Obituary: Florence R. Sillen – Portland Press Herald


Florence R. Sillen

Florence R. Sillen 1938 – 2021 BATH – Florence Ruth Sillen, of Bath, passed away on Thursday July 8, 2021, at the age of 83. Florence was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY She studied art and art history at Pratt Institute, the School of Visual Art and Empire State College, and obtained a master’s degree in social work from the Hunter School of Social Work, a proud achievement in its 60th year. Florence lived in New York for many years, representing professional photographers, while painting at night and on weekends. At one point, she took the opportunity to live and paint in Paris, staying three years while attending the Atelier de la Grand-Chaumière workshops. She studied portraiture and still life and often found her subjects among interesting French street figures. Back in New York, she again focused on abstract painting. Florence moved to Maine in 2002 with her partner, Charles Rusnak, where they settled in Bath. She worked for a time as a social worker at Sweetser, a mental health service in Brunswick, and pursued her art through abstract collage and watercolor. Florence loved competitive dancing, drumming, walking, kayaking, her dogs, meditation and all forms of theater. She loved people, made friends easily, and was deeply committed to politics and social change. She also volunteered for the CHANS Hospice. Florence spent the last years of her life at Sunnybrook Senior Living and Avita of Brunswick, where caregivers and staff created an atmosphere of comfort and love during her last difficult trip, and provided a sense of ease and of security to those of us who loved him. . CHANS Hospice has also brought its invaluable expertise to this effort. Florence is predeceased by her parents and her partner, Charlie Rusnak. She is survived by her brother, Larry Sillen, of Brooklyn, NY

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