A Memorial for Francesca

Posted on 11/24/2016 in *Shows, Events and Fun 4 Comments


There is so much to be thankful for here at Maine Art. We have a tremendous staff, a fabulous clientele, and some of the most talented artists in this part of the country. It took all of this for us to be where we are today.  The hard work and effort of all of these people does not go unrecognized. However, on this day, when we look deep inside and say ‘thank you’ to all who have made us who we are, our hearts and thoughts go immediately to Francesca Spain, who passed away this fall.

Francesca joined the Maine Art family, literally and figuratively, in 1995. Since then, she has touched the lives of so many in the Kennebunk area and beyond. Many of us were blessed with her smiling face on an extended visit to Kennebunk this summer. From walking her favorite beaches to eating at her favorite restaurants, she and her friends celebrated well. Her happiness and lust for life was contagious and her visit was a wonderful one.

“We cross paths with people throughout our lives sometimes never knowing the full impact a person has on you until you no longer travel on the same path,” says Natalie Lane, Gallery Manager at Maine Art. “I am blessed to have been able to call Francesca a good friend and will miss her dearly.”

“I never imagined when I took a new job at the gallery twelve years ago that I would be gaining a family. Francesca was a huge inspiration to me and always offered wonderful support and advice,” says Amy Lewia, Gallery Director. “I have so many wonderful memories of her,  which I cherish now more than ever. I am so grateful I was lucky enough to have her in my life.”

Since her death, we have been inundated with messages and phone calls from all over the country, from folks expressing sorrow and sympathy and sharing memories of Francesca. “She was a remarkable woman, and Maine Art would not be what it is today without her love, support and hard work. We are all profoundly sad,” said John Spain.

We wanted to make sure you were all aware of the memorial service for Francesca that will be held Saturday, November 26th at The Beachmere Inn in Ogunquit, Maine from 2-5 pm. If you wish, donations to hospice can be made in Francesca’s name.


Francesca, age 56, passed away suddenly on Thursday, November 3, 2016 in Lakeland, Florida. She was born on April 7, 1960 in Grosse Pointe, Michigan to Peter J. Tarantino and Patricia (Pratt) Whitten. Francesca co-owned and operated Maine Art Gallery in Kennebunk for many years. Francesca moved to Sebring, Florida three years ago from Kennebunk. She was involved in a recovery community and had a love for people. She worked at the YMCA, volunteered for therapeutic horseback riding, and was also a member of The Elks Club in Sebring. She worked for hospice in Maine with a passion for her work. She enjoyed calling and playing bingo, bicycling, running, hiking, bowling, canoeing and traveling. She also loved music, reading, writing and some painting. She was very proud of the opportunity to be an organ donor. Survivors include her parents, sister: Theresa Haggett of Poland Spring; brother: John Vince Tarantino of Gloucester, MA and nieces: Maryssa Haggett and Kayla Haggett. Francesca was preceded in death by her brother, Isadore Tarantino.


  1. Virginia Bennett
    November 24, 2016

    Thank you for this loving tribute to Francesca. I live in the Pacific Northwest and I am John’s aunt. Over the years, I was blessed to spend a few visits with this beautiful lady with the fantastic smile. She was always loving and sweet to my father, John’s grandfather, and he truly loved her. I enjoyed her laughter and authentic interest in whatever we happened to be talking about.

    They came out to visit us at a ranch we managed in CA and stayed several days with us. What a blessing for me to get to know her better. She really made a lasting impression on me. More recently, we had been connecting on FB. Her absence has left a big hole in the world. My sincere sympathy to each of her family and friends. I know your hearts are hurting.

  2. Susan Ellison
    November 25, 2016

    I had the privilege of meeting Francesca several years ago. We met at the golf course in Sebring, Florida, and enjoyed playing golf together ever since. She was a joy to be around, we had some great golf games together, even when we didn’t play well, just talking and enjoying life together. I truly am thankful I met her, and miss her very much. I will never play another game of golf without thinking of her.

  3. Mary Helen Collins
    November 25, 2016

    John and Francesca Spain were some of the first people I met in Kennebunkport. They were a great team. Her smile was contagious, and she loved her life. She will be missed.

  4. Carol Bailey
    December 2, 2016

    I am saddened to hear of Francesca’s passing. I met her several years ago when Stan & I visited she & John at the gallery. We were treated to wonderful meals as she was a great cook. She was a friend that I had not seen since Stan passed away. I will miss her smile & passion for life.