The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, December 7, 2007


Francis A. Booth
A man who served his community

Francis A. Booth, 91, a lifelong Carlisle resident died peacefully at his home on River Road on Wednesday, November 28. He was the beloved husband for 63 years of Rita I. (Chamberlain) Booth.

Born in Carlisle on December 29, 1915, he was the son of the late Frank Booth and Madeline (Biggi) Booth.

Mr. Booth served the Town of Carlisle as a volunteer firefighter, police officer, dog officer and veterans agent.

He worked at Hanscom Field as foreman of the Jet Propulsion Shop and later at Macone's Sporting Goods Store in Concord. During World War II, he served in the Army Air Corps.

A lifelong member of St. Irene Church in Carlisle, he served for many years as an usher.

In addition to his wife Rita, survivors include his children, David Booth and his wife Priscilla of Chelmsford; Peg Booth of Fayston, Vermont; Francis Booth and his wife Carol of Leominster; Joanne Booth of Westford; and Paul Booth and Mary Davidson of Carlisle, eight grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

A funeral Mass was celebrated on Saturday, December 1, in St. Irene Church.

Interment followed in Green Cemetery, Carlisle. The Carlisle Fire Department provided the honor guard which also included Police Chief John Sullivan and retired Fire Chief Robert Koning.

Memorial donations may be sent to the Alzheimer's Association, 311 Arsenal Street, Watertown, MA 02472.

Arrangements were under the care of the Dee Funeral Home of Concord. For on-line guest book, please visit

Grace B. Dutton

A woman with the gift of poetry

Grace Ruth (Butler) Dutton, 90, formerly of South Street, died Sunday morning, December 2, at her daughter's home in Lowell where she had resided for the past year. She was the beloved wife of the late Warren E. Dutton who died in 1986.

Mrs. Dutton was born in Needham on September 2, 1917 to Roy and Ruth Butler. She grew up in Carlisle from the time she was seven and spent all of her adult life here except for the last year of her life. She was educated in Carlisle and Concord.

She was a member of the Carlisle Congregational Church and was involved in many activities there for 80 years. Mrs. Dutton was an officer in the Ladies Social Circle and Ever Ready groups, and an active member of Christian Endeavor. Membership in senior groups in Carlisle, Lowell and Dracut as well as a Red Hat Society group were favorites of hers.

Mrs. Dutton was a Friend of the Job Lane House in Bedford. She loved to write poetry and published two volumes that included her own drawings, while in her 80s. Picking raspberries and selling them at her roadside stand also kept her busy for many years.

Throughout her married life, in addition to raising her four children, Mrs. Dutton held a variety of jobs. She sold Avon products, served at teas at the Middlesex School, was the Carlisle reporter for the Lowell Sun and worked in the Spalding Cafeteria, which in the 1960s served the first school lunches in Carlisle.

She is survived by a daughter Vivian Dutton Boehm and her husband Rudy of Lowell; a daughter Ruth Dutton Aldred and her husband Paul of Sterling; a son, Dale Dutton and his wife Karen of Fitchburg; and son David Dutton and his wife Claire of Pepperell.

In addition to her four children, she is survived by six grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.

Visiting hours were held at the Bedford Funeral home, Bedford, on Tuesday evening. A memorial service was held on Wednesday at the Carlisle Congregational Church. Burial was private.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Carlisle Congregational Church, P.O. Box 191, Carlisle, MA 01741.

There's a church that I love
In a town rather small
Tucked away in a nook on a hill,
And my heart often goes
In my dreams to that spot
And my soul with God's blessings
Is filled.

by Grace Dutton

11,687 days: a streak comes to an end

Kmiec finishes a run on the 30th anniversary of his streak - November 27, 2005 (Photo by Leslie Kmiec)
It was with a wistful smile that I read Nancy Shohet West's article (Mosquito, Nov.30) about the running streak she started with her 9-year-old son, Tim, just as I was concluding my streak. I will be cheering Tim on to that 70-year goal!

The U.S. Running Streak Association considers running at least one continuous mile within each calendar day under one's own body power for at least one year as the minimum requirement for inclusion in their running streak listing. My first streak lasted from 4/19/74 to 11/16/75 (577 days) and was brought to an end due to an injury after two marathons and a 50-mile race in a 47-day period.

On November 28, 1975, after a two-week recovery period, I began what eventually would become the 14th longest consecutive day running streak in the U.S., extending over almost half of my life — 44,438 miles run over 11,687 days (3.8 miles/day) — one day short of 32 years. What started as an attempt to keep in shape, training for races, eventually evolved into a streak which developed a life of its own and became a defining aspect of my identity. I suppose most people would regard it as obsessive, and I'd have to agree with that assessment. I began to view it as the root source of my personal "fountain of youth," my sense of invincibility.

That confidence was shaken on Thanksgiving morning, November 22, 2007. I ran the Feaster Five race in Andover, along with thousands of other runners. Unexpectedly, I immediately felt an intense pain in the center of my chest, which persisted unabated for the first three miles, resulting in my slowest pace ever for a five-mile race, averaging 8:38/mile.

During the next few days, I still felt that something was "wrong," and my wife finally convinced me to see a doctor on the 26th for an exam and EKG. I was sent to the Emerson Hospital Emergency Room, where an extended battery of tests confirmed that I'd had a heart attack, resulting from a blockage in an artery. The following day, I was transferred from the Critical Care Unit to the Lahey Clinic. I underwent a coronary angioplasty, and a stent was inserted into one of the arteries supplying my heart on what would have marked the completion of the 32nd year of my running streak.

I now must await clearance from my cardiologist before I can resume running. The good news is that if I hadn't been such an "obsessive" runner and been in the shape I was, my doctor said I wouldn't be here today. I expected to be in the throes of depression when the streak ended, but am surprised that I have resigned myself to the current reality so easily. I was able to run through severe weather, illnesses, and injuries (meniscus tear, torn hamstring, fractured ankle, stress fracture, broken ribs) over the years, but the reality of a heart attack was the final wake-up call that forced me to call it quits.

To assuage my sense of loss, I still have four streaks remaining: the 34 consecutive Boston Marathon finishes, 32 consecutive five-mile and 26 one-mile Carlisle Road Race finishes, and my marriage of 33 years. I am grateful for the swift and excellent care I received, and am optimistic that I will be able to begin my next consecutive-day streak before the end of the year. And then, only 65 miles to go to complete my second circumnavigation of the earth at its equator (49,803 miles).

NAMED CHIEF. Dr. Jeffrey Smith of East Street was recently named Chief of Plastic Surgery at Emerson Hospital

2007 The Carlisle Mosquito