Obituary: Virginia Stedelin Fitzgibbons – Portland Press Herald
SCARBOROUGH – Virginia Stedelin Fitzgibbons “Jini”, 91, passed away peacefully from natural causes on November 2, 2021 at her home in Scarborough, surrounded by her relatives.
Jini was born in St. Louis on September 1, 1930 to Jerome and Gladys Stedelin. Jini graduated from the Mary Institute in St. Louis, then attended and studied interior design at what is now Endicott College in Beverly, Mass. After a year, she returned to St. Louis and began attending Washington University where she met her future husband, Robert Fitzgibbons.
Jini and Bob shared 56 years of marriage until her death in 2008. She was a cherished bride; Bob often attributed his happy life to her. In 1959, Bob and Jini moved to Sudbury, Mass. to raise their family of five children: Robert Gerald Jr., Jane Lee (m. Thibodeau), Mary, Michael Thomas and Lee Ann (m. Street). Jini loved being a full time mother and would often say it was the happiest time of her life.
Throughout her life, Jini has been active in the community. She has taught CCD, participated in local city politics, served as secretary of the Sudbury Junior Ski Program, started the Sudbury Drug Action Committee to educate parents and fight the escalating drug problem in schools. community, became a founding member of the Maine Lakes Environmental Association and a volunteer with the St. Joseph Food Pantry in Bridgton.
In 1978, Bob and Jini moved permanently to Maine. In 1980, Jini persuaded Bob to buy the Olde House restaurant because of his keen interest in gourmet cuisine and his long history of cooking such dishes for his family. For the next 20 years, she ran the stylish restaurant that encouraged people to slow down, enjoy great food, great friends, and great conversation. It has received numerous gastronomic awards and has become a must-see destination for weddings and special occasions.
Jini enjoyed life to the fullest until the end. She enjoyed reading and the performing arts, despite failing eyes, current events and heated discussions, despite patchy hearing. She was “crazy” about her pets and her grandchildren. For all who knew her, Jini was a force to be reckoned withâ¦ strong-willed, fiercely independent, active, energetic, opinionated, direct, honest, supportive, loving, generous, wise and often kind. She laughed often and with abandon. The fun was easy with her. Her compassion, hard work and unwavering commitment to family and her steadfast drive to do the best for others is her legacy.
She is survived by four children and eight grandchildren, Robert Sean and Brian Patrick Fitzgibbons; Spencer Ryan and Deanna Lee Thibodeau; Michael Thomas Jr. and Katherine Mary Fitzgibbons; and Margaret Lee and Annabel Powell Street.
Jini will be buried in Sudbury, Mass., Joining her beloved husband and daughter, Mary “Cricket”.
Funeral services will be held on December 20 at 10 a.m. at Notre-Dame du PerpÃ©tuel Secours Church (Windham) in Saint-Antoine de Padoue parish.
In lieu of flowers, it would be appreciated if donations were sent to
Saint-Joseph pantry Saint-Joseph Church,
225 South High Street,
Bridgton, ME 04009 or
Good Shepherd Food Bank
P.O. Box 1807,
Auburn, ME 04211