Janet Gwillim Whitney

Janet Gwillim Whitney, 95, died November 16, 2011 at Midcoast Senior Health Center in Brunswick, Maine.  She was born on November 5, 1916 in Passaic, New Jersey, the daughter of Edward Pierpont Gwillim and Mabel Sweet Gwillim.  Her family moved to West Newton, Massachusetts where she graduated from Newton High School.  She then attended the Chamberlain School for Women in Boston and after graduating, worked for Liberty Mutual Insurance and Loomis-Sayles Investments, commuting by train from her family’s home in Newtonville.

In 1942 she married her next door neighbor, Donald Forte Whitney.  After living in Flint, Michigan as newlyweds, they bought a home in Wellesley Hills, Massachusetts where they raised their two daughters, Susan and Lee Ann.  The family spent summers on Chebeague Island in Maine, moving there permanently after Donald’s retirement.

Janet was an active member of the Newton-Wellesley Hospital Aid Association, serving as a dependable volunteer for many years as well as its president for several years.  Since she enjoyed interacting with people she worked at several part-time jobs over the years, including assistant librarian at Pine Manor College in Wellesley.  The Gwillims were avid golfers. Her father was one of the founding members of the Great Chebeague Golf Club where Janet spent many happy hours playing the course with her father, brothers and husband.  She continued to support the Club long after she was no longer able to play golf.

She was pre-deceased by her beloved husband Donald, and her brothers Robert P. Gwillim and Russell A. Gwillim.  She is survived by her daughters Susan A. Burgess and her husband Ernest, Lee Ann Robinson and her husband Gordon;  grandson Ethan Burgess;  three granddaughters Erin Burgess, Ashley Adams and her husband Kai, and Amy Sidor;  two great-granddaughters, Whitney Adams and Morgan Adams; nieces Joanne Gwillim Saunders, Linda Gwillim and her partner Carolyn Newkirk and Cynthia Gwillim.  She is also survived by her cousin Elizabeth Hall Henderson of Wells, Maine.

The family would like to express their deep gratitude for the kindness and care Janet received while living at The Garden at Midcoast Senior Health Center and while under the care of Bodwell Hospice.  There will be a private interment on Chebeague Island.  In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Island Commons Resource Center, 132 Littlefield Road, Chebeague Island, Maine  04017.

50th wedding anniversary
50th Wedding Anniversary

janet and don janet and don

Lee Ann, Morgan, Ashley, Whitney and Janet

janet and Whitney
Janet with her great granddaughter Whitney

janet and amy
Janet with her grand daughter Amy

Janet at the 2007 Island Common's Fundraiser