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Mary Fenton Dickerson

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WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. -- Mary Fenton Dickerson (Polly), 85, died at home on Dec. 29, 2005, after a long illness. She has been a resident of Sweetwood in Williamstown since 1998.

Polly and her late husband Bill Dickerson moved to Williamstown in January 1968. Polly was a woman of abiding faith, active in the Episcopal Church for many years, at St. John’s in Williamstown and St. Andrew’s in Blackinton, Mass.

Polly’s grace, hospitality, humor and infectious laugh blessed all who knew her. Polly’s home has always been a haven of warmth and hospitality for friends, Williams College students and alumni.

She faithfully served her community not only as a participant in many organizations and activities, but also as a model of neighborliness and kindness. She reached out to many through her church by serving on the St. John’s Pastoral Care Committee, forming a prayer chain and helping to start the Sweetbrook Nursing Home Ministry.

For 25 years, Polly was a docent at The Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, and served on the alumni board at Miss Porter’s School in Farmington, Conn. She was librarian at Pine Cobble School in Williamstown for many years. She volunteered for The Recording for the Blind & Dyslexic, the American Cancer Society, Meals on Wheels and numerous other charitable organizations. In 2001 Polly was recognized for her community service by the Salvation Army of Northern Berkshire County.

Polly was born on May 19, 1919, in Buffalo, N.Y. Her parents were Florence Knight Fenton and James Burton Fenton of Buffalo. She graduated from Miss Porter’s School in 1937 and married Willard Dwight Dickerson on Feb. 7, 1942. Polly is survived by her four children, John Gillette Dickerson of Annawalk, N.Y., James Fenton Dickerson of Geneva, Ill., Mary Dickerson Pierson of Grafton, N.Y., and Willard Dwight Dickerson Jr. of Dover, Mass.; and seven grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

A memorial service will be held at St. John’s Episcopal Church, Park Street, Williamstown, at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 7, 2006. Internment will be private. Gifts in her memory may be made to The Polly Dickerson Scholarship Fund at Pine Cobble School, 163 Gale Road, Williamstown, MA 01267, Attn: Cornelia Aiden. The Flynn & Dagnoli-Montagna Home for Funerals, West Chapels, 521 West Main St., North Adams, is in charge of arrangements.
Published in Bennington Banner on Dec. 31, 2005
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