Mary Elizabeth Gillespie
Grew up in Carlisle
Mary Elizabeth Gillespie, of Lexington, passed away peacefully with family at her side at the Maine Medical Center in Portland at the age of 83 on June 18, 2019. She had suffered two incapacitating strokes in March.
Born on May 7, 1936 in Concord to the late Esther and Waldo D. Wilson, she was raised as “the fire chief’s daughter” in neighboring rural Carlisle. She graduated from Concord High School in 1954, then headed off to Fitchburg State University to study teaching. Graduating in 1958, she taught elementary school for two years at Harrington and Parker Schools in Lexington. In 1960, she married fellow Lexington educator Don Gillespie, and stepped away from teaching for eight years to help raise his two young children. Returning to teaching in 1968, she became a history and social studies educator at Lexington High School for 32 years. While there, she became heavily immersed in global studies and earned her Masters Degree at Framingham State University. In her final years with the Lexington Public Schools, she also worked part time as a social studies specialist with the town’s elementary schools.
With her retirement in 2000, Mary became involved with the Lexington Historical Society and Town Celebrations Committee. She was particularly involved with Lexington’s 300th anniversary, with videotaped oral histories of long-time Lexington residents and with helping Lexington’s young know their town’s places and many stories. Mary loved to help others in need, and acted as chief caregiver to her father-in-law, mother and husband in their final years. She was an avid gardener, proud of her gardens being featured on a garden tour of the Lexington Garden Club, of which she was a member. In recent years, she became known as the “neighborhood grandmother” and received visits from a number of neighbor children and tail-wagging neighborhood dogs. She remained an avid watcher and reader of the news until shortly before her death, and reveled in challenging others’ assumptions about the events of the day. A progressive since her college days, Mary embraced the changes she saw in her town and in her neighborhood as she watched Lexington evolve demographically.
She was married for fifty years to the late Donald J. Gillespie, Jr., Director of Music Education for the Lexington Public Schools as well as Lexington High School’s Band Director and founder and first conductor of the Lexington Bicentennial Band. Mary was preceded in death by her parents and younger sister, Sarah Andreassen. She is survived by her stepdaughter Jayne K. Gordon of Damariscotta, Maine formerly of Concord and her husband Don Bogart; her stepson Richard T. Gillespie of Lovettsville, Virginia and his wife Tracy; her granddaughter, Abigail Gordon of Portland, Maine; her brother-in-law Carl Andreassen of Carlisle; her niece, Alice Andreassen of Burlington; and her nephew, Aaron Andreassen and his wife Karen of Winchester, Kentucky.
Arrangements are under the direction and care of the Strong Hancock Funeral Home, 612 Main Street, Damariscotta, Maine. Condolences and messages for her family may be expressed by visiting: www.StrongHancock.com. A Massachusetts gathering to celebrate Mary’s life will be held on Saturday September 21 at 10:30 a.m. in Lexington Historical Society’s Depot building, 13 Depot Square in Lexington Center.
The family invites donations in Mary’s name to the Lexington Historical Society, P.O. Box 514, Lexington MA 02420 and Lexington Bicentennial Band, P.O. Box 173, Lexington MA 02420.
Bruce Paynter Comjean
Loved cats, Roman history and Mediterranean food
Bruce Paynter Comjean, formerly of Carlisle, passed away peacefully in Lincoln, Mass on June 18. He was 81.
The son of Ardashes Manoog Kouyoumjian and Adelma (Billie) Paynter, he and his older brother Marc were raised in West Newton, amongst their close cousins. Bruce attended prep school at Beaumont College in Windsor, England and graduated with the class of 1961 from Kenyon College in Ohio.
He built his own family life north of Boston in Lincoln, helping raise three sons with his former wife Marlies.
He later resided in Carlisle and Concord where he always maintained an active role as a town member and Democratic party supporter. Having observed his own father run a successful car dealership in Somerville, he was always interested in the business but eventually built a career in publishing, most recently as a senior editor of Charles River Books in Boston.
Bruce was also an avid reader of Roman history, a cat lover, a supporter of the Harvard Museums and had an ardent refined interest in Mediterranean food.
Bruce is survived by his three sons, Aram, Bernd, and Evan and his beloved grandchildren.
Bruce’s graveside service was held at Green Cemetery, Bedford Road on Monday, June 24 at 1 p.m.
Thanks go to Concord Park, CareOne at Lexington and Care Dimensions Hospice for their excellent care.
To share a remembrance or to send a condolence in his online guestbook, please visit www.DeeFuneralHome.com.
Dave Reed honored as Hometown Hero
|Dave Reed received Jeanne D’Arc’s Hometown Hero award. He was nominated by Liz Bishop (left). (Courtesy photo)|
Jeanne D’Arc Credit Union recently awarded a total of $1,000 to four local “Hometown Heroes” through its Small Acts That Give Back initiative.
Throughout the month of May, the Credit Union gave community members the chance to nominate someone they know who goes above and beyond in their community. Between April 29 and May 24, Jeanne D’Arc received a total of 35 submissions, all of which described someone who has made a positive impact on the lives of others.
“We run this campaign to give our neighbors the opportunity to recognize people in their lives who have made a difference,” said Mark S. Cochran, President and Chief Executive Officer of Jeanne D’Arc Credit Union. “It was wonderful to hear so many stories about the individuals in our community who give selflessly to others.”
The Credit Union announced Kwame Asamoah-Addo of Lowell, Susanne Beaton of Lowell, H. David ‘Dave’ Reed of Carlisle and Craig Schorer of Andover as winners of the 2019 Hometown Hero campaign.
Nominated by his friend, Liz Bishop, Dave Reed organized and ran Carlisle Old Home Day for over 36 years. Faced now with health challenges, Dave stepped down as Chair, but mentors the new leadership team to continue this time-honored tradition.
Each Hometown Hero received a personalized plaque and a $250 prize.
|SHE’S BAAACK Former long-time Carlisle resident Chris DeBruzzi (left) came back to town for a visit. While at the Old Home Day Pancake Breakfast, she had the opportunity to visit with Inge Burgess. DeBruzzie was the CCHS school nurse for many years. (Photo by Ellen Huber)|
Congratulations Boston University graduates
• Lilli Samman, of Fifty Acre Way, received a Master of Music in Woodwind Performance.
• Megan A. Celona, of Sorli Way, received a Bachelor of Arts in History.
Carlisle students on spring Dean’s Lists
• Michelle M. St. Francis, of East Street, has recently been named to the Dean’s List at Boston University for the Spring semester.
• Victoria Walsh was named to the University of New Hampshire’s Dean’s List for the Spring 2019 Semester
Fenn School Honors
Blunt, Nathaniel – Academic High Honors
Brady, Nicholas – Academic High Honors, Sua Sponte High Honors
DeKock, Matthew – Academic Honors
Lando, Christopher – Academic Honors
Livens, Edward – Academic Honors
Livens, Thomas – Academic High Honors, Sua Sponte High Honors
Ma, Seija – Academic Honors
Peirce, David – Academic High Honors, Sua Sponte High Honors
Skrivanek, Robert – Academic High Honors
Weaver, Niko – Academic High Honors, Sua Sponte High Honors
|SHORTCAKE SERVERS. Several middle school kids helped out at the Strawberry Festival on June 20. Shown are (left to right): Kamala Bose, Orla Moroney, Aidan Moroney and Skylar MacDonald. (Photo by Beth Clarke)
|GOOD TO THE LAST DROP. Peter Bunce enjoys a spoonful of strawberry shortcake at the Stawberry Festival at Union Hall on Thursday, June 20. (Photo by Beth Clarke)|