NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

January 29, 2014

Dorothy (MacArthur) Bragdon


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.

She also is survived by her sisters, Winnie Smith and husband, Dick, of Wilmington, Jean Brown and husband, Gordon, of Glendale, Calif.; sister-in-law, Peggy MacArthur of Ipswich; and many generations of nieces and nephews too numerous to count. She was predeceased by her four brothers, Warren, Lloyd, Lawrence, and Mason MacArthur; and sisters-in-law, Dorothy and Hazel MacArthur.

She will be missed by them all, but the impact she had on each and everyone’s life will never be forgotten. Her memory will live on forever.

ARRANGEMENTS: In keeping with her wishes, there will be no visiting hours. Services and burial in Walnut Grove Cemetery, Danvers, will be private for the family. Flowers are gratefully accepted or donations in her memory may be made to the Peabody Institute Library, 15 Sylvan Street, Danvers, MA 01923, for the purchase a “memorial bench,” commemorating Dorothy MacArthur Bragdon, which will be placed on the library grounds. Arrangements are by Paul C. Rogers Family Funeral Home, 2 Hillside Avenue, Amesbury.