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Doris Katherine "Kay" Beers
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Birth: Jul. 3, 1927
Connecticut, USA
Death: Jun. 9, 2012
Vermont, USA

Doris Katherine Beers (Kay), of Middlebury, died peacefully at the Vermont Respite House on June 9, 2012, after a long battle with cancer.

Her beloved kitties, Gingersnap and Morris, were at her side to the end. Kay was the daughter of Professor Douglas Beers, long-time chair of the English department at Middlebury College, and his wife, Doris (Bunting) Beers.

She was born on July 3, 1927 in Bridgeport, Connecticut, near where her ancestors first settled in the 1630s.

She spent her entire childhood in Middlebury, moving through the Middlebury Nursery School on Storrs Avenue, the Middlebury Graded School and Middlebury High School, Class of 1945. Kay continued her education at Middlebury College, graduatingas an English major in 1949. She was a bright, curious girl whose shyness never prevented her from having a close circle of devoted friends. The plucky young graduate then headed off to start life as a working woman in Boston. As a proper young lady, she lodged at the Franklin Square House, then the largest residence for young, single women in the world. She nabbed her first job as a comparison shopper for the Jordan Marsh Department Store, stealthily investigating the merchandise and prices of their competitors.

In 1951, Kay took a position in the personal loan department of the South Station branch of the Shawmut Bank, the beginning of nearly three decades there, working at their main office downtown at 40 Water Street, then in branches in Roxbury and Charlestown. During much of this time, she lived in an apartment in Allston with a changing cast of friends. She loved having the freedom to run her own life. She had a great sense of humor, but also acted as the sensible voice of reason among her crowd. Kay left banking in 1980, when she started a very different position at the African Studies Center at Harvard. She spent an enjoyable decade there, planning events and promoting the study of Africa at the University. After her father's death, Kay retired to her family home in Middlebury. There she tended her beautiful gardens and enjoyed the companionship of a series of beloved cats. Her quiet demeanor masked an adventurous spirit, and she traveled extensively in Europe, China and Turkey. She was the official historian of the Middlebury branch of the AAUW and active in its fundraising. As a gentle person who loved children and animals, Kay volunteered with the Everyone Wins! reading program at Mary Hogan and at the Addison County Humane Society. She enjoyed genealogy to the point that dozens of her early New England ancestors were like familiar friends to her. Her sharp mind was always at work, and she could generally tell you what was happening everywhere from Syria to South Street.

Kay is survived by her cousins, Meredith Denno of Rumford, Rhode Island and Constance Beal of Bradford, New Hampshire, and their husbands and children. She is also mourned by her godchildren, Melinda and Brian Daetsch, and Bradley Munn. She will be missed by many devoted friends, including Jan Albers and Paul and Evan Monod of Weybridge.

Kay did not wish to have a funeral, so a private gathering of remembrance will be held at a later time.

She will be buried in the Beers family plot in Stratford, Connecticut.
Created by: Barb Destromp
Record added: Jun 17, 2012
Find A Grave Memorial# 92039912

- Barb Destromp
 Added: Jun. 17, 2012

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