Army (297 Cumberland Avenue, P.O. Box 3575, Portland, ME 04104) or The Good Shepherd Food Bank (3121 Hotel Road, Auburn, ME 04210). Memories are encouraged to be shared in her Book of Memories at www.wilesrc.com.