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Ninette Ferm

Ninette Ann "Nin" Ferm (Piquette)

1954 - 2020
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Obituary

Pretty Marsh

Ninette Ann Piquette, 66, died unexpectedly on September 25, 2020 at her home. She was born on February 19, 1954, to Edward M. and Estelle D. Piquette, of South Hadley, Massachusetts. Not long after, she became “Nin” unless she was not following the rules. She attended South Hadley schools where she made many life-long friends and where she met her husband to be, William (Bill) Ferm, in junior high school. They were friends through-out high school, started dating in college, and married shortly after her graduation in 1975, having celebrated 45 years of marriage this year.
Nin majored in Psychology & Education at Mount Holyoke College, which she attended as a “townie,” commuting from home, as did Bill, who attended nearby Amherst College while also living in South Hadley. After graduation, she and Bill lived in South Hadley, she taught at the McMahon School in Holyoke, while Bill commuted daily to law school in Boston – her salary exactly matched his law school tuition, so they made ends meet by working a number of part-time jobs, finding that they really liked working together. Nin’s parents were extremely generous and they ate many meals at their house, and played many rounds of double solitaire.
She loved teaching and most of all her students, and when they moved to Maine, she taught special education at MDES in Northeast Harbor. She left teaching as a formal job when she gave birth to the first of what would be 5 sons but she never stopped teaching, working as a stay-at-home Mom and keeping her sons and many of their friends enchanted with her love of nature and the world. She left that job, which she loved more than any other, and joined Bill when he formed his own law office in 2002, staying there the rest of her life. They loved being together, at work, at home, doing errands, and, as she used to say: “she liked sleeping with the boss.” (She was the real boss). She taught the childbirth classes offered at MDI High School for many years and was active in La Leche League for years as well.
She threw herself into being a Mom and was involved in her sons’ activities, from Cub Scouts, to field trips, to substitute teaching, and, particularly, music. After they had graduated from MDI High School, she remained active as President of the MDI Music Boosters, selling Christmas Trees, working on the MDI Marathon Dinner, hosting jazz festivals, and, especially, raising the funds for scholarships to enable all music students who chose to attend summer programs to enrich their musicianship. She remained active in the community until the end as a member of the Mount Desert Island Educational Enhancement Fund (MDI EEF), and as Warden of Elections in the Town of Mount Desert – she was looking forward to November 3rd.
She loved Bill and her sons unconditionally. Bill is so grateful that she consented to marry him and remained a loving wife and companion who filled their time together with caring, adventure, and a sense of humor that kept laughter in the world. She was a second mother to many of her sons’ friends and others, and loved all of them back.
Nin was an excellent cook and could fix a meal for 3, and on very short notice, be prepared as any number of unexpected guests arrived – all were welcomed and fed. She brought traditional French-Canadian cuisine with her to the marriage and quickly mastered the challenge and art of producing a Scandinavian smörgåsbord. When the boys were young, Nin and Bill grew and raised much of their own food. She took naturally to so much that was involved in their small farm, having a knack for eviscerating a chicken that Bill had just dispatched and plucked (the boys always behaved better after watching her do this!) to assisting ewes when they were lambing, from reaching inside the mother and properly positioning the lamb to provide a smooth and successful birth, to holding the hind legs of a lamb that was not breathing and swinging it in a circle above her head, an effort that often started them breathing.
She is survived by her 3 sisters: Elaine Richards, of Connecticut, and her sons, Michael, and Christopher (spouse Lisa), Paulette Sammons, of Delaware, and her children, Tina (Mark), Jennifer (Rob), and Matthew (Kim), Louise Piquette-Alley (Bob), and son Lincoln (Heather) and daughter Danielle (Bill), all of MDI, all of whom she loved dearly. She and Louise spent many hours cleaning rentals and house-keeping on MDI, which was a wonderful way for them to work together and get a lot of talking done. She is survived by her husband, Bill, of Mount Desert, their sons, Edward Deane (“Ned”) and his wife, Maria Faust, of Copenhagen, Denmark; Nils and his wife, Nicole, and grandson, Erik, of North Yarmouth; Jacob; William, Jr. (“Billy”) and his wife Shoshona Smith, and grandson, Abel; and Carl, all of Mount Desert; her sister-in-law, Linnea West (John), of Tennessee, and their daughters Vi (Andrew) and Jenny; and brother-in-law, Robert (Bob) Ferm and his son, Bobby and daughter Abby Rose Ferm, all of Massachusetts. She is also survived by an “aunt-in-law,” Betty Swan, and son Mark and daughter Sue, of Connecticut.
She was predeceased by her parents and by a brother-in-law, Martin Sammons, and a sister-in-law, Laurie Rose Ferm. She helped with the care of her father, her mother-in-law, Paulie Johnson, her father-in-law, Deane Ferm, and a very special stepfather-in-law, Bud Johnson.
She loved her friends and we thank each one of them for the joy they brought to her life, and know that she passed that joy on to us, too, and we love you for that. She worked as a house-keeper for Curtis Blake and family for many years, under the watchful eye of her friend, Ruth Mitchell, who, along with husband Bob, are dear friends. She dearly loved JoEllen Quigley of Massachusetts, Carol Richmond, of Washington State, and was proud to be a “Booster Babe” with the Music Boosters.
In lieu of flowers, those who wish to honor Nin are encouraged to do something kind and unexpected for someone as she did so often. Those wishing to make contributions are urged to consider the MDI Music Boosters, MDI EEF (via Maine Community Foundation), the Northeast Harbor Ambulance Service, or the League of Women Voters of Maine. We are sad that she has passed, but we are so fortunate to have had her in our lives and have so many wonderful memories to cherish and reasons she has given us to carry on. A gathering for family and friends will be arranged at a later date when it is safe to do so.
Arrangements in care of Jordan-Fernald, 1139 Main St. Mt. Desert. Condolences may be expressed at www.jordanfernald.com
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Plant a Tree in Memory of Ninette
2 trees have been planted in memory of Ninette Ann "Nin" Ferm (Piquette)
AO

Audrey Obremski

Posted at 02:14pm
Dear Bill and Family,
I was so very sorry to hear of Nin's passing. She was a good one, alright. Sending cyber hugs to everyone.
xo Audrey Obremski ❤️🕊
LH

Lisa Heyward

Posted at 12:43pm
Deepest sympathies to Bill and their children for the loss of Nin. We were quite shocked to learn of her death. We had not seen Nin recently, since we moved off island, but we were neighbors for so many years in Pretty Marsh. She was a wonderful asset to our village and to the children of MDI. A real loss for you and us. Lisa Heyward and dock Crothers
LO

Liz & Wendell Oppewall

Posted at 01:41pm
I'll never forget one day quite a few years ago - I walked into the computer lab at MDES to find Nin on the floor with a group of adorable baby goats! She was lovingly tending to them between trips to classrooms to delight and educate students and staff alike about her tiny caprine charges. Her smile, her gentle and capable hands, and her heart that wanted to share this special experience with others regardless of the time and effort it took - these are memories I'll carry with me. I know you all carry so much more of her forward into the world, making it a better place just as she did. Wishing you love and peace - Liz & Wendell
LW

Liz & Wendell

Posted at 01:30pm
Thinking of you all and wishing you peace in your memories of Nin.
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GG

Gail Grandgent

Posted at 01:18pm
Bill and Family, We were so sorry to read of Nin's passing from this world too soon. She certainly made it a better place in the time that she was here. We only knew her from a cheerful voice on the phone, but were so touched by all we learned in her obituary. We know we would have been friends. We're glad you had each other in your lives. Sincerely, Gail and Henry Grandgent
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