Amesbury, MA — Dorothy (MacArthur) Bragdon, 101, of Amesbury, former longstanding resident of Danvers, passed away peacefully on Monday, January 27, 2014, at the home of her daughter, Sheryl Lee James, with whom she has made her home over the past 25 years. She was the beloved wife of the late Nathaniel Woodbury Bragdon Jr.
Born in Boston on May 11, 1912, she was the daughter of the late John Bertram and Jennie MacArthur. She was a graduate of Lynn Classical High School, Class of 1931, and Emerson College of Boston in 1935. While at Emerson, she was a member of Zeta Phi Beta Fraternity and was also president of the North Shore Emerson College Club.
In 1947, Dorothy was a Kindergarten teacher at the Porter Hill School in Danvers. She taught Americanization classes in Lynn for 25 years. From 1962 to 1982, she was the assistant children’s librarian at the Peabody Institute Library in Danvers and was instrumental in bringing the “Dial-a-Story” program to Massachusetts.
While residing in Danvers, Dorothy was a Deaconess at the Maple Street Church for five years. During her life, she had been actively involved with numerous organizations, from teaching Sunday School at St. Luke’s Church in Lynn, directing plays for Holy Family, First Methodist and St. Luke’s churches in Lynn, to director of dramatics for the Lynn Girl Scouts, directing the Pilgrim Groups of Players Dramatics Group, to substitute teacher at Lynn English High School and teaching elocution classes.
Dedicated to her family, she was a caring mother, grandmother and great-grandmother, who loved spending time with her family, took great pride in all of their accomplishmentsd and shared with them her joy of reading, traveling, sewing, and cooking.
Those left behind to carry forward her legacy are her daughter, Sheryl Lee James of Amesbury; her son, Nathaniel Woodbury Bragdon III of Merrimac; her grandchildren, who all held a very special place in her heart, Richard Duchesne of Tewksbury, Kimberlee Duchesne of San Diego, Calif., Melissa Mawn of Amesbury, Jennifer (Lee) Pearson of Salisbury, Nathaniel Woodbury Bragdon IV of N. Andover, and Rodger Exstrom of Webster; and her 13 great-grandchildren, who brought her immeasurable joy, Sarah of Dover, N.H., Samantha of Acton, Maine, and Nathaniel Duchesne of Tampa, Fla.; Christopher Jr. and Bryce Sanders of San Diego, Calif.; Madison and Aidan Mawn of Amesbury, Haylee Kate, Evan and Lindsey Pearson of Salisbury, Nicole and Meghan Exstrom of Webster, and Evan Nathaniel Bragdon of N. Andover.