Harris MacDonald Putnam

Harris MacDonald Putnam, 88, passed away peacefully with family by her side on Sunday, April 3, 2022. She was born on August 17, 1933, in New York City, second child of Raymond A. and Ambia Harris MacDonald. Harris was raised in Scarsdale, NY and Winchester, MA. She also summered on Chebeague Island, Maine at the family home, Noddlehead, her entire life. Harris graduated from Winchester High School  and went on to attend Smith College where she graduated in 1955.

On September 3, 1955 at First Church in Winchester, MA she married Shelby W. Putnam. She and Shelby met on Chebeague Island one summer when she was working as the club house attendant for the Chebeague Island Golf Club. They  began seriously dating during their sophomore year of college; she at Smith and he at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. After their marriage they moved to Norfolk, VA where their first child (William G., 1956) was born. Next they resided in Lancaster, PA where they added a second son ( Robert  M., 1958)  and finally they were able to achieve their goal of living in Maine upon a move to Cape Elizabeth where the family was completed with the birth of their daughter (Jennifer H., 1964). Chebeague Island remained a summer home throughout her life and played a large role in family memories.

Together with her husband she owned and operated Haven’s Candy Kitchen for 20 years from 1970 to 1990. Upon retirement they moved to Scarborough, Maine. Boating was a constant in their lives together. They spent many hours cruising Casco Bay and the waters of the Maine coast first in Quandary and in later years in the Lord Nelson tug Certus. When Haven’s was no longer a daily part of life she and Shelby boarded Certus and spent 4 years cruising back and forth between Maine, Florida and even the Bahamas.

Harris had many diverse interests throughout her life, both indoors and out. She served as a sailing counselor at Camp Westwinds on Chebeague and in later years taught swimming lessons to many Island children. At Smith College she played field hockey and was the coxswain for the crew team. She also took a course on basketball and became a referee for college games. In the winter she spent time on the ski slopes of Sunday River. Her indoor activities were being an avid reader and completing thousands of crossword puzzles! Once she started a New York Times crossword puzzle her pencil rarely stopped moving until it was completed.

She is survived by her husband Shelby, sons William G. Putnam and his wife Julie of Cumberland, Maine Robert M. Putnam and his partner Lori  Cannon of Greenwood, Maine and daughter Jennifer H. Cummings and her husband Ian of Southport, North Carolina. Her extended family has 8 grandchildren and 22 great-grandchildren with another expected. Harris is also survived by 1 niece, Sarah MacDonald.

She is predeceased by her brother Alastair H. MacDonald.

Harris enjoyed many hours with her 8 grandchildren, all of whom have many fond memories of Grammie playing with them at the Island house and her attendance at many sporting events, theater performances and numerous other activities. As long as she was able she extended her attention to the activities of her great-grandchildren as well. She enjoyed shopping for Christmas gifts for all the youngest children in the family.

Her family will honor her with a memorial service on a date to be determined at the Chebeague Island Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, donations in her honor would be welcomed by the Stephen L. Ross Scholarship Fund (https://stephenlross.org/ or inquire with Maine Community Foundation, (207) 412-2003).

The family appreciates the gentle care provided by the staff of Gosnell Memorial  House and Southern Maine Hospice.