Esther Beilby

Esther "Essie" (Sicard) Beilby, age 97, died at Matulaitis Nursing Home in Putnam, CT on May 1, 2013. Essie was born in Utica, N.Y. on August 17, 1915. She married George Everett Beilby, Jr. in 1938 after graduating from Hollins College in Virginia. Together Essie and George raised four children while living and working in a variety of communities including Williamstown, MA, Exeter, N.H. Aurora, N.Y., Longmeadow, MA and East Orleans, MA. Esther and George shared a passion for social justice. They were active in the civil rights movement as well as working on behalf of the less fortunate, even opening their home to refugees and people in need. Following George's death in 1985, Esther continued living on Cape Cod, working for years at the Compass Rose Bookshop in Orleans and, until she reached 89, at La Bodega in Brewster. In her last years she lived at Lathrop Retirement Community in Easthampton and then in Putnam, Ct to be near her family. Esther is survived by her four children: Anne Benedict and her partner Gerard Paquin of Hatfield, MA, George Beilby and his wife Dianne of N. Conway, N.H., Katharine Hutchinson and her husband David of St. Albans, VT and Janet Arcand of Putnam, CT. She also leaves her grandchildren: Benjamin and his wife Monique, Jesse, Anne and her husband Guillermo, Katharine and her husband Yves, Jonathan, Rachael and Samuel. She also leaves nine great grandchildren. Essie's warm, nurturing and caring nature affected all who knew her. Her love of politics, literature, movies, travel, food, games, manners, grammar and her sense of humor profoundly impacted her family and friends. Essie's love of life and her generosity of spirit are her legacy. A memorial service will be held at a later date in East Orleans, MA. A special thanks to the staff at Lathrop Retirement Community in Easthampton, MA and Matualaitis Nursing Home in Putnam, CT for their kindness and loving care of Esther. Arrangements are being made by Shaw-Majercik Funeral Home, 48 School Street, Webster, MA. A guest book is available at

Published in The Cape Codder from May 3 to May 10, 2013