Doris Whitehead Boas, 98

Fri, 07/17/2020 - 11:00am
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Doris Whitehead Boas, 98, passed away peacefully on June 28, 2020, at home in Mystic, CT. She was born on March 9, 1922 in Worcester, Mass. to James and Eula Whitehead and was raised in nearby Auburn.

She earned the rank of Golden Eaglet (later discontinued) of the Girl Scouts of America when she was 16. She was on the debating team in high school, a class officer for four years, and valedictorian of her class. Clara Barton, who was born in a nearby town, was a childhood hero and inspired Doris to enter the nursing profession.

Doris attended Simmons College in Boston where she earned her Bachelor of Science degree and diploma of nursing (RN) in 1945. There she met Norman, her husband of 71 years while he was a student at Harvard Medical School. After they married in 1945, they moved to Chicago where she taught bacteriology and chemistry at Michael Reese Hospital Nursing School. She later was a Nurse-Technician at an allergy clinic at the University of Chicago, then an industrial nurse at the Hotel Plaza in New York City.

She became a stay-at-home mom and raised her three children while actively involved in her community. She was President of the Public Health Nurses Association (PHNA) of Wilton, Conn., founder of the PHNA/PTA Consignment Shop in Wilton, Den Mother for Girl Scouts, Chairman of the Scholarship Committee of Wilton High School, Red Cross nurse volunteer, and she served on the Women’s Board of Norwalk Hospital.

She became a stay-at-home mom and raised her three children while actively involved in her community. She was President of the Public Health Nurses Association (PHNA) of Wilton, Conn., founder of the PHNA/PTA Consignment Shop in Wilton, Den Mother for Girl Scouts, Chairman of the Scholarship Committee of Wilton High School, Red Cross nurse volunteer, and she served on the Women’s Board of Norwalk Hospital.

Doris was an accomplished seamstress, knitter and embroiderer. Her hands were never idle! Her children and grandchildren were never without a new, intricately constructed sweater. Doris sewed nearly all of her own clothes including tailored coats, silk gowns, and her daughters’ wedding dresses. She won awards for Crewel Embroidery and was accomplished in Brazilian Embroidery, Hardanger and other embroidery techniques.

Her greatest joy was her marriage and family. She and Norman created a nurturing and loving home for their three children. Their vacation home on Block Island was a place of refuge, memories, celebrations of milestones, and reunions.

Doris will be remembered for her gentle soul and generous heart; her limitless patience and beautiful smile. She was humble in her accomplishments and was always there for her husband and children.

Norman predeceased her in 2016. She is survived by daughter, Deborah Howarth (Frederick), son, Stephen Boas (Jane Oniki), and daughter, Barbara Boas (Joseph Johnson), grandchildren Jason Howarth, Jessy Howarth (James Murray); Maxwell Boas (Jessamy Davidson), Erika Boas (Kevin Gonzalez Boas), Lauren Roberts, Rachel Brown (Jimmy Brown), Alexander Johnson (Emily), and her sister, June Crowder. She was blessed with seven great-grandchildren, and one great-great grandson.

Donations in her memory can be made to Child and Family Agency of Southeastern Connecticut, https://www.childandfamilyagency.org/donate/ or Simmons University, School of Nursing, https://alumnet.simmons.edu/giving

A memorial gathering will be held in the future, after it is safe to travel.