Mary Chetham

Passed away on February 24, 2016
Mary Chetham of Northampton and Provincetown MA died on February 24th at Kaplan Family Hospice House in Danvers, MA. She was 85. Born in Boston on December 24, 1930 to Catherine (Murphy) and Valentine Walsh, she grew up in Somerville, MA with her older sister Catherine and younger brother Joe. She was smart as a whip, mischievous, and lots of fun. She grew up surrounded by a large and loving family and many friends. She spent summers in her father's native Ireland. The summer of 1939 extended to October due to the outbreak of WWII. All ocean liner trips were cancelled, and Mary, her sister and her father had to wait until a U.S. carrier ship, escorted by three destroyers and a submarine, was available to cross the Atlantic safely. Mrs. Chetham was a 1948 graduate of Somerville High School. After a year at Simmons College, she graduated from Regis College in 1952. She received her M.Ed. from Smith College in 1975. In 1952 she married Charles Chetham, also of Somerville. After living in Heilbronn, Germany where he served in the army and she taught GIs, they lived in Somerville, Ogunquit, and Amsterdam, he pursuing graduate studies in art history and she teaching. Following a year in Ann Arbor, MI, they settled in Northampton, MA in 1962 where Mr. Chetham was the director of the Smith College Museum of Art. Mrs. Chetham took care of her children and worked part-time at the museum. From 1967 on they spent summers in Provincetown. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, they lived in Provincetown and Cambridge, where Mrs. Chetham taught in the public high schools. She retired in 1996 from Easthampton High School after teaching chemistry, oceanography and earth science for 25 years. She then volunteered at the Northampton Survival Center and the Old Harbor Life Saving Museum at Race Point in Provincetown. She will always be remembered first and foremost as an adored mother and grandmother, as well as a wonderful sister, friend and teacher. She was kind, generous, energetic, a bit wacky, and loved by all who met her. She was happiest reading the newspaper or a mystery, doing crossword puzzles, eating jelly beans with her cup of coffee, gardening, sewing quilts and costumes, and helping her daughters and grandchildren with anything and everything. She loved her homes in Northampton and Provincetown dearly. She suffered a long illness with great grace and optimism, and will be missed terribly by those who knew and loved her. She was pre-deceased by her brother Joseph and her husband Charles. She is survived by her sister, Catherine Maynard of The Sea Ranch, CA and Freedom, NH, a niece, Deborah Plumer and a nephew, Joseph Maynard, and her children, sons-in-law, and beloved grandchildren: Deirdre Chetham (Charlotte Dale); Rebecca Chetham and Chris Panzica (Abigail Panzica); Celia Chetham and Stephen Shenefield (Julia and Tommy Shenefield), all of Arlington, MA. Mrs. Chetham will be buried privately in Provincetown, MA. If desired, donations may be made in her memory to the Provincetown Rescue Squad, PO Box 109, Provincetown, MA 02657, or Forbes Library, 20 West St., Northampton, MA 01060.