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Sybil Benton Williamson 

Published: 7/3/2018 3:00:13 AM
Modified: 7/3/2018 3:00:18 AM

Hanover, N.H. — Our sweet mother died Wednesday, June 20, 2018, at the Jack Byrne Center in Hanover. She had been ill for several months.

Sybil was born on Jan. 4, 1934, in Hempstead, N.Y. She grew up in Norwalk, Conn. and attended Northfield School (now Northfield Mount Hermon School) and Bates College. After college she moved to Boston, where she met a young Harvard Business School professor, Peter Williamson. They married in 1957.

Sybil and Peter moved to Hanover in 1961, when Peter accepted a teaching position at the Tuck School at Dartmouth College. When their daughters were born she devoted herself to raising them and participating in their lives and her community. From being a room mother at the elementary school to serving as President of the Skating Club at Dartmouth, she was active in many civic organizations. The League of Women Voters, the Girl Scouts, and the League of New Hampshire Craftsmen all benefited from Sybil’s participation.

Sybil’s paid work was as the director of the Friends of the Hopkins Center, organizing many cultural tours and events. In her retirement she was a dedicated and enthusiastic docent at the Hood Museum of Art, serving for 28 years as a tour guide and proponent for arts education. After many years of attending conferences of the National Docents Symposium, she was asked to serve a term as President. She also served on the boards of the AVA Gallery and Art Center, and the Enfield Shaker Museum.

She was a very active alumna of Bates and Northfield Mount Hermon, organizing reunions and serving on the NMH Scholarship Committee.

Sybil was a true aesthete. She descended from a long line of artists and appreciated all of the arts. She was a juried artist at the League of New Hampshire Craftsmen for her silkscreen work and taught classes in silkscreening at the League. Her friends looked forward to her handmade Christmas cards for many years. She loved attending concerts, art openings, opera and dance performances. She saw so much beauty in the world in gardens, architecture, design, and the natural landscape.

Sybil was interested in people from every walk of life and is remembered as both friend and mentor. She was devoted to her daughters and granddaughters, providing them with unflagging encouragement and support in all of their endeavors. She and Peter were true partners during their 54-year marriage.

Sybil is survived by her three daughters, Anne Williamson (Jim Barta), Sarah Williamson and Julia Williamson; and by her granddaughters, Archer Williamson and Grey Rankin Williamson. She was predeceased by her husband, Peter Williamson. She leaves behind many friends who will miss her warmth, curiosity and sparkle.

Donations in Sybil’s name to the AVA Gallery and Art Center, Heifer International, LISTEN Community Services, or a charity of your choice would be welcome and appreciated.

A memorial service will be held Friday, July 13, at 11 a.m. at the AVA Gallery 11 Bank St. Lebanon, N.H.

To view an online memorial and or send a message of condolence to the family, please visit,

Arrangements were under the direction of the Rand-Wilson Funeral Home of Hanover.

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