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VANCE, Dr. Anita Paine 78, a retired psychiatrist who was one of the earliest female graduates of Harvard Medical School, died on March 28th at her home at The Jefferson in Arlington, Virginia. Dr. Vance had suffered a stroke last summer and was recently diagnosed with lung cancer. Dr. Vance was born in New York City on June 22, 1937, the first child of Hebard Miller Paine and Elizabeth Hinckley Sturgis Paine. She attended public schools in Westchester County, New York, and then graduated from the Emma Willard School in Troy, New York, in 1954. She graduated from Smith College in 1958, where she was one of the few in her junior class who was selected as a member of Phi Beta Kappa. She intended to become a nurse until an instructor at Smith urged her to aim instead for a medical degree, after which she graduated from Harvard Medical School in 1962. Until her retirement in 1996 Dr. Vance maintained a private psychotherapy practice and served on the staffs of Massachusetts Mental Health Center, Waltham Hospital, and The Arbour Hospital. In 1970 she married Verne Vance, a Boston attorney. In 1971 the couple moved to the Chestnut Hill area of Newton. They had three children and had been married for nearly 46 years at the time of Dr. Vance's death. Dr. Vance was active in civic affairs in Newton. She served with her husband as co-presidents of the Bowen School PTO and as treasurer of the political committee of her husband, who served for many years as an elected public official of the City of Newton. After her husband retired from public office, Dr. Vance was a familiar figure for many elections as a city poll worker at the Church of the Redeemer polling place in Newton. Dr. Vance is remembered fondly for her ability to connect instantly to people through the glow of her warm and caring personality. She loved choral singing and play reading, for which she was remembered by a niece for her "Katharine Hepburn-like voice." She was also known for co-hosting with her husband annual singalong parties at their Chestnut Hill home to celebrate Christmas and Saint Patrick's Day. Dr. Vance is survived by her husband Verne, of Arlington, Virginia; two daughters, Lisa of Los Angeles, California, and Virginia of Boise, Idaho; a son Charles (Chip) of Arlington, Virginia; two grandsons and a granddaughter; her sister Margaret and brother Frank; and a nephew and three nieces. A memorial service to celebrate the life of Dr. Vance will be held on April 23 at 2 p.m. at the First Church in Chestnut Hill, 26 Suffolk Road, off of Hammond Street, Newton. In lieu of flowers donations in Dr. Vance's memory may be made to .
Published in The Boston Globe on Apr. 4, 2016
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