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Blanche (Bobbie) Crowe

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Blanche L. Bobbie Crowe, formerly of Brighton, Natick and Framingham, died Wednesday Oct. 29, 2014 at Kathleen Daniel Nursing and Rehab Center in Framingham following a period of declining health. She was 87. Born in Brighton May 23, 1927, she was daughter of the late Clarence and Veronica (McHugh) Crowe. Never a fan of her given name, Blanche called herself Bobbie as a young woman, a nickname friends and family adopted. She is survived by her sons, Michael Sereda of Natick, and Richard Sereda and his wife, Debbie, of Mansfield, and her daughters, Mary Sereda of Natick and Laurie Kreinsen of Framingham. She was mother of the late Anastasia (born Karen Louise) Sereda. She was the grandmother of Christopher Sereda of Taunton, Stephanie Sereda of Mansfield and Joseph Kreinsen of Amherst, formerly of Natick. She is also survived by her sisters, Mary Cox of Allston and Veronica Mattor of New York. She was sister of the late Raymond Crowe and the late Elizabeth Cavanaugh. She leaves several nieces and nephews. Blanche was twiced married and divorced, former wife of the late Michael Sereda Sr. and of the late Edward J. Kreinsen of Brighton. She took her maiden name after her second divorce. As a child of the Great Depression, Bobbie lived a nomadic existence as her family moved between different neighborhoods in Boston and to different cities and towns in Massachusetts and Maine as her father looked for work as a restaurant cook. Some of the places they landed included York Beach, Maine, and Fitchburg. Coming from a Mothers Day dinner at a Worcester County restaurant some 25 years ago, she looked out the car window at the Entering Southbridge sign and surprised her children when she casually remarked, Oh, we lived here once. A 1945 graduate of Brighton High School, Bobbie appreciated the value of a dollar and the virtue of hard work. She talked proudly of how she got a job in her teens as a cashier at Waltons Lunch in Bostons Scollay Square. Except for the nine years during her first marriage, she worked continuously in a variety of jobs until she retired at age 67. By deed and not word, she passed along that work ethic to her children. As a single mom in the early 1960s, she worked as a waitress at such varied places as the Echo Lounge, Old Vienna Hofbrau and The Boulevard, all long gone Brighton nightspots. She later worked for several years at Scappys Italian restaurant on Commonwealth Avenue in Brighton. She left waitressing and worked for more than 10 years in the billing department at Childrens Hospital, from which she retired in 1994. While careful with her spending, she was always generous to her children to whom she gave a financial hand over the years. She tried to ensure that her children enjoyed the things she missed out on: Frequent trips to the movies or Nantasket Beach or the Crowe family getaway, an 88-acre former dairy farm near Cooperstown, N.Y. that featured fields and forest, a freshwater spring, blueberry and blackberry patches, ancient stone walls and other natural treasures. Shopping trips to downtown Boston would invariably include blueberry muffins at Jordan Marsh, hot fudge sundaes at Baileys or a seafood dinner at Dinis restaurant on Tremont Street. In one urban adventure, with no family car at her disposal, she schlepped her children through four transfers on the T to go to a second-run movie house in Somerville to see The Sound of Music. She could be fierce in defending her children. On parents night, told by a teacher that her sons handwriting was atrocious, she replied tartly, So is Jack Kennedys and look where he is. With her children grown, Bobbie took joy in travel, often hitting the road or the open seas with her three sisters, all of whom enjoyed a good laugh. Reaching Hawaii mightily pleased her. A longtime Boston resident, she moved to Framingham and then Natick to be closer to her children. The infirmities of age didnt slow her down much and she remained doggedly self-sufficient. Although her walking was hampered by spinal problems, she hobbled with her walker onto the local buses to hit the Natick Mall and other shopping havens. As her energy waned, she took enjoyment from her houseplants and collecting Beatrix Potter figurines. Throughout her life, she suffered from recurrent bouts of clinical depression, some that required hospitalization. With the help of medication and caring professionals, she was able to slowly emerge from the darkness. Her 87 years were testimony to her ability to stare down adversity and make it blink. Friends can pay their respects on Saturday, Nov. 8 from 3-5 p.m. at the Lehman, Reen & McNamara Funeral Home, 63 Chestnut Hill Ave., Brighton.

Published in The Allston Tab from Nov. 5 to Nov. 12, 2014
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