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Jeana Dale Bearce Rakovan

Obituary
October 3, 1926 - April 8, 2017
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Brunswick:  Jeana Dale Bearce Rakovan passed away on April 8, 2017 at the age of 90.  Jeana was born in St. Louis, Missouri October 3, 1926.  Daughter of Clarence Russell and Maria Emily Dale.  She moved to Brunswick, ME in 1957.  Jeana was pre-deceased by her first husband, George D. Bearce, Jr.  in 1965.   June 7, 1969, she married Lawrence Francis Rakovan.  The couple had 3 children Barbara, Luke and Francesca.

Jeana studied classical dance as a child and was accepted into the Corps de Ballet of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra where she danced for many years.  Jeana was a very accomplished pianist and harpsichord player.  She had a French, double manual harpsichord on which she "decorated” the sound board with a school of 12 Mackerel swimming amongst a garden of flowers and insects.  She studied at St. Louis School of Fine Arts.  She received her BFA from Washington University in 1951.  Her MA from New Mexico Highlands University, 1954.

Jeana taught art at the Central Institute for the Deaf in St. Louis.  She started the art department at the University of Maine in Portland, ME in 1965.  With the merger of the University of Maine Portland and Gorham State College the school became University of Southern, Maine.  Jeana rose to the level of Professor.  She retired in 1996.  She started teaching Western Art History and studio Art, drawing, design, and printmaking.  Throughout her career, she also taught oil painting, watercolor, encaustic painting, all the intaglio printmaking types and all relief printmaking methods.

Jeana exhibited widely throughout the U.S.A. and abroad, including over 40 one-man shows, four of them in India, one in Paris. Her work has been shown in major exhibitions including Boston Museum of Fine Arts, Bowdoin college Museum of Art, St. Louis City Art Museum, Library of Congress, Philadelphia Print Club, Springfield (Mass.) Museum, Birmingham Museum of Fine Arts, Little Rock Art Museum, de Cordova Museum, Farnsworth Museum, Portland Museum, St. Peters Church Center for the Arts, New York, and Rotunda Gallery Union Theological Seminary, New York.

She was commissioned to paint "Indian Sand Paint” (mural) at New Mexico Highlands University, seven gifts of the Holy Spirit (cross) Good Shepherd Church, Brunswick, 14 Stations of the Cross, St. Charles Borromeo, Brunswick, monumental Mary and St. Bartholomew, Cape Elizabeth, Maine, "The Search for Truth” mural, Bowdoin College (Library) and the official portrait of Athern Daggett, past president of Bowdoin College and many more of paintings and prints of her world travels.

Prizes:  Putzel Purchase Prize of St. Louis City Art Museum, two Fanie Cook Awards for future study in art, Dr. Glynn Rivers Award, Ball State College, two Prix de Paris, Purchase Prize of Sarasota Art Association, Seventh National Exhibit, Eight Artists of Maine, New York World’s Fair (1964) and visiting artist and lectureships in India, Pakistan and U.S.A under sponsorship of Fulbright, United States Education Foundation in India and United States Information Service.  Jeana’s work in in the permanent Collection of St. Louis Art Museum, U.S. Educational foundation, New Delhi India, Brooklyn Museum of Art, Cornell University, California College of Arts and Crafts, Sarasota Art Association, Bowdoin College, University of Maine Orono and Portland, Colby College and Bates college.

Jeana’s interest were very broad.  She traveled all over the world.  She lived for a year in Hyderabad, India.  From there, she traveled and painted in Southeast Asia.  Over the years, she and her husband Larry traced the paths of the Ancient Silk Road from Xian China to Rome and Northern routes thru China to Mongolia and thru the Caucuses. During these travels, she was drawing and photographing the people, architecture, landscapes and studying the culture and religions of the many countries.  These experiences lead to a host of art in all media including all mentioned above plus mosaic, hooked tapestries, stain glass, ceramics and fresco. 

Beyond the professional achievements, Jeana was a kind, gentle soul with the strength of Job.  Wherever she globetrotted when she crossed the bridge in Kittery, she sighed with excitement coming home to beautiful Maine.  She saw beauty wherever she was.  When a child in Nepal picked cockle burrs from her skirt, Jeana was overcome with joy as she did a drawing.  That happiness extended to a little dear mouse, Frederick, (from the children’s book) who was found in our dog food bin and who lived 9 years on her desk. 

Her heart was torn between Brunswick and Harpswell and Venice, Italy.  The church of San Marco was the subject of many prints and paintings.  Her last trip there, after ascending the long staircase, she saw "The Four Horses of St. Mark” from the façade of the Basilica, she cried tears seeing such loveliness.  That enthusiasm was the hallmark of her being.  Whether she experienced a great mountain range or a ladybug, a snow storm or peepers in the spring, her heart was always filled with thanks.  Jeana’s nighttime prayer always started with "Thank you God for a beautiful day”. 

She is survived by her husband, Lawrence Rakovan with son Luke Rakovan and two daughters, Barbara and Francesca and several grandchildren.

A private Celebration of Life will be scheduled for this Summer.

Memorial donations may be made to the Good Shepherd Food Bank of Maine, P.O. Box 1807, Auburn, Maine 04211. Arrangements are by Stetson’s Funeral Home 12 Federal St. Brunswick where memorial condolences may be expressed at stetsonsfuneralhome.com