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Dagmar Bubriski

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Dagmar Bubriski 1927-2011 WILLIAMSTOWN Dagmar Bubriski of Williamstown, Northern Berkshire community activist, commentator, columnist, radio host, gadfly and energetic proponent of civic engagement, died just past the stroke of midnight on May 10th due to complications from Alzheimer's disease at Sugar Hill Senior Living Community in Dalton, Mass., where she had been a resident for the past year. Known throughout the area for her direct, sometimes acerbic and witty critiques of institutions she found overly bureaucratic, self-important and pompous, she relished a bit of hyperbolic prose and always let her audience know exactly where she stood. Beginning in the early 1970's her regular columns in local newspapers often focused on Women's rights and the need for women to assume more independence and power, especially economic power (an issue she wrestled with as a young widow with 4 children). A passionate advocate for historic preservation with a fierce devotion to her ideals of beauty and to decidedly traditional architecture, she became an outspoken critic of Williams College. Her printed articles and appearances at town meetings and forums irked some but delighted many. She produced and hosted a series of popular weekly radio programs from 1972 through 1980 for WMNB and WGRG. "Emphasis Women!" the first program of its kind in the Berkshires, profiled and interviewed notable women in the workforce and featured interviews with , among others, a young Martha Coakley, then a Williams College student, now Massachusetts Attorney General. "Women Unlimited" followed in 1975 on WGRG; and from 1978 to 1980 she hosted "The Berkshire Job Profile". A passionate advocate for historic preservation, she helped lead fights, though ultimately unsuccessful, to preserve the Williamstown Opera House, Van Rensselaer House, and various other properties owned by Williams College. When, during the construction of the Bronfman Science Center next door to her Hoxsey Street home, a blast sent boulders hurtling through her dining room windows, she stepped up to challenge the College on matters of civic responsibility and, thereafter, she spoke tenaciously for many local residents not affiliated with Williams in articulating points of view in town-gown issues over the ensuing decades. Dagmar Bubriski graduated from Yonkers High School in 1944 as class valedictorian, and received a full scholarship to Mount Holyoke College where she majored in Art History and Psychology and graduated in 1948. She worked in the education department of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and served for many years as a docent at the Clark Art Institute. She was a frequent columnist in the North Adams Transcript, the Berkshire Eagle and the Advocate newspapers. From 1978 until she sold the business in 1981 she founded and ran an employment agency in Williamstown, The Job Market. A firm believer in full employment for all, especially women, she proudly listed on her resume among all of her professional experience "Home Executive - total family management since 1965" (the year her husband Stanley died in a plane crash leaving her with 4 young children). Each of her children subsequently went on to college, graduate school and successful professional careers of their own. Long involved in politics, she was elected to several terms on the Williamstown Elementary and Mt. Greylock Regional High School committees. She served as president of Northern Berkshire Community Action from 1975-77. In 1976 she was the first woman to ever run for State Representative from the Berkshires. Running against an incumbent, she lost by a handful of votes. She was appointed by Governor Michael Dukakis to the Governor's Commission on the Status of Women in 1978. Her many appointments and elected offices, beginning in the 1950's, included service as President of the Williamstown League of Women Voters, President of the Mount Holyoke Club of Berkshire County, board member of Northern Berkshire Mental Health Association, President of the American Field Service --Mt. Greylock Regional H.S. branch, President of the American Association of University Women, member of the Williamstown House of Local History, Chairman of the Williamstown Historical Commission, and member of the Williamstown Democratic Town Committee from 1960 through the early 2000's. She was born in Yonkers NY in 1927, the daughter of Ernst Neuburg and Elsa Weissman Neuburg. Her brothers Waldo, Gerald and Hugo Neuburg pre-deceased her. A sister, Nadine Neuburg Doughty of Evanston, Ill. survives her. She married Stanley Bubriski of Housatonic, Mass., an electro-chemical engineer with Sprague Electric Company, in 1949. She is survived by their children - Mark Waldo Bubriski of Mission Viejo, Calif., Peter Dwight Bubriski of Williamstown, Mass., Kevin Ernest Bubriski of Shaftsbury, Vt., and Wanda Anna Bubriski of Branford, Conn., and by four grandchildren. FUNERAL NOTICE: A memorial service will be held at the First Congregational Church in Williamstown at a date to be announced. The FLYNN &DAGNOLI-MONTAGNA HOME FOR FUNERALS CENTRAL CHAPEL, 74 Marshall St. North Adams, MA is in charge of arrangements.

Published in The Berkshire Eagle on May 13, 2011
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