BOOTHBAY HARBOR, Maine – Melanie Norris Steane passed away peacefully at her home on Spruce Point, Boothbay Harbor, Maine on Friday, May 25. She was surrounded by her family, her “kitty cats,” and her caregivers.
Born Melanie Louise Norris on Aug. 27, 1927, in Newton, Mass., the daughter of Edward James and Katherine Digney Norris. She graduated from Edgewood Park Preparatory School and Mary Washington College with a B.A. in English.
Melanie grew up in Newton and was a life-long summer resident at her family’s home on Linekin Bay, East Boothbay, Maine. She married William C. Briddell in 1949 and they raised two daughters. During those years, she worked as a secondary school English teacher. In 1970 she married the love of her life, H. Welles Steane and they enjoyed 34 years of marriage. As a team, they enjoyed collecting items of historical significance including antiques, automobiles, model ships and trains. They resided in Boothbay Harbor in the summer and Sanibel Island, Fla., in the winter. As owners and innkeepers of the Rocktide Inn in Boothbay Harbor, they built a business that became a local landmark.
She was an active member of The Boothbay Harbor Yacht Club, Captiva Island Yacht Club, St. Andrews Hospital Board, The Boothbay Region Humane Society and The Boothbay Region Botanical Gardens. Her philanthropic projects included the gift of a cardiology conference room at the Lahey Clinic in Burlington, Mass., and a family waiting room at the John F. Andrews Family Center at St. Andrews Hospital, both in the name of H. Welles Steane.
“The Muffin Fairy” cherished her family and friends. She enjoyed bridge, being the “hostess with the mostest,” Rocktide parties, entertaining, telling jokes, picnics, crossword puzzles, the “Cliffs,” extensive travel, and finding a way to brighten the day of anyone with whom she crossed paths. She took pride in being a lady, her signature style rivaled only by her fun loving spirit.
Her beloved sister, Elizabeth Bryant, predeceased Melanie. She is survived by her children, Melanie “Betsey” Briddell Kipp and her husband Deryl of Boothbay Harbor, and Susan Briddell Miller and her husband Alan “Dusty” of South Freeport, Maine, stepson James H. Steane and wife Marilyn of Vail Colo., and Ocean Point, Maine, and stepdaughter Jane Holman Griffin and husband Don of Sarasota Fla., and Boothbay Harbor. She leaves nine cherished grandchildren and two great grandchildren.
A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, June 16 at the Congregational Church of Boothbay Harbor, 125 Townsend Avenue. A private internment will be in Oceanview Cemetery, Boothbay.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to: The Boothbay Region Humane Society, 27 Atlantic Highway, Edgecomb, ME, 04556, or St. Andrews Hospital, P.O. Box 417, Boothbay Harbor, ME, 04638, Attn: Memorial Fund.
You are invited to share your condolences with the family by visiting their Book of Memories at www.hallfuneralhomes.com
Arrangements are entrusted to Simmons, Harrington and Hall Funeral Home, 975 Wiscasset Road, Boothbay, Maine.