Joan Elizabeth Stanton Fitting
1926 - 2021
South Portland, ME
Joan Elizabeth Stanton Fitting
Joan Elizabeth Stanton Fitting, born April 18, 1926 in New York City, passed away peacefully on April 21, 2021 just days after celebrating her 95th birthday. Her husband of forty-seven years and the love of her life, Donald Fitting, was right by her side. Joan and Don had lived in Solebury, PA for their entire married life until moving to Maine two years ago to be closer to Joan's daughter, Karen. Joan was previously married to James L. Harris, with whom she had three children: Guy, Karen, and Ellen.
Joan had many dear friends whom she had met through the years through her involvement in The League of Women's Voters, her years selling real estate in Bucks County, and her work at the local newspaper, The Daily Intelligencer. When she retired from the newspaper, she joined the board of the Solebury Township Historical Society and became their archivist, organizing and sorting through the historical documents and artifacts of the town of Solebury. Joan loved going to garage sales and was a bridge addict, and both she and Donald were devoted longstanding members of the Solebury Farmers Club. Joan deeply valued her friends, and she continued to correspond with as many as she could even late in life. Of course, her very best friend was her husband, Don.
Joan's love of animals was tremendous and all-encompassing: she adored dogs, cats, goats, sheep, ducks, bunnies, and horses. Oftentimes, she would wake the whole family up for the birth of a litter of kittens or puppies, and she once threw a birthday party for her goat "Jennifer", inviting all of the neighborhood animals and dressing them in birthday hats! Joan could never be without a dog by her side and was a supporter of local animal shelters. She gave many pets a wonderful home full of love and good company. Joan and Don's dog Monty was right next to her the day before her death.
On her 95th birthday, Joan's entire family-three children, nine grandchildren, and nine great-grandchildren -joined in a Zoom call to wish her a happy birthday. With her devoted husband by her side, she spent the day surrounded by family, love, and song.
Joan is predeceased by her first husband, James L. Harris, and her beloved grandson, Nathan Harris. She is survived by her husband, Donald Fitting of Solebury, PA; her son, Guy Harris of Mountain View, AR, and his children Lauren Stuart (husband Mike Stuart and children Dylan and Madeline) and Alisa Anderson (husband Geoff Anderson and son Judah); her daughter Karen Harris (husband Rob Gips) of Portland ME, and their children Sara Gips Goodall (husband Gavin Goodall and children David and Sage), Allie Gips, and Rachel Gips; and her daughter Ellen Harris (husband Ray McNulty) of Brewster, MA, and her children Katherine Bode (husband Eric Bode and sons Bec and Rhett), Patrick Gannon, Evan Gannon (wife Emily Gannon and children Carter and Kylie), and Casey Gannon.
Arrangements have been entrusted to Hobbs Funeral Home, 230 Cottage Road, South Portland, ME 04106. A funeral service will be held via Zoom in the future. If you wish to attend, please visit for information and to leave online condolences. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Joan's name to The Bucks County SPCA, 1665 Street Road, New Hope, PA 18938.
Published by The Intelligencer from Apr. 24 to Apr. 25, 2021.
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6 Entries
Joan was such a lovely, vibrant and gracious person. She welcomed our family to Buckingham when we first moved there in 1965 and instigated our first trip to the ocean. I know she and my mother, Lue Hansen, kept in touch and had occasional lunches over the years. It was an unexpected pleasure to see her again and to meet Don when I helped my mother move into Pine Run.
Condolences to Don and all Joan’s extended family, especially Karen. It’s particularly difficult losing a loved when Covid makes gathering family and friends so fraught.
Gigi (Leslie) for the Hansens.
May 8, 2021
RIP Dear Joan. To live a life half as full and important as yours would be a blessing. Your love of family (both human and animal!) and community was inspiring. You offered your friendship freely and without reservation; it was a cherished gift indeed. Our heartfelt condolences to all who will grieve your loss.

Donna and Paul Trenchard
Donna and Paul Trenchard
May 1, 2021
Joan defined Life; what drive to squeeze the most out of every day! She brought out the best in all of us and her spirit will survive in us. My sincere condolences to Don and her beloved family.
Deb Rendón
April 30, 2021
Oh, Joan, what a wonderful life you led! And Don, bless your broken thoughts were first with you when I read of Joan's passing and her wonderfully full life as told in her beautiful obituary. Do you remember when I came to visit you and Joan at your Solebury home? It was in 2004 when I was on medical leave from The Intelligencer, recovering from right knee surgery. My father was my driver that day. As I recall, As I sat in your living room visiting with Joan, you were there, I met your adorable dogs and a very personable cat.
I was a colleague of Joan's in The Intelligencer bureau's newsroom. We once sat in a windowless room that contained some of the paper's archives. The room also was the work stations for Stacy, Naila, Shirley and myself. It was packed with heavy desks and old computers, a 'news kitchen' where we all toiled away in close quarters.
Those were the days when work felt like working with extended family. Don and family: Joan was an extraordinary employee, the newspaper's dedicated librarian for years and years. I have such precious memories of working together! Well done Joan, how you lived your life, so many loves and your incredible dedication to community.
With heartfelt sincerity,
Leslie Ballantyne of Austin, Texas
former Buckingham resident
April 28, 2021
Joan was a very special person and will be missed. We worked together in Doylestown, PA, when she was the librarian at The Intelligencer newspaper. We kept in touch after she and I left the paper. I am so sorry for your loss.
Felicia Kelly
April 26, 2021
I extend my sincere condolences to the family of Joan. I met her at the local newspaper in Doylestown. She was the librarian and occasionally I would have to go to her office to have her search for an article for me. Through conversation, I determined that both of us loved weekend yard sales. I looked forward to every Monday morning when we would share our "finds" from the weekend, she in the Doylestown area, and I in the Quakertown area. She was a special woman.
Jacque Holliday
April 25, 2021
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