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Gary, Dorothy Burwell (Boykin) - HEATH  
HEATH - Dorothy Burwell Boykin Gary, 83, matriarch of a loving family that surrounded her at the end, passed away Friday, Jan. 8 as a result of complications from a stroke. Her death came two months after the passing of the Rev. Richard Ellis Gary, 91, her beloved husband of 61 years. As a pair, the two shared adventures shepherding St. Mary's Manhattanville Episcopal Church in the West Harlem Community of New York City and then fostering a large and loving community in the hills of Western Massachusetts. Born in 1932 in Mobile AL, Dorothy Gary brought a southern sensibility of ""family first"" to New York City, and then to Heath, MA, where her kitchen was often full of food, family, and friends. She led her family with a combination of intelligence, curiosity, and unabashed devotion to her husband, children and grandchildren. Dorothy graduated from Murphy High School in Mobile in 1949, spending a childhood where she would often venture from the Gulf Coast ""up the country"" to Vredenburgh, AL, a little town in the heart of the state, where playing with her cousins was mandatory. She learned that family came first at an early age. She attended Auburn University in Alabama for one year before making her way to Washington D.C., and eventually points further north. Dorothy worked as a secretary for J. Edgar Hoover, the first Director of the FBI. She also worked at the National Cathedral as a secretary for Clarence Allen, whom she credits with instilling her love of birdwatching. It was not until years later, Dorothy would mention that the Peterson Guide to Birds was dedicated to the same Allen who sparked her interest. Dorothy was an avid birdwatcher to the end, a passion she passed on to her three children, and grandchildren. Dorothy met her husband at Trinity Episcopal Church in Washington, D.C. and the two eventually moved to New York City, where Richard became the Priest-in-Charge at St. Mary's Manhattanville Episcopal Church in 1955. Like her husband, Dorothy was guided by her faith and by her family. Their home welcomed and nourished those who knocked on the door, or were lured home by their children. Dorothy, later became an executive administrative assistant at the National Council of Churches from which she would retire in 1987. Dorothy and Richard together, were committed to civil rights and social justice. Dorothy was equally passionate about education, especially equitable funding for public schools in poor New York City neighborhoods. When the NYC Chancellor of Education threatened to decimate funding for the local uptown public school district her daughters attended, Dorothy took her fight to the streets. She led elementary school children, including her own, on to Amsterdam Avenue at 103rd St. to block traffic. The other schools in her district did the same on the remaining major avenues. Midtown Manhattan froze. Dorothy said, ""if the fat cats of Midtown feel it, we'll win."" By that afternoon, they did. The Chancellor called an emergency meeting. Dorothy promised that she and her cohorts would protest everyday until full funding was restored. By the end of the meeting, it was. Dorothy was passionate about antiques, food and family. She loved to wander shops in the West Village, and the former Calvin Calls Antique Shop on the Mohawk Trail for hidden treasures and ""junk"". For Dorothy, cooking a meal was most enjoyed as a social experience. Anyone who knew Dot, loved to sit in her kitchen. She loved the whirl of communal cooking and she cooked incredible food. Though baking was not her passion, baking with her grandchildren was. By the time cake pans slipped into the oven, she and her grandkids would be covered in flour and batter, delighted and giggling, while licking beaters, bowls and spoons. Besides her husband, she is predeceased by her father, Charles Boykin; her mother, Martha Boykin; and her sisters, Virginia Wheeler and Rebecca ""Polly"" Wayne. Dorothy Gary leaves three children, John Gary of Brighton, MA; Virginia Gary and her fiancé, Craig Brown, plus his children, Ashley, Dustin, and Skyler of Rowe, MA; and Janet Gary and her husband Greg Kerstetter of Northampton, MA. She also leaves two adoring grandchildren, Samuel Kerstetter of Boone, N.C. and Maya Kerstetter of Northampton. Dorothy also leaves her brother, Burwell Lee Boykin and wife, Phyllis, and her sister, Nancy Boykin Miles and husband, Rueben. She also leaves many nieces and nephews. A memorial service will be held on February 13, 2016 at 11 a.m. at St. James Episcopal Church in Greenfield, MA. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in the name of Dorothy B. Gary to the Memorial Fund of St. James Episcopal Church, 8 Church St., Greenfield, MA 01301 Smith-Kelleher Funeral Home in Shelburne Falls assisted with arrangements.
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Published in The Recorder on Feb. 10, 2016

Obituaries from the Past Week

Gary, Dorothy Boykin - HEATH  
HEATH - A memorial service for Dorothy Boykin Gary, 83, of Avery Brook Road, who died Jan. 8 at Mercy Hospital in Springfield, will be held Feb. 13 at 11 a.m. at St. James Episcopal Church in Greenfield. Smith-Kelleher Funeral Home in Shelburne Falls assisted with arrangements.
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Published in The Recorder on Feb. 6, 2016
Giard, Victor R. - Colchester  
COLCHESTER, Vt. - A Funeral Mass for Victor R. Giard, 75, who died on Sunday (2-7-16), will be held on Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2016 at 11 a.m. in the Holy Cross Catholic Church in Colchester, VT. For a complete obituary and to leave online condolences, please go to: www.minorfh.com
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Published in The Recorder on Feb. 9, 2016
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