Obituaries 06-17-2021

Norman Richard Herr

October 18, 1934 – June 6, 2021

If you met Norman Herr, it was likely for one of two reasons. Either you were part of the West End or North End communities and were struggling with housing or other issues, or you were in a position of power in government or the local institutions and could do something about the community issues Norman saw as his duty to correct. Either way, Norm would find you.

Over the many decades he lived as one of the last residents of the old West End of Boston, on Anderson Street and later on Michelangelo Street in the North End, Norman Herr fought for tenants rights, challenged institutional expansion to do better, brought attention to quality of life issues like noise and air pollution, trash, handicapped accessibility and all those small things that people come to accept as part of life in the city, except Norman didn’t accept it. Well known for going from office to office in City Hall and at the State House, Norm would find out what people did and where they had authority and then proceed to enlist them in solving some community issue. It was nearly impossible to say no when Norman brought a problem to your attention and then follow-up, week after week until it was resolved. “I always deliver on my promise,” he would say. “I’m a man of my word.”

Norman Herr had a special place in his heart for seniors of the North End, pushing for accessible crosswalks and leveraging the “donation” of grocery carts to seniors on the North End. While not much is known of his methods, his motive was always to make the world a better place for the poor and elderly. As he would tell you, “I speak for the people who don’t have a voice.” Norman’s most lasting legacy may be the annual Christmas Tree lighting at Cardinal Cushing Park that he has organized since 1995 at the corner of Cambridge and Bowdoin Streets.  The week after he would start fundraising for the next year.

Norman grew up on Sydney Street near the Polish Triangle neighborhood in Boston, the son of the late Leo Ira Herr and Veronica Ursula (Aleksun) Herr. Norm held a number of different jobs throughout his life including as a longshoreman and as a bartender at a bar called Backstreet in what was known as the Combat Zone, where he made news by bringing in live music and notable jazz artists . But his favorite job was always as “Grand Marshall” of the Tree Lighting at Cardinal Cushing Park. To continue that legacy, the friends of Norman Herr have set up a gofundme.com at: bit.ly/NormansTree

One of his favorite songs was “Love is a Many-Splendored Thing,” with lyrics like “Love is nature’s way of giving a reason to be living. The golden crown that makes a man a king.” Norman was a loyal friend and was loved by many. His personal credo was, “One man can do a lot of good.”

On Norman’s behalf, we his friends would like to thank the many caregivers, visiting nurses, physical therapists, and the good people at Massachusetts General Hospital who took care of him when his health began to fail. He may not have said it in so many words, but he was truly grateful to you.

A Funeral Mass will be celebrated at 10 a.m. on  Monday, June 21 at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, 68 Cardinal O’Connell Way in the West End of Boston. Burial will follow in St. Michael Cemetery, Roslindale.

Abigail Mason Browne

Seventh-Generation Direct Descendant of Abigail and John Adams, a Former Member of Boston School Committee, Advocate for Children, Long Active in Community Affairs

Abby Browne, 77, passed away peacefully on May 21 at Mass General Hospital with her loving family by her side.

Born in Boston on December 17, 1943, a few blocks from the Public Garden, she spent the next fifty years raising her family in the city she loved, devoting her professional and personal time to community affairs and advocating for children. Abby was a seventh-generation direct descendant of Abigail and John Adams, the only daughter of Henry L. and Fanny C. (Homans) Mason, also of Boston, and the granddaughter of Abigail Adams Homans, a lifelong resident of Boston. Like her grandmother, Abby was a major force during her lifetime as all who knew her keenly appreciated. Her professional career was dedicated to advocating for children in all aspects of their lives.

She was an elected member of the Boston School Committee from the mid-1980s to early 1990’s, a frequently tumultuous period, and was an outspoken critic of business as usual politics. Tireless in her efforts, she relentlessly fought racial segregation in the Boston Public School system. She was a staunch and early supporter of the present system whereby school committee members are appointed, not elected, stating, there were too few elected politicians willing to put their own ambitions aside and Boston’s public school children suffered as a consequence.

Her interest in education and helping students began at an early age. She graduated from the Westover School in Middlebury, CT, and was a proud and active alumna, having served on the school’s board of advisors. She considered it her second home. Throughout her life she indicated that her high school experience was a pivotal moment in her own growth and development.

Abby, who was actively involved in a variety of children’s charities, including the Mass Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (MSPCC), began her professional career at the Assabet School in Marlborough in the early 1980s. She then went on to serve as a legislative aide to former Boston City Councilor Rosemarie Sansone, before running for a seat on the Boston School Committee where, upon her election, she represented Beacon Hill, the Back Bay, Fenway and Mission Hill.

After the School Committee transitioned to its current system of appointed members, she became a paralegal at the law firm of Parker, Coulter, Daley and White. Upon retiring, she continued to focus her time on issues involving children, including advocating for the prevention of physical and mental abuse of young children. She was guardian ad litem as well as a hospice volunteer. During her later years she spent much of her time with her family and especially her two granddaughters. A lifelong avid reader, Abby spent hours reading to them, teaching them the importance of literacy and bestowing upon them an immense enjoyment of books.

She is survived by her beloved husband, Alfred L. Browne, Jr., her loving daughter, Priscilla Browne of Manchester-by-the Sea, her loving son, Alfred Browne III, her daughter-in-law, Catherine Browne of Newton, two adored grandchildren, Ashley and Hillary Browne, her sister-in-law, Barbara, her niece, Abby Buccella, and many cousins. In addition to her parents, she was predeceased by her brothers, Henry and the Honorable John Mason, and her grandson, Charles Sweetnam Browne.

Abby, who had numerous interests, took special joy from her many trips to her beloved Scotland, adventures with her family on the North Shore, and rescuing and raising many dogs and cats. Her greatest passion was learning as much as she could about the British Monarchy, especially the Queen!

For everyone she touched, or was ever in her presence, Abby was unforgettable. Her voice and laughter will always be remembered. If she had your back, then you were blessed with one fiercely loyal and devoted friend, one who knew no boundaries when it came to fighting for what she believed was right, or protecting someone who was in need.

Funeral services and burial are private, with arrangements by J.S. Waterman-Langone Chapel, 580 Commercial Street, Boston, MA. 02109. For more information or to leave an online condolence, please visit www.watermanboston.com. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Westover School by visiting https://www.westoverschool.org/support/westover-funwned

Andrew Finch Morey

Devoted Father, Loving Husband and Friend to Many

Andrew Finch Morey, a devoted father, loving husband and friend to many, passed surrounded by his loving family on June 7. Andrew’s family takes comfort in knowing he lived each day fully, created community with laughter and cheer, and helped many along the way.

Andrew was born in Greenwich, Conn., on June 25, 1969. He was the youngest of three children, enjoying many sports as wide-ranging as ice hockey in Florida and sailing in Edgartown and playing with his beloved corgis.

Andrew graduated from Choate Rosemary Hall, Vanderbilt University and Columbia Business School and went on to have a 30-year career in finance. Most importantly, he approached each day with an easy-going, fun-loving spirit.

Andrew moved to Boston in 1995, where he later met his wife, Carolyn, the love of his life. He adored Carolyn with all his heart – he looked at her, and he saw his world. They married in 1999 and settled in Beacon Hill, where they raised three special daughters. Andrew loved playing squash, skiing in New Hampshire, reading a good book at the beach, sharing red wine, trading travel ideas and most of all, spending time with his family. He delighted in supporting his family and taught them and others to do the same. Andrew could often be found cheering on his girls and others at squash matches, lacrosse games and ski races. Andrew was truly a doting father who always went out of his way to make his wife and girls smile. They were the light of his life.

Andrew will be remembered by all for his quick wit, warm personality and the community he built by caring about the little things and always taking the time to stop and say hello. Andrew’s newest friend was the family Corgi, Oliver. He would often be seen walking Oliver in Beacon Hill and together they made many new friends in the neighborhood they both loved. Andrew treasured the most important parts of life, friends, family, and good conversation. He enjoyed sharing stories about great music, the New York Yankees, the New England Patriots and the Boston Bruins. He never missed an opportunity to attend a live concert or sporting event.

Andrew leaves behind many close friends, all of whom he treasured.

Andrew is survived by his wife of 21 years Carolyn, his three daughters, Charlotte, Catherine and Elizabeth, his parents Martin and Marilyn Morey of Vero Beach, FL, his sister Elizabeth (Brian) Neligan, his brother Alex Morey, over 100 in-laws, nieces, nephews and second cousins, countless friends and his beloved Cardigan Corgi, Oliver.

Funeral Services were held Monday, June 14, in St. Cecelia Church, Boston. Burial was private. In lieu of flowers, Andrew requested memorial donations be made to The Andrew Morey Memorial Trust, www.andrewmoreymemorialtrust.com.

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