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Janice Kennedy Doctor

Mar 14, 1932 - Jun 10, 2017

Janice's Story

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South Portland - Janice Kennedy Doctor, age 85, died June 10, 2017.
I was born in Bangor, the daughter of Chester Alexander and Geneva Beal Kennedy. My grandmother, Annie Turner Beal, was a tenth generation descendent of William Brewster. My mother's father, Captain N.I. Beal, was a son of "Tall Barney" Beal of Beal's Island.
I was predeceased by my two brothers: The Rev. Dana F. Kennedy and Chester N. Kennedy. I am survived by my daughter Katherine Latendresse and her husband Kevin, their son Alexander Doctor Latendresse and his girlfriend Becky Rosen. Other surviving relatives are: Chester's wife Patricia Kennedy and their son Steven; Dana's son Michael and his wife Diane, their three sons, their sons' wives, and their grandchildren; and cousin Ruth Beal Sattleberg and her children and grandchildren.
I graduated from Bangor High School in 1950. Then I entered the Eastern Maine General Hospital's nursing program, but left after one year to attend Pembroke College in Brown University. After graduating from Brown in 1955, I went on to study at the Rhode Island School of Design and graduated in 1958. I went to work at Ginn and Co. in Boston following graduation.
In 1960, I married Kuno Doctor and we went to Munich, Germany so that he could finish his medical studies which he had started there before coming to the United States to attend Brown University. After living five years in Munich, I returned to South Portland, to attend my parents' 50th wedding anniversary. I decided to stay so that Katherine, who was born in Munich, could attend school in America. My husband, a Holocaust survivor, had agreed to join us, but was so afflicted with OCD that he could not work or even lead a normal life and remained in Munich.
I taught art at SPHS for one year. Then I conducted art classes for senior citizens throughout the Greater Portland area. I worked in the activity department at Seaside Nursing Home for several years and at the Hillside Nursing Home in South Portland for about ten years. During that time, I met Davis P. Wurts at SMVTI while taking a course he was teaching. We were married in the Salt Lake Temple in Utah; and although divorced in 1977, I remained good friends with him and his daughter Caroline.
I inherited the waterfront homestead on High Street in South Portland that had been purchased by my grandfather in 1906 when his house in Portland was taken by eminent domain for the construction of the federal courthouse. In December 2000, I moved into the Betsy Ross House, which was still in the process of being finished. I had served on the Board of the South Portland Housing Authority, when plans for the Betsy Ross House were developed, but had to resign when I was elected to the Board of Education. I lost the election for a second term by 55 votes.
While at Brown, in a class taught by Professor Walter Feldman, I developed a love of woodcuts, and did several for my senior project at RISD. At the age of 75, I decided to do a series of woodcuts for a children's book before the arthritis in my fingers got any worse. This was a project that I had considered doing as a student but had never started. In 2010, I copyrighted the books which I wrote and illustrated, each consisting of five woodcuts and a cover: Toe to Toe, Gibble Gobble, and More Gibble Gobble.
I was devoted to my family and loved them very much. When Alex was little, I enjoyed reading to him and bringing him toys. After the family moved to South Portland, I picked Alex up after school until he was old enough to drive.
My most notable accomplishment was the prevention of the filling of a section of the waterfront between the Coast Guard and the Centerboard Yacht Club. In 1972, I organized a group to fight the project, and the owner of the flats withdrew when protesters filled City Hall to view the presentation he had prepared. Ten years later, the same owner, in conjunction with a developer, brought forth another project for the area. This project consisted of building two wharfs, each the size of an aircraft carrier, and building condos. The project was reduced to one wharf when brought before the city council. The condos on the end of the wharf were to be seven stories high and reduced one story at a time as they progressed down the wharf to the land. The Ferry Village Neighborhood Conservation Association was formed to prevent this project. The plan was altered and resulted in 15 condos being built on the land.
I wrote this obituary in 2008 as a Christmas gift to my daughter, who had requested that I do it. Fortunately, I have had to update this many times. I am requesting that no services be held, but that family members enjoy a meal together. When my grandmother Etta McLain Kennedy died, one of my father's friends gave him large thick cuts of T-bone steaks. I was a senior in high school and that was the first time I had ever eaten such steak. Etta's father, Augustus C. McLain, was a civil war hero, who lived in Pemaquid and is buried in the Bristol cemetery. I will be buried next to my grandfather, Captain Alexander Johnson Kennedy, in the old section of the Forest City Cemetery for a graveside service at 11:00 a.m. on Friday, June 23, 2017. On-line condolences may be sent to: www.hobbsfuneralhome.com.
Published on  June 14, 2017
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