Obituary for Pauline Clancy
Pauline “Polly” (Averill) Clancy, 85, of Wethersfield and Acton, Maine, loving and devoted wife of Richard E. Clancy, for 50 years, passed away peacefully, Thursday, November 11, 2010 at Hartford Hospital. She was born December 20, 1924 in Concord, New Hampshire and was the daughter of the late Paul and Margaret (Daley) Averill.
Polly received her Bachelor’s Degree from the University of New Hampshire where she was president of the Psychology Club, was employed by the New Hampshire Board of Tourism as a college student, and remained an enthusiastic advocate of her native state throughout her life. She was also a proud graduate of the Smith College School for Social Work, where she received her Master’s in Social Work. A pioneer in the field of mental health, she was the first social worker hired by the State of New Hampshire. She worked as a therapist for one of the first classes for emotionally disturbed children in Rochester, New York, where she met her husband, Dick, who was their special education teacher. She ran a mental health clinic in Goshen, New York, and was a member of the Girl Scouts of America for more than 50 years, during which she took the first group of girl scouts to go on an international camping trip to Canada. She spent the bulk of her career as a social worker for the Wethersfield Board of Education, where she is remembered for her service to the children and families of Charles Wright, Emerson-Williams, and Highcrest Elementary Schools.
When Polly settled in Wethersfield in the mid-1960’s, she discovered that she was a descendant of the town father, Nathaniel Foote, and helped revive the Foote Family Association of America and rededicate the Foote Monument at the south point of the Broad Street Green. Concerned about the state of the Village Cemetery, she created an organization named FACES (Friends of the Ancient Cemetery’s Endangered Stones) to preserve and restore the disintegrating masonry and increase awareness of the site’s importance to the town’s heritage. She volunteered for many years at the Wethersfield Historical Society, most recently working at the information center and museum shop at the Keeney Center.
An avid skier in her youth, Polly loved the outdoors, birding, UConn Women’s Basketball, and spending time with her family in New Hampshire and Maine. She co-authored a book entitled “Newichawannock Reflections: Memories of Great East Lake,” which started as an oral history project and is now in its second printing by the Great East Lake Association.
In addition to her husband, Richard, she is survived by her twins, son, David, of Rocky Hill, and daughter, Cynthia, son-in-law, Douglas, and grandson, Adam, of Wethersfield, her brother, Charles Averill, and wife, Eleanor, of Concord, New Hampshire, as well as a host of dear and close friends.
Funeral Services will be Tuesday (November 16) at 11:00 am at the D’Esopo Funeral Chapel, 277 Folly Brook Blvd., Wethersfield. The burial will follow in Village Cemetery, Wethersfield. There will not be any calling hours. In lieu of flowers, donations in memory of Pauline A. Clancy may be made to the Smith College School for Social Work, Lilly Hall, Northampton, Massachusetts 01063 or to the University of New Hampshire Psychology Department, Conant Hall, Durham, New Hampshire 03824. For online expressions of sympathy please visit www.desopo.com.