Dorothy Marie Peterson Humphrey
Hanover, N.H. — Dorothy Marie Peterson Humphrey, 86, of Guilford, Vt. (“Dot” to all who knew her) died on Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2014, in Hanover, after a lengthy struggle with Alzheimer’s Disease. The “older” (by minutes) of fraternal twin girls, she was born in West Hartford, Conn. on June 24, 1927. She attended elementary schools in Simsbury and Avon, Conn. and graduated from Canton High School in 1945. After graduation, she enrolled in the Army Cadet Nurses Corps and received her R.N. degree in 1948 from the Hartford Hospital School of Nursing. She was married to Frederick Humphrey in a joint ceremony with her twin sister Virginia on her mother Frances Peterson’s birthday on Sept. 4, 1948. She served as Head Nurse in Hartford and Manchester (Conn.) hospitals before moving to Philadelphia in 1950. After the birth of her three children, she continued to nurse part-time while moving to Peekskill, N.Y., Brattleboro, Vt. and then back to the Philadelphia area.
In 1965, she moved with her family to Storrs, Conn., and became a volunteer at Connecticut Planned Parenthood clinics. In 1970, she enrolled in a Family Planning Nurse Practitioner program at Mt. Sinai Hospital in Hartford, Conn. After receiving her N.P. in Family Planning she worked in and administered Planned Parenthood clinics in Willimantic, Danielson, and Putnam, Conn. In a time of social upheaval and political dissention, she proved to be a fearless and tireless advocate for family planning and contraceptive rights.
Upon retiring to Guilford in 1990, Dot became a Trustee of the Guilford Historical Society. For several years she served as Guilford Representative to the Vermont Council On Aging and arranged meals for Guilford seniors. She delivered Meals On Wheels and was a member of the Guilford Volunteer Fire Department Auxiliary. She also headed the board of The Gathering Place, an adult day care facility in Brattleboro.
She will be remembered for her determination, her ready smile, her ever-present willingness to help others, and for her love of the outdoors. She always kept both vegetable and flower gardens and enjoyed swimming and skiing, serving in the late 1950’s as one of the original pupils of Cliff Taylor’s Graduated Length Method (GLM). She was a strong supporter of not only her own career but also that of her husband. She often commented that during their 64 years of marriage they moved 13 times, with Storrs being a special place where she developed many meaningful friendships and community connections. For many years she was an active participant in the Christmas tree operations of the Humphrey family (Cherry Brook) farm in Canton Center, Conn., making wreaths and assisting customers.
Dot and Fred had three children: a son, Brian, who died in 1990 and for whom Dot served as the primary loving caregiver; a daughter, Heidi Humphrey and husband, Ben Benedict of Shaftsbury, Vt. and a son, Alan Humphrey and wife, Wendy Rosen Humphrey of East Windsor, N.J. In addition, she is survived by four grandchildren: Ian Humphrey, Erica Humphrey, Lincoln Benedict, and Margot Benedict. She also leaves seven nieces and six nephews. She was predeceased by her twin sister, Virginia Shea and her husband Edward Shea of Simsbury, Conn. and Carbondale, Ill.
A memorial service will be held on March 8 at 10:30 a.m. in the Guilford Community Church. The family wishes that donations in Dot’s memory be made to Planned Parenthood, to the national Alzheimer’s Association, or to the charities Mrs. Humphrey was associated with in Vermont.
To view an online memorial and or send a message of condolence to the family, please visit www.rand-wilson.com.
Arrangements are under the direction of the Rand-Wilson Funeral Home of Hanover.