Isabella V. ("Belle") Choate, lifelong resident of Acton and Littleton, died June 29th, 2014 at the Life Care Center of Nashoba Valley after a brief illness. Daughter of the late Isabella (Counselman) Choate and Ralph (Culver) Choate, Belle was a graduate of Concord Academy and Clark University, from which she graduated with a degree in cartography in 1974. Belle worked at the Jenks Library of the Acton Historical Society for many years, archiving and publishing written works on items in the collection, including the papers donated by the Robbins Family ("The Robbins Papers"), and the Clerk's Book of the Concord Village Proprietors. Belle volunteered in many capacities at the Hosmer House, as well as at the Littleton Historical Society, the Faulkner House, and a number of historical organizations in the area. She served as president of the AHS, and as director of Iron Work Farm in Acton. An avid gardener, Belle also worked on the early research, planning and development phase of the Acton Arboretum. She was a member of the Boxborough Grange, and served as secretary for the organization. Belle also designed and installed floral arrangements for many organizations, including St. Andrew's Episcopal Church in Ayer where the Choates were longtime members. Belle was an accomplished watercolorist, exhibiting her works locally in venues such as the Concord Art Association, the Littleton Lyceum, and through the Acton Open Studios. She was an active member of NH Plein Air, and enjoyed many outings painting throughout the region. In addition to her work as a painter, Belle enjoyed photography, and examples of her work can be found in many Acton Town Reports and publications. She self-published a book of her photographs entitled, Fort Pond: It's Community Through the Seasons, chronicling the nature and wildlife around her beloved Fort Pond, where she often painted and kayaked. Belle also worked for the Town of Acton in the Building Department, for the Littleton Historical Society, in addition to private consulting work. Graveside services will be held July 10th at 1 pm at Woodlawn Cemetery, 104 Concord Road in Acton, and a celebration of her life will take place the evening of July 10th from 5-7pm at the Powers Gallery, 144 Great Road (Rte 2A/119) in Acton. Donations in Belle's memory may be made either to the Acton Historical Society, 300 Main Street, Acton, MA 01720, the Friends of the Acton Arboretum, P.O.Box 2607, Acton, MA 01720, or any of the many organizations to which she gave her talents. For additional information, please see the Acton Funeral Home website at www.actonfuneralhome.com
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Acton Funeral Home
470 Massachusetts Ave
Acton, MA 01720
Published in The Boxborough Beacon from July 4 to July 11, 2014