Janice E. Cluff Witham
March 26, 1937 - November 10, 2018
It was Janice's wish to be cremated and scattered into the ocean.
Janice E. Cluff Witham, 81, of Munjoy Hill in Portland, died at Maine Medical Center on November 10, 2018.
Janice was born on March 26, 1937, the daughter of Stephen E. and Florence E. (Jewell) Harriman, in the home she grew up in, in the Wildes District of Kennebunkport. She had one sister, Iva Mae, and two brothers, Stephen Irving and George Alden Harriman. Janice attended schools in the Kennebunk’s, graduating from Kennebunk High School in 1955. She was a professional cook and baker working in local restaurants and nursing homes.
Janice loved and was devoted to all animals; and for several years held both State and Federal permits for rehabilitating wild animals and birds. She and her first husband Carlton W. Chick raised their family of five children, two daughters, Donna and Wendy, son Stephen, and twin boys, Robert and Paul. In the late 1970’s, Janice and Carlton established and ran from their home the Limber Lost Doll hospital on South Maine Street for several years, where they not only restored Antique dolls, but toys as well.
In 1980, while always remaining close friends, she and Carlton decided to go their separate ways. In 1983, Janice reunited with a childhood friend, John Wayne Cluff and soon they were married. They lived very happily at the “Enchanted Cottage” on South Maine Street, enjoying her animals, and flower gardening, until Wayne predeceased her in 1998. While living at the “Enchanted Cottage” – she and Wayne welcomed the raccoon, “Binky” and their dear sweet beagle, Henry, I.
Janice held plant swaps annually for nearly 20 years at the “Enchanted Cottage” making many friends, and acquiring beautiful old perennials. In 2002 with the help of her new husband, Robert C. Witham, Sr., the two of them gently dug up and transported her garden’s most prized old fashioned perennials to their home on Munjoy Hill in Portland. With her marriage to Robert, Janice welcomed into her heart his seven children from his first marriage to Marie Pickering; Robert, Jr., Richard, Annette, Dan, Bobbie, Elite, and Leon. They also adopted another beagle, and named him Henry II.
Besides loving flower gardening, her pets, wild animals and birds, she was an avid reader; enjoying non-fiction. She also enjoyed classic movies, easy listening and classical music. Janice was a self-taught artist specializing in miniatures, especially of the ocean and moonlit landscapes. She use to sell many of her paintings right from her little cottage dooryard, where she arranged displays to attract the tourists. She learned from talking to some of her customers that her miniatures were destined to travel to various places all over the United States, England and Italy. It made her so happy to know her paintings would bring joy and pleasure to so many.
Janice was a passionate lover of all the beautiful aspects in her life from her hometown of Kennebunkport to her new home on Munjoy Hill with Bob. Together, she and Bob shared so much happiness, laughter and living – and she considered Bob to be her Best Friend! She was predeceased by Robert in 2016.
Janice and Robert shared their lives together, a blended family of children, grandchildren, great, grandchildren and several great-great grandchildren. She will be greatly missed by her family and those who had the opportunity of meeting Janice and becoming her friend.
In her memory and love of animals, please consider donating to the Animal Welfare Society, Inc., P.O Box 43, West Kennebunk, ME 04094.
The Autumn Green Funeral Home is respectfully handling arrangements.