Evelyn N. (Nessler) Duthie
Stafford Springs, CT
Evelyn M. (Nessler) Duthie, most recently of Stafford Springs, CT, passed away quietly at the age of 98 on January 23, 2021. Raised in the high desert of California by parents living in camps while her father mapped for the U.S. Geologic Service. Evelyn was the sixth generation of her family to be born in California.
Evelyn attended UC Berkley and awoke in her dorm to hear that the U.S. had entered WWII. She left college and went to work for the war effort working in base housing at the Richmond Shipyards near Oakland, CA and the night shift at Armed Forces radio. She learned to fly only to have the Women's Air Corps disbanded before she soloed. She lived in San Francisco and saw Frank Sinatra at the Palace Theater. She belonged to a ski club and frequented Squaw Valley and Donner summit where she met and married Jonathan Duthie who predeceased her in 1986. They came east on a honeymoon trip driving across the U.S. in a yellow convertible Chevrolet, eventually settling in Westport, CT.
She raised two strong-willed daughters, Leslie A. Duthie of Monson, MA, who, with her husband Alan J. Morin, gave Evelyn three beautiful, fierce grandchildren: Harrison, Monica and Stephanie Morin. Leslie has worked in ecological horticulture and land preservation for most of her life. Carol D. Erling and her husband Ken live peacefully in the woods in Eastern Connecticut.
In 1976 in the first Great Race held in Westport Evelyn and her neighbor built and piloted a recycled beer can boat to help clean up Cockenoe Island. In 1980 they built 'De Udder Boat' from sealed milk cartons donated by Stew Leonard's. After seeing her children off to college, Evelyn went back to college to receive an Associates Degree in Library Science, then went to work at the Westport Public Library in the interlibrary loan department. She and her co-workers were mentioned in the dedication of the book 'The Soul of Fire' by John Uhlmann and Peggy Heinrich.
Evelyn lived a long, full life during an eventful period in history. She was never without the companionship of a cat in her life. Her most recent cat was 'Fluffy' a senior cat she adopted. To remember Evelyn, in lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation in her name to Here Today Adopted Tomorrow, 180 Sturbridge Road, Brimfield, MA 01010.
All services are private and have been entrusted to Lombard Funeral Home of Monson, MA.
Published in Westport-News on Feb. 2, 2021.