Mary E. Dowse
1921 - 2020
Mary Elizabeth 'Betty' Dowse passed away peacefully on September 19, 2020 in Rangeley, Maine. Betty was born May 19, 1921 in Wenonah, New Jersey to Alexander and Mary Elizabeth Paul. As a child she was an active sportswoman, skiing at the local golf course, sailing with the sea scouts, giving fly-fishing demos at the New York Sportsmen shows and horseback riding. She spent several summers at T-Ledge Summer Camp on Orrs Island, Maine. From there she made some of her first forays into the mountains of northern New England, hiking, camping and canoeing. In 1937 she became a Junior Maine Guide having 'completed with honor the Junior Maine Guide requirements', and thus the first female Junior Maine Guide. She graduated from Columbia High School in Maplewood, NJ in 1938 and went on to earn a bachelors degree in Chemistry from Wellesley College in 1942. At Wellesley she was active in the collegiate outing club. It was through the outing club that she met her future husband, Charles A. Dowse, Jr. (Charlie), the younger brother of her geology professor. When she graduated from Wellesley she went to work for Hercules Powder in Wilmington, DE. In 1944 she and her mother took a train to New Mexico and married Charlie in Clovis, NM where he was stationed in the Army Air Force. After a short time together in New Mexico and Nebraska he was sent overseas and she returned to Delaware for the duration of the war. When he was released from the service they returned to Sherborn where they first lived in a cottage off Lake Street and then moved into the house at 100 North Main Street, next to the apple stand, where she would spend the rest of her life. Her next career was as mother to her seven children and farmers wife. During this time she volunteered in the schools and with the Boy Scouts and Camp Fire Girls as well as taking an active interest in town affairs. In 1967 she was accepted into a National Science Foundation funded program at Wellesley College to recruit chemists by providing updated training for women who had been out of the work force for a period of time. She earned her Masters degree in 1969 and took a job teaching chemistry at Medfield High School which she held until her retirement in 1986. At that time she was honored by the Northeast Section of the American Chemical Society for her contributions to Chemistry Education. During her years in Sherborn she proudly served on School Boards for Dover-Sherborn High School as well as a founding member of the Tri-County School Board. She was an active citizen serving on numerous town committees from finance to the Town Forest (including the Bay Circuit Trail). In 1981 she and Charlie built a cabin on Loon Lake in Maine and escaped as often as they could. After her retirement and Charlies death in 1989, she spent her summers at Loon Lake and was resident of her camp on the Lake at the time of her passing. She also indulged her love of travel covering the globe from Beijing to Moscow, Antarctica to the Arctic and countless destinations in between. She was a passionate scrabble and cribbage player and read widely. She is survived by her seven children: Charles of Sherborn, Alex of Sherborn, Mary of Silver City, NM, Nat (Karen) of Sherborn, Priscilla of Casper, WY, Katherine (Ken) Gillis of Havelock, NC, and Jon (Pam) of Sherborn, five grandchildren, one great grandson and a great many friends far and wide. Donations can be made in Bettys name to a charity of your choice. Services will be held via zoom through the Unitarian Universalist Area Church in Sherborn. on November 7th.
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Published by The Press from Oct. 2 to Oct. 15, 2020.
via zoom through the Unitarian Universalist Area Church, Sherborn, Massachusetts 1701
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To all the loved ones I attended school with, or knew through my siblings, I pray G-d’s comfort and peace as you grieve her homegoing!!!
One day, the reunion will occur... and what a day of rejoicing that will be!
Until then... grieve well!!
Tara Schaller
Tara Hurley Schaller
October 7, 2020
What a chemistry teacher and human being! Still remember here classes after nearly 50 years! Brian Finn, Medfield HS Class of 1973
Brian Finn
October 1, 2020
I loved Mrs. Dowse. She was a great chemistry teacher while I was at Medfield High School. I’m so sorry for your loss.
Susan Tubridy
October 1, 2020
She was an inspiring teacher. She was my AP Chemistry teacher in high school. Her classes were challenging, fun, and she kept us all engaged.
Faith Bellizzi
October 1, 2020