MILLBURY - Rosemary A. Norton, extraordinary daughter, sister, aunt, great aunt, teacher, friend and neighbor, passed away peacefully on March 18, 2020 at the age of 89 at CareOne at Millbury.
She was born on June 19, 1930 in the family home in Bramanville, where she lived her entire life.
The youngest of five children born to John W. and Nellie V. (Faron) Norton, she was predeceased by two sisters, Ann C. Adams and Ellen T. Norton, two brothers Francis W. Norton and Arthur A. Norton, two nieces Katherine Norton and Patricia (Norton) Vaillancourt, and a grandnephew Christopher Gridley.
She leaves four nieces, one nephew, eight grand nieces, eight grand nephews, seven great grand nieces, four great grand nephews, and many close cousins. She will be missed greatly by them and their extended families, as well as by her many devoted friends.
A lifelong resident of Millbury, Rosemary graduated from Millbury High School, Class of 1948, where she excelled at all sports and was a standout on the basketball team. She earned two Master’s degrees at Worcester State University, and taught in Connecticut and Worcester schools for 36 years. She retired from Tatnuck Elementary where she was also a demonstration teacher for Worcester State and Assumption Colleges. Rosemary developed many close and lifelong friends from her teaching years and enjoyed many worldwide travels with them. Most notably, she and her fellow teachers were one of the first groups allowed to travel into Russia. She also taught for many years in her parish church St. Brigid’s CCD program. Always the consummate teacher, and mechanically-inclined, Rosemary was known for sharing her knowledge of gardening, tools, wood, and how to repair practically anything.
Rosemary was an active member of, and a generous contributor to many organizations, most notably the Worcester State University Alumni Association, as well as the Massachusetts State Teachers Association, Delta Kappa Gamma Honor Society International, National Education Association, Millbury Historic Society, and Friends of the Millbury Public Library.
In her youth, Rosemary was an avid 4H Club member and camp counselor at 4H Camp Marshall in Spencer. She shared her love of camp and the outdoors by inspiring her nieces to become counselors as well. Rosemary later served on the camp board, and through her generosity made it possible for many children to attend camp.
She was a world traveler, avid reader, exceptional gardener and landscaper, pastel artist, skilled furniture refinisher and home remodeler. In her later years, she was still maintaining her home and her beloved yard, cutting down trees, chopping wood, carrying coal, and starting “the big black coal stove” in the kitchen which was used during the day for cooking and keeping the house warm.
Rosemary will always be remembered for her love of Millbury, her Irish heritage and sweaters, summer vacations on the Maine coast with her close friends, rooting for her sports teams (the Boston Red Sox, Patriots, and Celtics), and especially her family and many close friends and neighbors. She maintained the family home with her sister Ellen for many years. Together, as family matriarchs, each year they prepared the traditional clam chowder, fritters and did a good deal of the baking for the yearly Faron Family 4th of July Celebration, which she attended for 75 years since she was eleven years old. As Ellen’s health declined, Rosemary was her devoted caregiver, making it possible for Ellen to stay in her home, often baking together and sending care packages to neighbors, family and friends.
Rosemary’s family wishes to thank her devoted caregivers who made it possible for her to remain in her beloved family home for as long as possible: Betty, Hagar, Philomena, Jasmin and Jessica, as well as all the staff and hospice at CareOne.
A Celebration of Rosemary’s life for family and friends will be held at a later date, to be announced.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the following worthy causes chosen by Rosemary:
Worcester State University Foundation, 486 Chandler Street, Worcester MA 01602 or
Sisters of Notre Dame Development Office, 340 Plantation Street, Worcester MA 01604.