Priscilla Rand, 86

PORTLAND — Priscilla Brooks Whitehouse Rand, 86, passed away peacefully on April 25, 201,4 at the Bridgton Health Care Center in Bridgton.

She was born on Aug. 30, 1927, the first of three children of Brooks Whitehouse and Anne Bradstreet Darling of Portland.

Priscilla spent her early years between Portland and the family camp on the shores of Panther Pond in Raymond. From April to November, the family lived at the camp and Priscilla would drive with her father to Portland each morning to attend school, returning in the evening. During her teenage years, she lived in Portland with her paternal grandmother and suffrage activist, Florence Brooks Whitehouse, where politics, art and literature were part of daily life. Priscilla graduated from the Waynflete School in Portland and went on to graduate from Smith College in 1949. During her years at Waynflete and Smith, Priscilla became active in the theater, which grew into her life-long passion. In the late 1940s, Priscilla and her sister, Anne, worked with the Portland Children’s Theatre, which gave performances from a mobile stage that was moved around to different city parks.

Priscilla met her husband, William McNear Rand Jr. (Bill), at the wedding of her Smith College classmate, Elsie Janeway, who married Bill’s Harvard classmate William Apthorp. After six years of courtship, Priscilla and Bill were married in Portland, on Feb. 6, 1954. They moved to Lincoln, Mass. shortly thereafter, where they raised four children, Louisa, David, John and Matthew.

During more than three decades in Lincoln, Priscilla shepherded the family through seemingly endless, joyful seasons in the community with all sorts of projects and pets, tennis lessons, Buddy Werner Ski Team practices, driving lessons and gracious parenting through the lures of youthful indiscretion. Priscilla enjoyed the communities of St. Anne’s Episcopal Church and the First Parish Church in Lincoln. Summers were spent with family at Panther Pond and in Cundy’s Harbor, and later included vigorous racing of the Friendship Sloop built by son John, in the waters around Friendship, Boothbay and Rockland. Winters were marked by New Year’s gatherings and epic charade games with family and friends at the farm in Raymond, and the annual ski race at the Drifters Ski Club in Jackson, N.H.

Throughout these years, Priscilla maintained an active role in several different theatre companies. She was the founding director of the Boston Children’s Theater Stagemobile, a summer theatre on wheels that toured Boston and surrounding community parks and became very popular. She taught theatre classes in the Dorchester School afternoon programs each week in the late 1960s and early 1970s. She directed many theater productions including The Importance of Being Ernest with the Lincoln Players, several productions with the Boston Children’s Theatre main stage, including “Charlotte’s Web,” for which she corresponded with E.B. White about adapting the book into a script, “The Wind in the Willows” with the Lincoln Public Schools, and “The Music Man,” a joint production by the Dana Hall School and Noble and Greenough School, which received rave reviews in the Boston Globe.

In the 1980s, Priscilla earned her teacher’s certification and became an English teacher at Lincoln Sudbury Regional High School in Sudbury, Mass., where she worked for several years.

In 1987, Priscilla and Bill moved from Lincoln to the Whitehouse family farm in Raymond, where they spent their final years. Priscilla was a member of St. Ann’s Episcopal Church of Windham. She also became very active in the Loon Echo Land Trust, working to protect open land in the Lake Region of Maine. They enjoyed mid-winter ski trips with fellow Drifters, summer cruises on the Friendship Sloop and countless gardening and tree farm projects around the farm lands. In addition to New England adventures, they traveled to Alaska and Europe with friends and family.

Priscilla considered herself blessed by her two loving extended families and many close lifelong friends.

She is survived by her sister, Anne Whitehouse Gass of South Paris; her brother, Brooks Whitehouse Jr., of Portsmouth, N.H.; her daughter, Louisa Rand Moore of Freeport and Waitsfield, Vt.; her sons, David Rand of Barrington, R.I., John Rand of Raymond and Matthew Rand of Richmond, Vt.; her seven grandchildren; and many Whitehouse and Rand family members. She will be deeply missed and remembered for her genuine caring and fun-loving spirit.

A memorial service will be held at Saint Bartholomew’s Church, 396 Gilman Road in Yarmouth, on Saturday, May 31 at 2 p.m.

Those wishing to remember Priscilla may make a memorial donation in her name to the: Loon Echo Land Trust, 8 Depot St #4, Bridgton, ME 04009. Or if she were with us now, she might just suggest inviting some children to a wonderful play.

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