Jeannette O. Orff

Sep 11, 2017

Camden — Jeannette O. Orff, 93, died Sept. 4, 2017, at Windward Gardens, where she had resided since 2015.

Jeannette was born in Warren Oct. 15, 1923, the first of nine children born to Charles R. and Doris Teague Overlock. She was educated in Warren and graduated from Warren High School in 1940.

She married Kendall A. Orff Nov. 5, 1941, on Meadow View Farm in Cushing, where they would raise two children and work together to earn a living using the farm’s resources. They raised beef and dairy cattle as well as poultry, which eventually grew into a thriving hatchery business, producing chicks that were sold throughout the state. They also operated a local blueberry business for many years, harvesting berries from their own fields as well as buying berries from local growers. The forested acres of the farm provided Christmas trees and wreaths which they supplied to Boston-area florists.

Jeannette was the last survivor of the “Busy Hands Club” comprised of women from Warren, Cushing and Thomaston whose husbands had all gone off to war. The club gathered during World War II to provide support for the war by rolling bandages and knitting, but also provided much-needed support for each other.

Always interested in town government, Jeannette served as Cushing’s tax collector from 1956 to 1969, operating from an office in her home. While her children were students at Cushing school, she volunteered at health and immunization clinics and helped organize the school fair, which raised money for school projects.

Kendall and Jeannette owned and operated The Cheese House in Wiscasset from 1970 to 1980 before selling it and wintering, while working, at the Gasparilla Inn in Boca Grande, Fla.

They were avid campers, travelling the East Coast and eastern Canada, and hardy snowmobilers, enjoying many group excursions across the state of Maine with a group of friends. They also enjoyed spending time with family and friends at their lakeside cottage on Damariscotta Lake, which included sharing a much-anticipated Christmas Eve celebration with immediate family one snowy winter.

Jeannette filled her life and home with music. She sang at church and enjoyed playing music on the piano in her home. She had an extensive collection of sheet music which, over the years, acquired that “well-loved” look. There were times when friends, also musicians, would gather at her home to play music for their own enjoyment. She also played the piano in a local band that, for many years, played at the Saturday night dances at the Cushing Grange.

Jeannette will be well remembered for always having the coffee pot on for visitors in her homey farm kitchen, where friends and family could always stop by for fresh baked goods, a hearty farm meal, and an afternoon of conversation.

Jeannette is survived by her daughter, Nancy Rackliff, and her husband, Bo, of South Thomaston; her son, Lewis Orff, and his wife, Barbara, of Rockland; four grandchildren, Hilary Rackliff and her husband, Piet Lammert, of Rockport, Christine Clayton and her husband, Will, of Rockland, Jenica Williams of Fort Kent, Jarred Orff and his wife, Ashley, of Virginia Beach, Va.; seven great-grandchildren, Aiden and Devon Lammert of Rockport, Sophia and Noah Clayton of Rockland, Chelsea Williams of Fort Kent, Camden and Weston Orff of Virginia Beach; her sisters, Bernys Mattson of New Gloucester and Carolyn Overlock of Warren; her brother, Albert Overlock, and his wife, Janice, of Warren; her sisters-in-law, Virginia Overlock of Warren and Marion Overlock of Portland; as well as several nieces and nephews.

She was predeceased by her husband, Kendall, in 2008, three days before their 67th wedding anniversary; her brothers, Charles R. Overlock, Frank E. Overlock, Russell G. Overlock, Richard N. Overlock and Ronald A. Overlock.

A celebration of life will be held at 2 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 19, at Burpee, Carpenter and Hutchins Funeral Home, 110 Limerock St., Rockland. A reception will follow at 104 Limerock, adjacent to the the funeral home.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Cushing Library, 39 Cross Road, Cushing, ME 04563 or to the Cushing Rescue Squad, c/o Sandra Blanchard, P.O. Box 20, Cushing, ME 04563.

To share a memory or condolence with Mrs. Orff’s family, visit their Book of Memories at

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