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Marietta W. Brewster

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Marietta Lalla Withington Brewster lifted off this earthy plane Nov. 30, 2012. The planet probably shifted a bit the day she was born in Brookline on Lincoln's birthday, Feb. 12, 1920. She lived most of her 92, almost 93 years, in Plymouth, with the exception of four years in Skaneateles, N.Y. She was a force of nature, the eldest daughter of a loving family of, eventually, nine siblings. Educated at the Chestnut Hill School, Beaver Country Day School and the Elliot-Pearson School for Nursery Education, she was a teacher into the very fiber of her bones. She taught not only at pre-school level and at the First Parish Sunday school and girl scouts, but to everyone she met, at every level, every day, like it or not. She was a portrait painter, a sculptor, jewelry maker, furniture maker, gardener and seamstress extraordinaire. According to some of her children and nephews, on Halloween, she could fly. An active woman, known for her energy, she was competitive as a swimmer, diver, tennis player, golfer, skier and passionate equestrienne. She courted the love of her life, Spencer Hatch Brewster on horseback. They were first friends, but with sparks flying since the age of 15, they were married in 1942 until present, despite his death in 1995. Together they rode and drove their horses and ponies in singles, pairs and tandem in cross-country and over obstacle courses, and they both judged many driving events. She had been a member of the League of Woman Voters, the Eel River Beach Club, the First Church of Plymouth, the Plymouth Country Club, the Mayflower Society, the Pilgrim Society, the Elder William Brewster Society, and the Myopia Driving Club, the New England Region Carriage Association of America and the American Driving Association. She volunteered for and was grateful for Cranberry Hospice. Her true philanthropy was toward those she could help by plunking them on the back of a horse which she deeply believed was a place of transformation. She had a way with children, people in need of immediate or critical adjustment, and dogs. She was a fast-paced, sharp individual lead by her intuition, fearless in speaking her mind. She spent the last years of her life at the Newfield House when pain made living at her beloved Little Forge impossible. Her family feels indebted to the loving, caring, patient staff, headed by Geoffrey Stewart and Eli Meyer. She was terribly fond of her family there and was so very, very grateful for their particular grace and talents. Lalla is survived by her many thriving siblings, Lothrop (Lois and Dot) Richard, Paul, Anne (Pandy Brewster), Lee (Atkins), and Nathan (June) Withington; and her beloved in-laws, Benjamin Barnes Brewster, William S. Brewster, Lydia Toll, their abundant and radiant children; her nieces and nephews. She is survived by five of her six children and their spouses, (the exception, her eldest, Anne Keller) Marlee (Javier) Brockmann, Spencer (Lydia Weston), Sarah (Bruce) Tompkins, Patience (Holland) Gregg, and Katharyn Brewster; her 13 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren were a source of tremendous joy and, hence, the recipients of her boundless love. A particular happiness to Lalla was the fact that her daughters, Marlee and Katharyn and granddaughter Heidi, checked on her every single day and that, along with Sarah they continued her riding school and farm to this day and that a parade of loving, smiling relatives, students, fans and dogs of every size and shape stopped by until the day she passed. Thank you to all for that is a tribute to her magnetic charm and wide spread teachings. A service for Lalla will be held at the First Church of Plymouth Dec. 8, at 10 a.m. A reception will follow at her home, Little Forge in Chiltonville. Any wishes you might have in memory of Lalla can be made, in lieu of flowers, to or to the cancer research fund in her grandsons name, the Holland C. Gregg Research Fund of the Leukemia Lymphoma Society, P.O. Box 689, Skaneateles, NY 13152, or to the the First Parish Meetinghouse Restoration, request that you kindly put Lallas name in the memo, 19 Town Square, Plymouth, MA 02360, to keep the historic First Church of Plymouth in tact. Online condolences may be made at

Published in Old Colony Memorial from Dec. 5 to Dec. 12, 2012