Kathleen Mary (Duhan) Elcox, 92, died on July 26 at home in Concord. She was born in Biggleswade, Bedfordshire, England on December 6, 1930 to William P. and Kathleen V. Duhan, the third of seven children.
In early 1940, as part of Operation Pied Piper, she was evacuated to Montreal, Quebec, Canada with her mother and three sibling. Kathleen (then known as Mary) enrolled in the nursing school at Montreal General Hospital at 17, graduating as an RN. She moved to Vancouver, BC, married and had two daughters. After living in Deep River, ON, they immigrated to the United States and settled in Burlington, Massachusetts in 1962.
Once her daughters were school-aged, Kathleen continued her education, eventually earning a Master’s in Education from Northeastern University. As they moved into high school, she developed and implemented the Sexuality, Awareness and Maturity (S.A.M.) program in schools and churches throughout New England. At the same time, she assumed the position of head of Health Services at Bunker Hill Community College in Charlestown, remaining there until her retirement. During her years there, she continued studying, earning a PhD in 1990. She was so proud to be called Dr. Elcox! She also volunteered in the American Lung Association (ALA) for a number of years, and was elected President of the Board of ALA of Massachusetts in 1994-1995. There she met the man she would later marry, Robert Hilsinger.
After her retirement, Kathleen and her younger sister Barbara, bought land in Westport, Ontario, and had a house built. They lived there from 1997-2000. As a way to meet new people in Westport, she joined the local photo club. With a little experience with them she discovered a natural eye for composition. When she moved back to the States, she eventually became a professional photographer – in her 70s!
Once here, she joined First Parish church in Concord. There she created the First Parish Photo Club which grew and became a permanent fixture. The club traveled extensively for photo ops, including Canada.
In January, 2002, Kathleen and Robert were married and settled in Concord. She had a busy life there, belonging to other groups such as the First Parish Humanist Group, the First Parish Extended Family and the October Farm Movie Group. She also volunteered at Concord’s Council on Aging into her 80s, checking blood pressures ‘for the old folks’. She and Robert traveled a bit, including a trip to the wedding of some young friends in Columbia, South America.
Kathleen was predeceased by all of her siblings. She is survived by her husband, Robert Hilsinger; her daughters Kathleen McKeown & husband Vance, and Caroline Prevost & husband Gil; four grandchildren – Jeremy Elcox, Samuel Folan, Alanna Salvas and Curtis McKeown; and four great-grandchildren – Damian, Tristan, Casey and Raiden. She will be fondly remembered by many good friends, especially Juan, Angela and Luciana Rodrigues who became “family.”
Kathleen will be buried privately at the Knoll at Sleepy Hollow Cemetery in Concord. A celebration of life will be held at First Parish in Concord at a later date.