Christine Maclin, a successful entrepreneur and longtime owner of Maclin Design Inc. in Portland, died on Jan. 22 after a 2½-year fight with pancreatic cancer. She was 74.

Mrs. Maclin was remembered by loved ones this past week as a strong and determined woman who had a passion for interior design and inspired those around her.

“She had a sense of integrity that was remarkable,” said her husband, Charles Waite Maclin, of Portland. “She stayed true to herself, true to her beliefs and true to her craft. She took no prisoners.”

She founded Maclin Design Inc. in 1979 and ran the interior design firm until two months ago, when she became too sick to work. Her husband said she was widely regarded as one of the city’s premier interior designers. He said she had a successful business in Maine, and did design work for clients in South Korea, London, Belgium and the Philippines.

A hallmark of her career was developing a fabric, EAST. As part of that effort, Mrs. Maclin collaborated with a group of women from India who created designs that Maclin used to produce block prints. The prints were used to make drapes, pillows, slipcovers and table cloths, among other things.

Some of those fabrics will dress the tables at a celebration of her life on Feb. 7 at the Cumberland Club in Portland.

Her husband said she loved the creative process.

“She had the ability to relate to her clients and create something that would fit them. She really got to know her clients,” he said. “Out of that, she was able to create beautiful spaces. She could take any space and turn it into something wonderful and beautiful.”

Another highlight of her life was living from 1986 to 1989 in Manila, Philippines, where her husband was training director for the Peace Corps. She often remarked that working and traveling extensively in Asia was “a revelation,” her husband noted.

Mrs. Maclin created a beautiful home for her family. She and her husband were married for 36 years. She raised two sons from her first marriage. Her husband has two children from his first marriage. The couple visited their second home in Cushing nearly every weekend throughout their years together. There, he started an apple orchard and gardens. He said she helped maintain the flowers.

“She loved the tranquility,” her husband said. “It’s right on the water. She loved looking out on Pleasant Point Gut. … She cooked some wonderful meals from the garden.”

He reflected on their life together and the love they shared.

“I think we had a relationship where we were both independent yet at the same time connected,” he said. “She had talents I could never imagine doing and I have talents she could never imagine doing. We really honored and supported what the other did. We really enjoyed each other, sparked each other.”

Her husband noted her courage and resilience as she faced a grim prognosis following her diagnosis with pancreatic cancer. He said he will miss her laughter.

“I look around the condo now and she’s everywhere,” he said. “Everything here is her. She provided the beauty of our surroundings. That’s what she gave to us. I’m going to miss her. She was my best friend and I was her best friend.”

 


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