Dorothy LeMessurier, 88, of Peterborough, NH, formerly of Cambridge, MA, died peacefully on December 26, 2018, at her daughter’s home in Sharon NH, surrounded by family. Born and raised in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Dorothy was the second daughter of Dorothy Leonard Judd and Siegel Wright Judd
Dorothy will always be remembered as gracious and welcoming, dedicated and generous, full of life and laughter, and for her beautiful long red hair. Her parents gifted her a love of music, art, architecture, history, lifelong learning, and a strong commitment to social justice.
Dorothy spent her childhood summers on the white sand beaches of Lake Michigan in Grand Haven. She treasured her memories of family gatherings there with her Hatton cousins. She went to summer camp at Sebago Wohelo in Raymond, Maine. As a head counselor, she taught sailing on Lake Sebago.
Dorothy went to highschool at The Baldwin School in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, graduating in 1947. From there she moved to her favorite city, Cambridge, Massachusetts, to attend Radcliffe College. She studied philosophy and art history, receiving a BA in 1951. Dorothy loved to sing and always spoke fondly of her experiences in the Radcliffe Choral Society. It was there she met her husband, William LeMessurier, a tenor in the Harvard Glee Club.
In 1953, Dorothy and Bill were married in Grand Rapids. They raised their three children in an 1848 Greek Revival house in Wellesley, Massachusetts. Classical music often played in the home and there were regular family sing-a-longs. In 1963 they purchased a cottage on Lake Sebago in Maine, where their family spent summers and weekends enjoying nature. By 1973, Dorothy longed to live in the city again. They restored the historic Henry Vassall House on Brattle Street in Cambridge, originally built in 1746. In 1992 Dorothy and Bill designed their dream home and moved to Casco Maine to retire. When Bill passed in 2007, Dorothy returned to live in Cambridge for several years before moving to RiverMead LifeCare Community in Peterborough, New Hampshire, to be near her daughters. In Peterborough she made many new friends and frequently enjoyed attending classical and folk music concerts.
Dorothy taught her children to be accepting and open to all people and to help those in need. She worked as a Boston School Volunteer in the 1960’s, starting libraries in inner city public schools. She was politically active as a Democrat and supported school desegregation. For many years, Dorothy had a large organic garden in the backyard, supplying her family with delicious vegetables. She baked whole grain bread and embraced natural foods and supplements long before it was popular. Dorothy supported conservation and environmental causes and published her own monthly newsletter "Conservation News and Action". She volunteered in many local organizations including The Cambridge School of Weston, where she was Chair of the Board of Directors. She was an active member of The Environmental League of Massachusetts, The Cambridge Plant and Garden Club, a council member of the Cambridge Historical Society, a member of the Cambridge Club, and a Board Member of Loon Echo Land Trust in Bridgeton, Maine.
Dorothy was devoted to her husband and was integral to his professional success. Bill was the president of a world renowned structural engineering firm and a professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, and at M.I.T.
In addition to her parents, Dorothy is predeceased by her husband of 54 years, William J. LeMessurier, her sister Harriette (Judd) Freeman and her husband Donald Freeman, her sister-in-law Elizabeth (LeMessurier) Uraneck, her brothers-in-law Sherman LeMessurier and Tallman James LeMessurier. Surviving in Dorothy’s family are her two daughters, Claire LeMessurier and her husband David Bleuher of Westminster West, Vermont, Irene LeMessurier and her partner Ben Tirey of Sharon, New Hampshire, and her son, Peter LeMessurier and his wife Dina (Ferber) LeMessurier of Boulder, Colorado, her seven grandchildren, Jasper Hoitsma, Garth LeMessurier, Tom Jenks, Andy Jenks, Addison LeMessurier, Amy LeMessurier, Natalie LeMessurier, one great-granddaughter Acacia Jenks, two nephews Judd Freeman and Mark Freeman, and eight of her husband’s nieces and nephews.
A Memorial Service is planned for May 15, 2019 at 11 am at The Monadnock Center for History and Culture, 19 Grove Street, Peterborough NH. RSVP to RememberingDorothyNH@gmail.com A Family Burial Service is planned for May 16th at Mount Auburn Cemetery, Cambridge MA.
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