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Estelle McKinneyComments
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Estelle McKinney

Estella Bernice McKinney
Estelle "Stella" Bernice McKinney was born September 13th 1906 in Rockland, Maine as the second child of Eugene M McKinney (a laborer from Cutler) and Lottie E Davis (a housewife from Friendship).

Documents show her name as Estelle, Estella or Stella but she most commonly went by Estelle. Much of Estelle's life is shrouded in mystery. Her SSN was 007-07-9693. According to the 1940 Census, she completed the 8th grade. She was an artist. She also worked as a seamstress in Sebago for Mrs Spaulding, the patron of Sebago. She worked during the war, perhaps as a welder. She went to live with Bessie for a time.

"My mother was born August twenty ninth. Mt grandmother was born September thirteenth. Friday the thirteenth. (Laughs) They made a movie about that." Jeannie Clancy, 2014 Aug

Married to John Clancy

Estelle married John Joseph Clancy on 1923 May 25 in Pittsfield, MA.

The were neighbors in Pittsfield, where they were both living as boarders. She married Leslie just a few years later and never spoke much about her first husband, the father of her only known surviving child.

For many years his identity was a mystery.

Susan and David at one point thought his name was Joseph Clancy. David's ex-wife Leila said that he was a judge from Massachusetts.

Birth of Everett Eugene Clancy

Everett was born 1923 Dec 18 and was raised in the presence of or by various relatives for much of his youth. Everett was raised by his grandmother for some time. According to the 1930 Census, Everett lived with his grandmother Lottie, who was a live-in servant in Scarborough, Maine at the mother-and-son Maloney household link.

Estelle had a second and final child who died in its infancy.

Estelle had another son as well, a little younger than Everett -- it seems that Everett was a toddler or perhaps three or four years old when her other child was born. However, as a very young baby it became inconsolably fussy one day. She and one of her nieces (or perhaps Bessie herself) passed the baby back and forth, trying to lull it down. As one of the ladies reached out to hand the baby over, it simply died. Estelle held her dead baby and it seemed to have an awful impact on her. She was very private about this chapter of her life, as with all her other happenings.

Married to Leslie Leavitt

Estelle married Leslie Austin Leavitt (1900 April 08 - ) on 1926 March 10 to .

Married to Oliver Stevens

Estelle married Oliver E Stevens on 1938 June 01.

Sue recalls that Oliver had a boat in Rockland or somewhere on the ocean, and the tide went out. The boat capsized or something and it washed onto the beach, getting cut apart for firewood by the neighborhood (which upset Estella).

Married to Charles Reynolds

Estelle married Charles Reynolds on 1941 October 20.

On 1948 July 8th he seems to have married a Mary J Gadbois.

Life as a divorcee

She does not seem to have spoken much about her husbands.

Life with niece

She lived with a niece for a while.

She supposedly became deeply religious while living with her niece.

Art school

She went to art school.

Life in Sebago

Estelle always supported a child overseas, like an Ethiopian kid or something -- dollar a easy type of thing. One day her kid got swapped out after she'd had the same one for some five years. "She was devastated," -- she was frustrated, sad, pissed off. She had been sending over socks shed made, money, letters, all to this same kid whose family was now well-off enough to not need her support anymore so the charity had simply cut him off from her and given her a new one in desperate need. She did not like that at all. Yeah, she wanted to help a needy child -- but she had gotten used to the one she had already been caring for.

Estelle reliwd solely off her small income from the state in her final years. Jeannie took care of her, living with her and paying her bills for her. She didn't have much of an outlay, just an electricity bill and a child she supported overseas and nothing much else. She got a touch of dementia toward the end, and one day accused Jeannie of stealing from her. After all these years of Jeannie being totally honest? Jeannie had known to keep all her receipts. After proving her honesty, Jeannie could tell that Estelle felt bad for even bring it up. But that had only been the dementia talking anyhow.

Death

Estelle died 1973 February 14.

Her granddaughter Jeannie was the person who mainly looked after her, going to check in regularly. By the time of Estelle's death, however, Jeannie was working and had a boyfriend. She would normally spend her nights with her boyfriend, so she had not seen Estelle for a few days when she came to visit her one evening and saw that she was having trouble breathing. Estelle had been sick for some time, and Jeannie would read the bible out loud for her because this was what she wanted; she did not always have the strength to read it on her own, though she was of course very literate. Anyhow, that night Estelle seemed especially sick so Jeannie called the doctor to come take a look and the doctor was alarmed, telling her that Estelle's condition was so grave that she should probably have been in the hospital at least a day ago. Jeannie drove her right away to the hospital, where she died that night. She regretted not being around as much in Estelle's final days; "I was too busy with my cock," she said.

She may have died of pneumonia after a long illness.

One word I've always heard used to refer to Estelle's residence was "moldy" -- and John burned down the whole kit and kaboodle, which thus explains the rarity of letters and other records from Estelle.

Estelle as seamstress

She made children's clothes for the kids -- Chiyo couldn't afford to buy clothes. She did not make adult clothes, though. Could she have been a town clerk in Jackson?

Existing paintings

Fifteen of Estelle's artworks are known to still exist.

There was a rumor of a painting at the Portland Museum of Art's Sweat Mansion, but an inquiry in 2013 to the museum turned up no such painting (though admittedly it could simply not be accounted for).

Portrait of Ma Estabrook

Portrait of Ma Estabrook
Currently held by University of Maine at Orono

Three nude women

Three nude women
Currently held by Jeannie Clancy

Two Dolls

Two Dolls
Currently held by Mary Clancy

Mary and Jeannie

Mary and Jeannie
Currently held by Mary Clancy

Mary

Mary
Currently held by Mary Clancy

Small sketch

Small sketch
Currently held by Mary Clancy

Jesus

Jesus
Currently held by Chiyo Clancy

Sketch of Jesus

Sketch of Jesus
Currently held by Chiyo Clancy

This small sketch is located in one of Estelle's bibles and seems to be a preliminary work for the painting of Jesus. The bible is currently in Pasadena for archiving.

River scene

River scene
Currently held by Chiyo Clancy

Male front-facing portrait

Male front-facing portrait
Currently held by Chiyo Clancy

Male side-view portrait

Male side-view portrait
Currently held by Chiyo Clancy

Female nude

Female nude
Currently held by Chiyo Clancy

Female portrait

Female portrait
Currently held by Chiyo Clancy

More painting

More painting
Chiyo Clancy

Lake view

Lake view
Currently held by Susan Clancy