Joseph's Story

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KENNEBUNK - Joseph B. Havens, 97, of Kennebunk, died early Monday morning, November 23, 2015 at Bradford Court in Kennebunk. Joseph was born on August 10, 1918 in Asbury Park, New Jersey to Abram Vaughan and Sara Mildred Atkinson Havens.

Joseph attended Junior and Senior High School in Westfield, New Jersey, graduating in 1936. He attended Princeton University and was a member of the "Key and Seal" Eating Club all 4 years there, graduating in 1940. With a growing passion for art and being a developing artist himself, he completed a year's study in art at Parson's in New York City before joining the U. S. Army in 1941. He completed Officer's Candidate School, and was assigned to teach (firearms education) at the Infantry School at Fort Benning, Georgia. On April 21, 1944, First Lieutenant Joseph Havens married Elizabeth Hoskins Darlington , one of his best high school friends, in Westfield, New Jersey. Only 6 weeks later, his unit was called into action and Joe was deployed to France to join the 28th Infantry Division; then heavily engaged in combat in Normandy. He was in the Battle of the Bulge and fought in the nightmare that took place in the Hurtgen Forest. In December of 1944, after his own hospitalization, he was called by the Army's Office of the Chief Surgeon of the ETO in Paris to participate as a Army Psychologist in the treatment and care of fellow soldiers with "Battle Fatigue" and was assigned to the 99th General Hospital in Verdun until the war ended in 1945.

During most of his time in the Army, he found his drawing and painting ability in demand and he did over 75 portrait sketches of his fellow soldiers. After returning home to his wife Betty and settling on Long Island, NY, he studied at the Art Students League in NYC while working a day job at Lord and Taylor's. Joseph's move to Washington, D.C. and Natick and Wellesley, Massachusetts with his family led him into a 40 year career in commercial art as an Art Director with several major (BBDO, K&E) and minor advertising and publishing agencies. After retiring, he and Betty moved to Kennebunk, Maine in the spring of 1985, and it was there that Joe continued his passion for painting, and for watercolors specifically, and most of all for life on the Maine Coast. His paintings have been hung in numerous juried shows, including the American Watercolor Society, the New England Watercolor Society, Watercolor U.S.A., and the State Department's "American Painters in Paris" in 1973. Memberships have included the Wellesley Society of Artists (he is a past president), the NorthShore Arts Association, the Copley Society and the Art Guild of the Kennebunks, from which he was presented a LifeTime Achievement Award in 2011. In 1985 he collaborated with Charlie Wright of Cape Porpoise, Maine to open the Wright Gallery where he showed and sold hundreds of his paintings over the next 28 years. He also studied with local watercolor artist Carl Schmalz in his summer painting workshops.

Joe and Betty were long time active members of St. David's Episcopal church of Kennebunk and it is here where Joe designed the church's Memorial Garden where he will be buried alongside his wife.

Joseph was predeceased by his wife, Elizabeth, (August 13, 2011) and his one brother, Oliver V. Havens of Hobe Sound, Florida as well as his son-in-law, Roland Mayhew. Surviving are his daughter, Phyllis D. Havens of Hampden, Maine; his son, Robert Atkinson Havens, of Sidney, Nebraska; two grandchildren, Elizabeth Aster Matson, and her husband, Andrew Matson of Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts, and Sky Havens Mayhew of Sunnyvale, California. He also leaves beloved nieces, Judy Havens and her husband Rico Ferrari, Jan Havens Greer and her husband Chilton Greer, and Cathy Darlington Langrehr as well as nephews Thomas Darlington, and Wife Ronnie, Peter Darlington, and Joe Darlington and his wife Bonnie.

A Memorial gathering and Celebration of Life for Joe will be held in the Spring, 2016 with the exact date to be announced at that time.

To share a memory or leave a message of condolence, please visit Joe's Book of Memory Page at www.bibberfuneral.com.

Arrangements are in care of Bibber Memorial Chapel, 67 Summer Street, Kennebunk, ME 04043.

Published on  November 25, 2015
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