Betty Landell, 87: Accomplished painter, gardener, seamstress

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TOPSHAM — Betty Landell, 87, died on Nov. 23 at home in her sleep.

Born on Nov. 17, 1924 in Philadelphia, Pa., Landell attended Lower Merion, Pa. schools and later Rollins College and Bryn Mawr College.

In 1945 she married Dana Fernald and lived in Rosemont, Pa. for many years while raising their three children.

In 1986 she was remarried to Harper Landell, and after his retirement, they moved to Jupiter, Fla. Several years after her husband’s unexpected death in 1997, Landell moved to Maine to be near her daughter, living in Topsham for the past 11 years.

An accomplished decorative painter, she has been a member of the Historical Society of Early American Decoration since 1982, working in the techniques of freehand bronzing, country painting, theorems and reverse painting on glass.

Artistic in many mediums, Landell most recently worked in pastel as her eyesight became limited due to macular degeneration. Her artwork was exhibited locally at People Plus and The Highlands.

A lover of the natural world, she marveled at its beauty with her family and friends. She was an avid gardener and flower arranger, active in The Gardeners  during her many years of residence in the Philadelphia area. In addition to her love of gardening, she designed and sewed clothing for herself and her family, while exploring many forms of needlework and providing needlepoint-finishing expertise to many.

As an animal lover, Landell always shared her life with her dogs and cats including Blackie, Pepper, Dina, Tina, Jiggles, Morris, Beri, Star, Wicket, Honey, and Honey Two. Her friends and family will remember her as a generous, humble, thoughtful and loving person who readily expressed appreciation for the smallest kindnesses. Affectionately known as “the cookie queen,” she loved to bake and give away different types of cookies, a joy she passed on to her daughter.

A survivor of numerous surgeries and losses during her long life, she was a courageous woman with remarkable resilience. She was predeceased by her devoted husband Harper Landell, her first husband Dana Fernald, two of her three children, Lynn Fernald and Rob Fernald, and daughter-in-law Amy Fernald.

She is survived by her daughter Lisa Williams and her husband Rick of Yarmouth; step-daughter Lynne Landell Wooler and her husband Bob of The Villages, Fla.; step-son Rick Landell and his wife Theresa of Philadelphia, Pa.; four grandchildren, Hilary Dana Williams of Des Moines, IA, Evan Calder Williams of Santa Cruz, Calif., Erika Kelley of Medical Lake, Wash., and Rhiannon Bakk-Hansen and her husband Erik of Hoffmann Estates, Ill.; two great granddaughters Liesel Elena Bakk-Hansen and Berit Elizabeth Bakk-Hansen; and a great grandson due to join the Bakk-Hansen family in early December.

Landell’s daughter would like to thank Dr. Christopher Meserve of Mid Coast Medical Group, Denise Jasmin, and Penny Gimpel for their help in the care of her mother. A celebration of Landell’s life will take place in mid-December.

Donations can be made in Landell’s memory to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, 175 Ammon Dr., Suite 201, Manchester, N.H., 03103 or at

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