Anna Putnam Foote

Anna Putnam Foote, 100

November 9, 2022

Anna Putnam Foote died in Peterborough NH on June 30, 2022, two months short of her 101st birthday.  Daughter of Samuel Abbot Smith and Priscilla Gale Smith, she was descended from a long line of ministers, five Unitarian and one Congregational. Growing up in Cambridge MA, she attended Shady Hill School which endowed her with wide-ranging curiosity and a lifelong love of music.  Singing comprised an elemental part of her life; she sang or hummed songs as she went about her day, every day.  She was graduated from Winsor School (founded by her great aunt, Mary Pickard Winsor) and attended Vassar College.

Learning resilience as a child growing up during the Depression and as the young wife of a naval aviator in WWII, she was receptive to change and ready for any adventure.  Known as Nancy for much of her life, at age 80 she decided to honor the grandmother for whom she was named and asked to be called Anna until she reached her mid-nineties.

Nancy held a deep reverence for family present and past.  Mother of four, grandmother of four and great-grandmother of three, Nancy embraced child rearing, striving to create opportunities where she could.   She raised her family in Weston, MA, and later lived in Hopkinton, NH. She moved to Concord, MA, in 1997, and lived next to Middlesex School which was founded by her great uncle, Frederick Winsor.  Nancy was an active member of the First Parish Church and their choir until her move to RiverMead in Peterborough NH in 2017.

With her keen interest in genealogy, she traced many family lines back 12 or more generations well before the tools of were available.  As the de facto custodian of family history, she collected an archive of photos and correspondence reaching back into the mid 19th century.  In addition to family history her interests included gardening, particularly flowering plants, bird watching, knitting, and in later years travel.

Generous of spirit and upbeat in attitude, Nancy lightened the mood of any room she entered. She was an avid correspondent and used her talent as a wordsmith to stay connected with friends and family no matter their age with handwritten notes.  As an engaged grandmother she attended countless concerts, plays, and sporting events.

She met the love of her life, George Bradford Foote at age sixteen and marked their 80th wedding anniversary the week of her death.  George died 25 years ago, and she never remarried.  Her younger siblings, Gale Mayfield and L. Whitman Smith, predeceased her.  She leaves her four children, Abbot of Berkeley, CA, George of Dublin, NH, Tamasin of Carlisle, MA, and Nathaniel of West Newton, MA, and their families.

Nancy will be remembered for the energy she shared with all around her, her charm and graciousness, her loyalty to family and friends, and her sense of whimsy and fun.

Donations in her memory can be made to the Shady Hill School. A memorial service will be held Saturday November 12th at 2 pm in the First Parish Church, Concord, Massachusetts.