Floral 16

Joan Elaine (O'Donnell) Whitten

May 14, 1936 ~ November 15, 2023 (age 87) 87 Years Old

Joan Whitten Obituary



Westbrook – Joan Elaine Whitten, 87, of Spring Street, died on Wednesday, November 15, 2023, at Maine Medical Center due to declining health. She was born May 14, 1936, in Portland to the late John A. and Rose (Arvanigian) O’Donnell.

Joan was a long-time resident of Portland and a graduate of Portland High School Class of 1954. She enjoyed dancing and taking road trips with her friends. After graduation, she worked for Bell Telephone. Joan then married Benard Gene Nelson, with whom they had two daughters, and moved to Pennsylvania for a short time. After Gene’s unexpected death, she returned to Portland to be with family. Several years later, she married the late John “Jack” Whitten. They had one son and 44 wonderful years together. She and Jack had a community of friends through the American Legion of Westbrook and enjoyed attending car races at Beach Ridge Speedway. The couple also worked at flea markets and traveled to many fairs across the state.

Joan was a dedicated homemaker, a devoted mother, and a beloved "Ninie” to all her grandchildren. She enjoyed knitting, needlepoint, and other crafts. For the last several years, she had lived at Springbrook Nursing home, where she was well liked by both staff and residents. Joan will be remembered as someone with a quick wit and great sense of humor.

In addition to her parents, and husbands, she was predeceased by her brother John E. O’Donnell, and daughter-in-law Wende (Poitras) Whitten. Survived by her 2 daughters: Elaina (Nelson) Duquette and husband Brian of Scarborough, and Shari Lyne (Nelson) McDonough of Portland; 1 son: Peter Whitten of Hollis; 5 grandchildren: Ashley (Duquette) Montgomery and husband AJ of Auburn, Kristen (Duquette) Johnson and husband Daniel of Warwick, Rhode Island, Matthew Duquette of Freeport, Michael McDonough of Portland and Timothy Whitten of Windham; and 7 great-grandchildren: Ariel, Ava, Aylie, and Atlas Montgomery, Kase and Laine Johnson, and Aria Parker.

The family would like to especially thank the staff and physicians of Springbrook Nursing Home and Maine Medical Center for providing exceptional care.

Visitation will be held from 4-6 Pm on Tuesday November 21st at A.T. Hutchins Funeral Home, 660 Brighton Avenue, and where funeral services will be held 11:30 Am Wednesday November 22nd. Burial will follow in Evergreen Cemetery. Donations may be made to the American Heart Association. 

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Joan Elaine (O'Donnell) Whitten, please visit our floral store.

Friends and family have shared their relationship to show their support.
How do you know Joan Elaine (O'Donnell) Whitten?
We are sorry for your loss.
Help others honor Joan's memory.


November 21, 2023

4:00 PM to 6:00 PM
A.T. Hutchins Funeral home
660 Brighton Ave
Portland, ME 04102

Funeral Service
November 22, 2023

11:30 AM
A.T. Hutchins Funeral home
660 Brighton Ave
Portland, ME 04102


© 2023 . All Rights Reserved. Funeral Home website by CFS & TA | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Accessibility