Elizabeth Brooks Dennett, 81, of Needham, Mass., and North Ferrisburgh
NEEDHAM, Mass. — Elizabeth Brooks Dennett, 81, died of lymphoma cancer on May 26, 2020, at her home in Needham, Mass.
The oldest child of William F. Brooks and Katherine (Ross) Brooks, Liz was born in Cambridge, Mass., in 1939 and resided in Middlebury, Vt., during WWII with her mother and brother while her father served as a naval officer in the Pacific. With a passion for lifelong learning and a deep love of people, Liz graduated from St. Agnes Episcopal School in Alexandria, Va., where her mother was a math teacher. She matriculated at Smith College, graduating in 1960.
After teaching chemistry in New York City at the Chapin School, Liz settled with her first husband, Thomas Bernheim, in New Jersey to raise their three children, Katy, Robert, and Anne. Following a move to Massachusetts, Liz began teaching again (science and sex education) at The Park School in Brookline. She was later a realtor in Needham and volunteered as a home healthcare aide. In 1994, she married George Dennett. Active in her church community from her time as a teen, Liz served the Christ Church Needham congregation as senior warden, member of the altar guild, and the vestry.
Most summers were spent at the family camp “Wehatoquite” at Long Point, North Ferrisburgh, Vt., which was purchased by her grandfather Jacob Jonson Ross, M.D., and his wife Hannah Elizabeth Holmes Ross in 1921. She enjoyed spending time there with her immediate and extended family.
A fiercely independent woman, Liz was passionate about her family and the importance of education to make a difference in the lives of others. Predeceased by her parents, her second husband, and her younger brother, Robert T. Brooks (2019), she is survived by her brother, William F. Brooks Jr. of New Haven, Vt.; her children, Katherine Bernheim of San Anselmo, Calif., Robert Bernheim (spouse Patricia) of China, Maine, and Anne Campbell (spouse Ben) of Starksboro, Vt.; eight grandchildren, and one great-grandchild.
A Memorial service at Christ Church Needham to take place at a future date; interment will be at the family plot in Middlebury, Vt., later this summer. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Dr. Ann LaCasce Research Fund, Dana Farber Cancer Institute, P.O. Box 849168, Boston, MA 02284, or the Pastoral Response Team at Christ Church Needham, 1132 Highland Ave., Needham, MA 02494.◊
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