Janet Mary Millett, 89, passed away peacefully May 8, 2021, at Northern Light Maine Coast Hospital in Ellsworth. Janet was born in London on Dec. 24, 1931, the daughter of Mark and Louise (Turnbull) Beard.
Janet’s earliest childhood memories were of being sent out of London with the start of WWII. She told stories of being the eldest of three siblings, listening to the nightly “noise of the planes with their bombs headed to London.” After the war, she spent her teenage years being raised amidst the art culture of London. Her father was a violinist for the London Symphony and an acclaimed artist and writer. She met Joseph Watras while he was a student at the London School of Economics. They soon married, and after having three children, Joseph was offered a job in Connecticut, so they moved to the U.S., where they had three more children. Janet had a great love for kids and was often the neighborhood babysitter, spending many summer days on Lake Candlewood.
When she met her second husband Leo Millett, they honeymooned on MDI and Janet and Leo fell in love with the island. Soon thereafter, they moved the whole family to the island and into Grey Rock in Northeast Harbor. After Leo passed, Janet turned their home into a bed and breakfast. For the next 40 years, she ran the Grey Rock Inn as a family business. Janet used her early upbringing with the arts and her eye for interior design to create a unique Victorian inn that served hundreds of guests over the years, many of whom returned over and over to experience the elegance of the inn and Janet’s English charm.
Janet was predeceased by her daughter Melissa Penn. She is survived by her sons Adam Watras and Karl and wife, Heather Watras; and her daughters Amelia Tascillo, Francesca Gillespie and Victoria Donnelly. She was blessed with 15 grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren. She also left behind her special friends Rosemary, Charlie and Judith.
There will be a private celebration of Janet’s life when her family can come together.