Jean Frances (Nutter) Janell
After a rewarding life filled with music, family, and love of the water, interrupted by bouts with cancer for 20 years, Jean passed away at home in the evening of January 4, 2020. She was born in Leominster, Massachusetts on February 3, 1937 to H. Earl and Belle (Dunwoody) Nutter.
Jean graduated from Leominster High School in 1954 and from Becker Junior College in 1957, earning an associate’s degree in medical secretarial science. She worked in medical records at Leominster Hospital, for the Nashoba Board of Health, and in several doctors’ offices.
In 1958, she married John Janell. In 1963, they built a home in Lunenburg and raised their family there. They moved to Spec Pond in Lancaster in 1983 and then to Bristol, Maine in 1998.
Music was a central part of Jean’s life. She began singing in the children’s choir, piano lessons at the age of five and continued to play throughout her life. For her fiftieth birthday, she received a Kawai grand piano and finally realized her dream of studying music at the Thayer Conservatory of Music. This not only provided hours of personal enjoyment, but became the centerpiece of many jazz parties held at the house on Spec Pond. She accompanied soloists and local choruses and was the musical director for several musical productions at the Stratton Players in Fitchburg, one of the oldest community theaters in the country. The highlight of this was playing dual grand pianos with her son Jay for a production of South Pacific at Lunenburg High School.
Jean enjoyed family summer vacations in Rockport and Cape Cod. She and John also travelled to California, Oregon, the Bahamas, Virgin Islands, England, Paris and took a small ship cruise in Alaska and the Canadian Rocky Mountaineer rail. For 15 years before moving to Maine they had a sloop which they sailed out of Kittery Point, down east along the Maine coast.
During her time in Maine, Jean volunteered for the Miles Hospital in Damariscotta and the Bristol Public Library. At the hospital, she provided a warm and welcoming presence in the registration department. She also sang in the choir at the Second Congregational Church of Newcastle and chaired the music committee. She enjoyed walking the Pemaquid Loop Road admiring the crashing surf.
Jean is survived by her husband; and by her sons, Jeffrey Janell, his wife Daisy Dore, and grandson, Nathan Janell of Manchester, ME; and Jay Janell and his wife Mary Paradiso of Fitchburg, MA. She was predeceased by her parents; her brother, Loren; and her son, James.
A Celebration of Life service will be held at the Second Congregational Church, 51 Main Street, Newcastle, ME, at 11 a.m. on Saturday, January 11, 2020. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to LincolnHealth - Tufts Program, ℅ Development Office, 35 Miles Street, Damariscotta, ME 04543; or the Bristol Area Lions Foundation - Scholarship Fund, P.O. Box 11, New Harbor, ME 04554.
Arrangements are under the direction and care of the Strong-Hancock Funeral Home, 612 Main Street, Damariscotta, ME 04543. Condolences, and messages for her family, may be expressed by visiting: www.StrongHancock.com.
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