Rosemary Cancian
1924 - 2021
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Rosemary (Sacco) Cancian, 96, died on February 24 at Neville Center, Cambridge Massachusetts. Born Rosemary Sacco in Braintree MA, she attended Girls Latin School and Radcliffe, graduating in 1945. In 1949 she married John Cancian (Harvard 1942, Harvard Law school 1949), whom she had known since childhood. They settled in Belmont, where she raised their five children. Active in the Belmont community where they had many friends, she and John were founding members of the Belmont Hill Club. After her husbands untimely death, she raised the children as a single parent. Later, she bought a house in Hyannis Port, where she lived for many years and which became the center of her extended familys gatherings. She had boundless energy and an active mind. She was active with Radcliffe alumnae activities, organizing her class reunions for many years. Her passion for the arts kept her deeply involved with those communities. She volunteered as a docent at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, giving tours and lectures. She taught a course on American painting and furniture at Regis College until 85 years old. When she moved to Cape Cod, she became deeply involved with the Sandwich Glass Museum and the Cape Museum of Fine Arts. She also served on the board of directors of Union Chapel in Hyannis Port. She became a master gardener and kept a vegetable garden for many years to the delight of the local rabbit population. Her love and devotion to family will be remembered by her five surviving children (Mark, David, Elizabeth Rust, Maria Klutey, Alisa Morrison), 12 grandchildren, five great-grandchildren, one sister (Joanne Pugh) and many nieces and nephews. She will be interred at Mount Auburn Cemetery with her husband and infant daughter. Because of the pandemic, funeral services will be private. Instead of flowers, donations should be sent to Union Chapel, 5 Wachusett Ave, Hyannis Port, MA 02647. For guestbook, please visit

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Published in The Belmont Citizen-Herald from Feb. 27 to Mar. 4, 2021.
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2 entries
March 4, 2021
Alisa, your mom sounds like a remarkable woman. Sending condolences to you and your family.
Carole Nossek
February 27, 2021
My mother (Mary Crowley King) and Rosemary met and became best friends while at Radcliffe. Over the years they continued their friendship and even spoke a few days before Rosemary's passing. My mother loved Rosemary so much that she named her second child, my sister, Rosemary, after her. I remember many times spending time with my mother and Rosemary mostly at Radcliffe ladies luncheons which were held for many years with 8-10 close college friends. I often would drive my mother to those events and enjoyed the benefit of joining the luncheons. I have never been more impressed with any group of women before or sense. At the time, these women were 80+ but spoke of their recent world travels, lectures or concerts they had attended enjoying time with their grandchildren teaching them musical instruments or foreign languages. They also discussed with great insight, the latest writings of the best writers of our time. Rosemary, in particular, was well read, well travelled and had clearly lived a full and fulfilling life. Rosemary was the last of my mother's friends and Mom will miss her deeply. I also can say, I enjoyed knowing Rosemary. May she rest in peace.
Maureen King Kelly
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