Janel Helen Mitchell

BAR HARBOR — Janet Helen (McFarland) Mitchell of Bar Harbor passed away Sept. 7, 2009. She was born Feb. 21, 1941 to Edward and Jasmine (Higgins) McGarr. She married Alton L. Mitchell, Jr. on June 11, 1960 and they recently celebrated their 49th wedding anniversary.


Janet was a beloved wife, mother, grandmother, sister, and aunt. She enjoyed her family and had a full life with many hobbies and interests. Janet enjoyed meeting and greeting her many customers at the Town & Country clothing store for the 8-plus years she worked there. She also enjoyed many years working as a certified nurse’s assistant, or CNA, helping to care for the elderly. She co-founded Santa’s Workshop with her husband, brother and sister-in-law; it’s a nonprofit project that delivered gifts at Christmas to nursing home residents and shut-ins on Mount Desert Island. Janet owned and operated several businesses over the years, but was forced to retire due to illness.

She is survived by her loving husband, Alton of Bar Harbor; son Greggory D. Mitchell and his wife Janet of Bucksport; daughters Terri M. Mitchell of Bangor, and Jennie R. Mitchell and her fiancé Brian Dubois of Old Town. Janet’s greatest joy was her grandchildren: R. Christopher Mitchell, Max Alton Mitchell, Nathan Patrick Detour, and Ruby Jasmine Avato. Janet is also survived by brothers Paul, and former sister-in-law Margo; Richard and his wife Bobbi; Jim and his wife Paula; and Ted McFarland. She is also survived by sister-in-law Theolyn Gilley and her husband Clayton.

She had many nieces and nephews across the country and loved them all. Janet leaves special friend Annie Wheaton and niece Denise Buzzell, both of Bar Harbor, who were very dear to her. “Nana” also will be missed by canine companions Stanley, Dottie, and Peppercorn.

Janet was predeceased by her parents; sister Betty; and brothers Gene, David, and Arthur. She also lost her first-born son, Alton L. Mitchell III, in 1961, and a grandson, Ryan Daniel Detour, in 2002.

Janet’s family would like to thank Dr. Lee Haynes, Dr. Mark Brown, Dr. Meryl Nass, Joyce her special health care nurse, and the many aides who visited for their care and comfort. Also special thanks to the third-floor staff at Mount Desert Island hospital, the emergency department, the crew at Dr. Haynes’ office, and the staff at Sonogee Estates. There will be no funeral at Janet’s request.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Bar Harbor Ambulance Service or the Ryan Daniel Detour Memorial Scholarship, c/o Bangor Savings Bank, 89 Main St, Bucksport ME 04416 – scholarships are given to a worthy student and wrestler graduating from Bucksport High School – in memory of Janet’s grandson.

The family would like to thank Janet’s many friends, family members, and care providers for their expressions of kindness during her illness. You are too many to mention. A celebration of Janet’s life will held on Sunday, Sept. 13, 2009 at 1 p.m. at Malvern Belmont Estates, 80 Mount Desert St., Bar Harbor. Arrangements by Bragdon-Kelley-Campbell Funeral Home in Ellsworth, Maine.

Know when to pay your respects.