Marita Dick Stratton, beloved family matriarch and lifelong volunteer, passed away peacefully on Thursday, January 21, 2021, at 102.
She was preceded in death by her husband of 52 years, Charles William Stratton III, MD, and her second son, James William Stratton. Her memory will live on in her four sons, Charles, Robert, Richard, and David, and in her 13 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren.
Marita was born on June 11, 1918 in Lawrence, MA to Walter and Kathryn Dick. Growing up, music was central to her family life. She played drums in the Worcester Girl Scouts Drum and Bugle Corps, and played in a band-The Dix Sisters-with her three sisters.
She graduated from Bates College in 1939 and then received a Master's Degree of Public Health from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1941. Afterward, she joined the United States Indian Public Health Service and spent two years traveling across the West providing public health education before marrying in 1944. Together, Marita and Charles returned to Lee after the war and raised their five sons. Over the decades, Marita would welcome family, friends, and cousins from every branch of the family tree to her home with freshly-baked quiche and gingersnap cookies.
Marita devoted herself to her community. She was a Cub Scout Den Mother for 10 years, and taught both drums and piano to local children. "Just seeing how happy the kids were was worth it all," she later said of her volunteering. She served on the Board of the Lee Visiting Nurses Association for 50+ years, besides serving in various leadership roles on the PTA, The American Cancer Society
, the Lee School Building Committee, and the Auxiliary to the Berkshire Medical Society. Her contributions to the local community touched the lives of many, leaving behind a legacy of compassion and generosity. Marita's crowning achievement in life was her family and the five exemplary boys that she raised.
Due to COVID-19, Marita will be laid to rest in a burial service on Wednesday, January 27th. The family will host a larger celebration of her life in Lee when it is safe to do so.
In lieu of flowers, the family would request donations to the American Cancer Society
in care of the Kelly Funeral Home, 3 Main St., Lee, MA 01238.
If you would like to leave a message of condolence or share pictures with the family, please visit our web site at www.kellyfuneralhome.net
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Published by The Berkshire Eagle on Jan. 26, 2021.