Virginia “Ginny” Batchelder Newman
South Royalton, Vt. — Virginia “Ginny” Batchelder Newman, 98, died Thursday, Feb. 13, 2014 at her home. She was born July 8, 1915, in Marlboro, N.H., the daughter of Thomas Hunt and Ella Lucretia (Batchelder) Hunt. Ginny grew up in Stoneham, Mass., graduating from Stoneham High School in 1933. She attended Lowell State Teachers College.
In 1936, she married Roger W. Lamson and began work as a restaurant hostess at Filene’s Department Store in Boston. In 1945, she, along with a friend and her three year old son, drove to California on Route 66 to join their husbands who were U.S. Navy officers. Returning to Stoneham after the war, she had two sons, Roger Jr. in 1947, and Frank in 1948. In 1951, she and Mr. Lamson divorced.
Ginny married William Byrnes in 1953, and lived in Cambridge, spending a part of every summer in Mattapoisett, Mass. This began a nearly 60 year love of the fresh air, sand, and warm water of Buzzard’s Bay. Mr. Byrnes died in 1963.
In 1964, Ginny earned a Juris Doctor from the New England School of Law. She was one of very few women at that time to sit for the Massachusetts Bar Exam. Ginny also ran an unsuccessful bid for the Massachusetts House of Representatives that year.
Ginny and her third husband, George Newman (Dartmouth 1925) retired to Sarasota, Fla., in 1975. Ginny was an active member and officer of the Women of Dartmouth Club and the American Association of University Women’s Education Scholarship program. She was very interested in assisting young women, especially single mothers, to further their education, which she believed was the key to opening one’s mind and imagination.
She sponsored two Chinese students in an international exchange program. Then, in 1993, she completed a Rassias course in Chinese language at Dartmouth, and later visited their families in Beijing, while attending the UN World Conference on Women.
After Mr. Newman’s death, Ginny moved to her “Cottage on the Green” in South Royalton, Vt., to be closer to her sons and their families. She enjoyed many years of band concerts, and her friends in the Better Homes and Women’s Clubs. But most of all, Ginny’s greatest pride was providing a college education for all of her grandchildren.
She was predeceased by two brothers, Paul Hunt and Clinton Hunt, and her sister, Paula Peck. She is survived by her sons, Roger Lamson (Kate) of North Sutton, N.H.,and their children, Elizabeth and Nathan; and Frank Lamson (Maria) of South Royalton, Vt., and their children, John, Josef, Ellen, and Mairi Centa; two great-granddaughters; a niece, nephews, and many grand-nieces and grand-nephews.
Ginny’s ashes will be scattered on Buzzards Bay at a family gathering next summer. Memorial contributions may be made to an educational scholarship program of one’s choice.