Linda Lorraine Bean, obituary

Thu, 03/28/2024 - 2:45pm

ST GEORGE and FREEPORT — Linda Lorraine Bean, of St. George and Freeport, Maine, died March 23, 2024, at the age of 82. Linda was a renowned businesswoman whose ventures celebrated Maine’s many gifts. Active in the hospitality, retail, and lobster industries, she invested her work in Maine’s communities and economy.

She held a special respect for Maine farmers, fishermen, and woodsmen. She lived by her principles, putting faith and family first. She was deeply passionate about history and art, and was well known for her generosity and countless philanthropic endeavors.

Linda was born in Portland, Maine, on April 28, 1941, to Charles Warren Bean and Hazel June Turner Bean of Freeport, Maine. She was a granddaughter of L.L. Bean and his wife, Bertha Porter.

Linda graduated from The Waynflete School in 1959, was a business major at Antioch College, studied Mexican history and culture at Mexico City College, and later studied at Alaska Methodist University in Anchorage.

Linda and most of her American forebears were lifelong Mainers. She studied her genealogy and found she was a descendant of some of Maine’s earliest settlers from the Mayflower. Her surname came from John Bean of Exeter, New Hampshire who came to America in 1651 as a prisoner of war from the highlands of Scotland, where he fought with his Clan MacBean for the New Covenant.

Linda was a lifelong family shareholder in L.L. Bean, Inc., started by her grandfather, Leon L. Bean, in 1912. She served on the Board of Directors for nearly 50 years and helped shape some of the company’s most significant accomplishments. During her tenure, the company grew from a $4 million hunting and fishing business into a multi-billion dollar international brand, celebrating 100 years of family ownership in 2012.

Linda was an American patriot with a passion for Constitutional freedoms, particularly the First and Second Amendments. In 1979 Linda initiated and ran “The Maine Paper”, a statewide conservative newspaper, until 1982. From 1984 until 2018 she served as a Trustee on Phyllis Schlafly’s Eagle Forum Education and Legal Defense board. She ran as Maine’s conservative Republican candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives for Maine’s first district in 1988 and 1992, winning the primary in 1992 but ultimately not winning the general election. She ran for National Republican Committeewoman in 2008, and in 2012 she was elected as a delegate to the National Republican Convention, also serving in the Electoral College from Maine that year.

Linda was an avid supporter of the presidency of Ronald Reagan, attending his inauguration, and serving in a 1985 delegation to Switzerland to lobby the press in favor of his Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) “Star Wars” missile defense at the summit meeting with the Soviet Union’s Secretary General Mikhail Gorbechev. Subsequent to Ronald Reagan, Linda supported many other presidential candidates, including Congressman Jack Kemp, Congressman Ron Paul, Carly Fiorini, and President Donald Trump.

In 2019 Linda was named Vice President of the Board of Trustees of the Intercollegiate Studies Institute in Wilmington, Delaware, in her second three-year term on its Board. She initiated a campus enlargement with the Linda L. Bean Conference Center building.

Linda was a real estate broker in the 1970s, specializing in historic homes and commercial buildings. She became deeply involved in historic preservation, saving some of Hallowell’s oldest buildings and creating Maine’s first historic district. She spearheaded a charge that led to the creation of a statewide organization, Maine Preservation, Inc., to protect Maine’s historic sites and buildings. In this work, Linda became a lifelong friend of Earle G. Shettleworth, Jr. who served 40 years as Maine’s Historic Preservation Director.

Linda was a real estate investor and owner in several Maine counties. She had significant timberland holdings in the Maine woods, particularly in Weld in Franklin County.

She invested in lobster wharves, vacation rental homes, and commercial buildings on the St. George peninsula in Knox County. In Port Clyde, the community where she spent her last 17 years, she owned the Port Clyde General Store and Dip Net Restaurant, community staples that were destroyed by a fire in 2023. She was actively working to restore the historic buildings at the time of her passing.

Linda began purchasing lobster companies and wharves in 2007, becoming a wholesale lobster dealer at age 65, distributing live lobster, producing frozen foods made with lobster, and creating restaurants in her famous name in Freeport, Portland, and Ogunquit, Maine. She created a Lobstermobile™ service in South Carolina with a vision of scaling it up nationwide and beyond. To support her employees, she made her lobster business an employee-shareholder-owned company. Her lobsters were the first to take on the mantle of a brand name, and she persistently stuck to purchasing ONLY lobsters fished by Mainers.

Her lifelong interests were Maine history, Maine art, and Maine people. She collected 19th-century Maine pottery and tall clocks, held an extensive collection of Maine first-edition books, and carefully assembled a comprehensive collection of 20th-century Maine milk bottles. She had a particular passion for American Painter and Illustrator Newell Convers Wyeth and held copies of virtually all children’s classics and publications illustrated by him. In 2019, she purchased and began restoring two homes of N.C. Wyeth. She founded the N.C. Wyeth Research Foundation and Reading Libraries, a nonprofit charitable organization. She acquired the Douglas E. Allen, Jr. library of books, periodicals, original documents, and letters for this foundation.

Subsequently, she was working to create an N.C. Wyeth Reading Room in Port Clyde, Maine. Linda was also deeply supportive of Maine arts and cultural institutions. She served on the boards of the Maine Historical Society and the Portland Museum of Art, was a major supporter of the Monhegan Museum of Art and History and of the Farnsworth Art Museum. She served on the board of trustees of the Brandywine Conservancy and Museum of Art in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania.

Linda contributed to countless organizations in Maine and beyond. Her philanthropy with her sister was centered on LifeFlight of Maine, Maine Medical Center, Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, and the St. George School maker space. She also supported Pen Bay Medical Center, The Wyeth Study Center at the Farnsworth Art Museum, the restoration of Victoria Mansion in Portland, the Maine Historical Society Museum, and the Winslow Homer Art Studio. She regularly contributed to various organizations in communities statewide, from libraries and churches to fire departments and youth camps.

Linda leaves behind her loving sister, Diana Bean, and three sons and four grandchildren by her first husband, James Raymond Clark: Nathan Clark, his wife Kathryn Burnham, and their children Andrew and Eliza; Jason and his son Jesse; and Kevin and his son Lachlan.

Additionally, she leaves behind her aunt Kay Turner Greczkowski, her business and brand leaders Veronika Carlson and John Petersdorf, her special friend Joyce Davies, and her cats Mama Kitty Squanto, Babe, Keeper, and Cuffy.

Linda was predeceased by her mother, Hazel June Dyer, beloved stepfather, Reuben K. “Buster” Dyer; second husband, Verne E. Jones; third husband, Donald L. Folkers; and specially loved aunt Ruby Turner Condon.

Visiting hours will be held on Monday, April 1, from 3 to 6 p.m., at the Farnsworth Art Museum, 16 Museum Street, Rockland (at the corner of Union Street and Grace Street).

A private family funeral service will be held at a later date.

Linda will be laid to rest next to her father at Webster Cemetery in Freeport, Maine on the L.L. Bean family plot.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in her honor to either:

The LifeFlight Foundation
P.O. Box 859
Augusta, ME 04332
Online at:

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
P.O. Box 849168
Boston, MA 02284-9168
Online at:

Arrangements are in the care of Burpee, Carpenter & Hutchins Funeral Home, 110 Limerock Street, Rockland, Maine.

To share a memory or condolence with Linda’s family, please visit their Book of Memories at