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Jessie Norton-Lazenby
November 24, 2023


FALMOUTH- Jessie Morse Norton-Lazenby, (71), passed into white light on November 24, 2023, after a 6 ½ year struggle with metastasized ovarian cancer.

Born in Hartford, Connecticut on October 10, 1952, Jessie was the daughter of Irving and Rosamond Norton. She grew up in Harwinton, Connecticut, and graduated from Lewis S. Mills High School in 1970. Jessie attended Wheelock College in Boston, graduating in 1974 with a Degree in Education. Starting in1972, Jessie spent her summers working in Kennebunkport. Maine quickly became her most favorite place to be. She finished her master’s degree and ESL Endorsement at USM Gorham in 1986.

Jessie lived in Kennebunkport, where she met her husband of 45 years Pender. She went on to live in Scarborough, Cape Elizabeth, Yarmouth and Falmouth. She also lived a few temporary years in Charlottesville, VA, and Shelburne, VT following her husband’s career; but Jessie considered Maine her home.

Jessie was a dedicated, respected and gifted teacher of mathematics. She felt math was a creative, interesting subject and always strove to impart deep meaning and understanding of concepts to her students. She worked for Portland Public Schools for the majority of her 32-year career, classroom teacher, math consultant, Math Director, Math Team Coach, classroom teacher… many hats successfully worn. Her home school was Reiche Elementary where she developed close and long-lasting friendships with so many of the talented, hardworking, professional and dedicated staff.

A giving, caring, woman, Jessie was a lover of the natural world, birds, animals, gardening, and enjoyed travel, lunches and porch chats with her friends, and good ocean time, at any season. The beach was her favorite place to unwind, find calm and smile. Some of her favorite local venues were Kettle Cove, Two Lights, Goose Rocks, Fort Williams and the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens. Jessie was eclectic in her likes and hobbies. The fun in her life was reading, photography, card making, calligraphy, fostering bluebirds in her yard and creating her gardens. She also enjoyed her two on-going book groups and her Craft group...reading and needlepoint was a treat and being with a group of fun and interesting ladies, even more so. Her Riverton teacher group of 46 years, still enjoy getting together for lunches, gatherings and sharing warm friendship, having supported each other through the joys and sorrows of life’s journey. Jessie’s dedicated group of Casco Bay Physical therapists and friends kept her going. However, in the last phases of her disease, Jessie attached herself to the strong hearts of the Dempsey Center’s Advanced Cancer Groups and strangers became friends. Her life was rich with meaning and connection. Above all, Jessie loved being a mom to her daughter Laura.

She is survived by many friends and family who miss her thoughtful, and kind spirit, including her loving husband Pender J. Lazenby and daughter Laura Norton Lazenby, of Annapolis, MD; her sister Jennifer Norton-Squires and her husband Peter Squires of Norwich, CT; her brother Thomas P. Norton and Sharon Bowker of Harwinton, CT; her sister- in- law, Betsy E. Lazenby of Annapolis, MD; and sister-in-law Doni M. Lazenby of Alexandria, VA.; and nephews, Christopher D. Lazenby and Jonathan and wife, Victoria Lazenby; and her cousins Jessie Colgate of Washington, D.C.; and Pam Colgate and her husband George Leitner of Santa Fe, NM. Jessie was warmly embraced by her husband’s cousins Mike and Alice Reid of Spring Isle, SC; Dick and Donna Reid of Towson, MD; and Jim and Elizabeth Reid of Annapolis, MD.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a memorial donation in Jessie’s memory which may be made to either HART - Homeless Animal Refuge League, P.O. Box 351, Cumberland, ME 04021 or to the Dempsey Center - The Dempsey Center, 29 Lowell St., Lewiston, ME 04240 (Donate Honor Gift - support.

There will be a celebration of Jessie’s life held on Saturday January 13th, 2024, at the Portland Country Club from 1:00 to 4:00 P.M. The ceremony and readings will start at 1:45pm. There will be opportunity for everyone to share memories during the ceremony of our truly beloved and missed wife, mother, and friend.

To extend condolences to the family online, please visit the funeral home link and scroll down to the obituaries.

Arrangements have been entrusted to Chad E. Poitras Cremation and Funeral Service, Buxton,

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Chad E. Poitras Cremation & Funeral Service
498 Long Plains Road
Buxton, ME 04093