Josepha “Chukki”'s Story
Josepha “Chukki” Mains, 92, of Beverly, formerly of Rockport and Manchester-by-the-Sea, departed August 25, 2017, at the Kaplan Family Hospice House in Danvers.
Born in Yonkers, N.Y., on February 24, 1925, she was the dear daughter of the late Ralph K. and Marie (Tutschku) Spotts.
Chukki graduated from Fairfax High School in Los Angeles in 1941. She moved east and met her future husband, the late John H. Mains at MIT in Cambridge where she was working at the Radiation Laboratory and he was an engineering student. They married in 1945, and had their first child Judy in 1949. She attended MassArt and the Montserrat School of Art where she received an associate’s degree.
Chukki was a true “Renaissance Woman.” She was a prodigious creator of outstanding and award-winning artworks in a variety of mediums; everything she produced had distinctive characteristics that elicited recognition by anyone who knew her, “that looks like Chukki’s work.” She was best known for her watercolors, oil paintings, woodcuts, ceramics, photography, and monotype prints. She displayed her best pieces in art shows around the North Shore and in the Cape Ann Savings Bank from time to time. She collaborated with local artists over the years and worked for the late Dick Emery in Essex in the 1970s and 1980s at his company, Emery Designs.
Chukki was a lifelong naturalist and Audubon Christmas Bird Count participant. She hiked for many years with the Appalachian Mountain Club. She was a mentor to her son, Peter, who followed her in her passion for nature and bird-watching.
She had a lifelong passion for music which spanned genres from baroque to classical to folk to jazz to tango to reggae and beyond! She played soprano recorder in an ensemble, and played with the group in a concert at her own 80th birthday party.
She loved to travel which included taking art courses at the Bejing Art Institute, touring Russia, China, Italy, France, Mexico, and many adventures with groups of painters. She sailed the Inter Coastal Waterway to Florida with two other women. A most fond trip was with her youngest daughter, Catie to New Zealand where they spent a month traveling and hiked the famous Milford Track, where she celebrated her 67th birthday.
Her “green thumb” was honed over the years in her home gardens in Manchester and Rockport. The talents of her daughter, Martha, were in full display at many homes, and the endeavor was clearly a labor of love for the two and a bonding experience for them both. She was a superior seamstress who had a stint as a young bride working at the Singer Sewing Center in Cambridge while her husband completed his degree. She was a fantastic cook and baker and taught her daughters to cook and sew. During their grammar school years, her children had new Easter outfits created by Chukki. Her daughter, Martha, truly followed in her mother’s footsteps by studying at MassArt in Boston and establishing her own businesses first as a seamstress extraordinaire and later as a landscaper.
Chukki had many friends of all ages and she had a wonderful and full life.
Her life was tragically interrupted by the untimely prolonged illness and eventual death of her beloved daughter, Martha (age 54) in 2015.
Surviving her are three daughters, Judy Dowd of Montgomery Mass., Christine Vey of Beverly, Mass., and Catie Mains of Olympia, Wash.; and her dear son, Peter Mains of Gloucester Mass.; two grandchildren, Luke Wogan of Rochester, N.H., and Camilla Lambert of Salisbury, Mass.; and three great-grandchildren, Chloe, Luci, and Charlotte Wogan.
Services will be scheduled at a future date. Donations in her memory may be made to The Trustees of Reservations http://www.thetrustees.org/donate/ and Cape Ann Animal Aid, 4 Paws Lane, Gloucester, MA 01930.
Arrangements by Campbell Funeral Home, 525 Cabot Street, Beverly. Information, directions, condolences at www.campbellfuneral.com.
Published on  August 28, 2017