Obituaries

Helen Lathrop Brooks, 101, Ripton summer resident

HELEN LATHROP BROOKS

BEDFORD, Mass. — Helen Lathrop Brooks, of Bedford, Mass., formerly of Lincoln, Mass., and Cambridge, Mass., died at Carleton-Willard Village in Bedford on Aug. 17, 2019, at the age of 101, five days short of her 102nd birthday. She was the wife of the late Harvard University Professor Harvey Brooks.
She was born in Fall River, Mass., on Aug. 22, 1917, the daughter of the late Francis Owen Lathrop, Sr. and Alice (Gordon) Lathrop. Helen received an A.B. from Smith College in 1939 and was employed by Harvard University from 1940 until 1945, first as a secretary at Harvard Law School and later as technical editor at the Harvard Underwater Sound Laboratory. She married Harvey Brooks in 1945, and five years later the couple settled in Cambridge, where they lived in the same house for over 55 years. They spent every summer at their farmhouse in Ripton, Vt., a place that Helen loved dearly and spoke about until her last days.
Helen took immense pride in raising four children and remaining committed to civic and volunteer work throughout her long life. She served on various committees at Harvard for over thirty years and as a Parents Committee officer and trustee at the Buckingham School. For nearly twenty years, she was a member of the Thursday Morning Talks Committee at Mount Auburn Hospital, and served on the board of Rutland Corner House in the 1970s.
Helen was a faithful and longtime communicant of Christ Church Cambridge, where she was a devoted member of the Altar Guild since 1960 and participated on the Grounds and Long Range Planning committees. She played a leading role in establishing the church’s Memorial Wall, a tradition of the congregation that will be carried on far into the future.
She was a past president of the Cambridge Plant & Garden Club, as well as a board member of Cambridge YWCA. Since the 1960s she had been an active member of both the Mothers’ Club and the Thursday Mothers’ Club of Cambridge. Helen supported her alma mater and fellow alumnae by serving on various positions of the Smith College Club, including co-chairing the Special Gifts Committee for the 50th reunion in 1989. 
Helen had an immense amount of energy and artistic talent. She was always involved in some project — knitting, sewing, refinishing furniture, or redecorating the house. She loved music, especially choral music, and was a great supporter of the arts. She was also an outdoors enthusiast who greatly enjoyed hiking, swimming, skiing, figure skating, gardening, birding, and travel. 
Helen will be forever missed by her four children, Alice Brooks Bourgoin and her husband John of North Ferrisburgh, Vt., Katharine Gordon Brooks of Livingston Manor, N.Y., Kingsley Chapin Brooks and his wife Leslie of Lincoln, Mass., and Rosalind Brooks Stowe and her husband Robert of Lincoln, Mass., and two grandchildren, Gwendolyn Gordon Stowe and Owen Brooks Stowe. She was the older sister to the late Barbara Lathrop Boynton and Francis Owen Lathrop, Jr.
Relatives and friends are invited to gather for a memorial service on Tuesday, Dec. 3, at 2 p.m. in Christ Church, Zero Garden St., Cambridge. A private burial service was held at Mount Auburn Cemetery on Aug. 22, on what would have been her 102nd birthday.
In lieu of flowers, contributions in her memory may be made to Christ Church Cambridge, Zero Garden St., Cambridge, MA 02138 or Rosie’s Place, 889 Harrison Ave., Boston, MA 02118.
Arrangements are under the care of Dee Funeral Home & Cremation Service of Concord, Mass.  To share a remembrance or to send a condolence in Helen’s online guestbook, please visit DeeFuneralHome.com.◊
 
 

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