Elaine Herther
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Obituary of Elaine (Grenier) Herther

Elaine Herther (Maiden name – Grenier), Stonebridge, Burlington. Formerly of Lexington & Cambridge – she was 88


Elaine (Grenier) Herther died on August 1, 2018.


Elaine was born in North Cambridge, MA on February 6, 1930 graduating from Cambridge Rindge & Latin School.  She was the daughter of Hector and Evelyn (Boudreau) Grenier.  She was the middle child of 3, pre-deceased by her sister, Dorothy Wood, of Westfield, MA and survived by her sister, Joan Lodi, of Lexington. She leaves her beloved husband, Jack Herther, of 63 years; her son Jay Herther and daughter-in-law Dianne Herther of Merrimack, NH; Karen Herther and son-in-law Gary Kappel of Acton, MA; Kristin Herther (Murray) of Bedford, MA and four wonderful grandchildren (Capt. Kevin Murray, Jamie Crepps and her husband Dan, Andrew Kappel, and Jenn Kappel) as well as many nieces, nephews, and cousins.


Recently, when looking at photos of the grandkids, Elaine said, "This is the best day ever!" She was so happy and the grandkids were the highlight of her life.


Lifelong friends Emmi Treffs and Yvonne Malcomson were dear friends, and they nourished each other’s lives in so many ways. Her friends have said, “Elaine was the best friend a person could ever have”. Elaine joins her angel friends Bernie Queen and Louise Hryniewich who predeceased her. Elaine also has a very special young friend, 7 year old, Akshat- they have shared much love, and many playful and beautiful times together. Many close friends, neighbors, local restaurant and shopkeepers will certainly miss Elaine too.


Elaine was close to her and Kristin’s loving dog, ’Lucky’, a senior rescue Terrier – who brought so much joy and love to her senior years. Lucky loved Elaine more than anyone and he was by her side as she gained her Wings.


She grew up in North Cambridge and attended French Parochial School and Rindge and Latin high school. Jack Herther and Elaine (Grenier) were married in May 1955 at Our Lady of Pity French Church in Cambridge. She lived in Lexington where they raised their family and Elaine was well known by many neighbors, town folk and local merchants in Lexington Center.  In her senior years she lived at The Village at Clark’s Pond in North Waltham MA, and most recently lived at Stonebridge at Burlington Senior Living Community where she leaves behind wonderful residents and staff who she loved.


As a young girl, she spent time in the village of Petit de Grat, Nova Scotia, where her mother was from. Her times there with her parents, aunts, uncles and cousins she always held close to heart and spoke of them often. Their spirit of kindness, generosity, love of music and Joy de Vivre stayed with her always.


Kindness, friendliness and generosity were her hallmark. Elaine was also eccentric, funny, and a great storyteller. As a young adult Elaine worked for the original ‘Ma Bell’ telephone company in Cambridge MA, after marriage they moved to Ohio and then Los Angeles. She loved to tell the story of meeting Howard Hughes while she was working as a switchboard operator at Hughes Aircraft at 25-years old, she had two different shoes on the one day she ran into Howard Hughes!  She and Jack also enjoyed visiting the airport in LA to see the legends of the screen coming to LA and she got a chance to meet Jack Kennedy.  She was honored to attend the celebration of her husband, “3-Axis Jack”, when he was inducted as a Space Pioneer into the Air Force Space Hall of Fame.


Some of her fondest old memories were going to shows in NY on the train with her girlfriends to see the singers of the Golden Age, often up close, in small venues during fledgling periods of their careers. She also fondly remembered her days dancing at the Totem Pole in Newton. She always had a flair for fashion and kept up with her glitz, jewelry and colorful wardrobe her entire life. She was a fashionista and known as “Hollywood” for her clothing and jewelry. As a young woman she modeled hats for charity fundraising at Bon Wit Teller in Back Bay.


She held her family close and loved them with protection, encouragement, good nutrition, humor, and fun! She easily became friends with everyone she met, people trusted her and sensed her nonjudgmental spirit, often telling her their life stories, struggles, and secrets. Often it took her 20 minutes to leave a restaurant, store, or event because she was socializing with everyone she had just met on the way out.


Elaine’s hobbies were antiquing, yard sale-ing and vintage costume jewelry. She had a keen eye for buying ‘gold’ jewelry and antiques to re-sell or give as gifts. She had a big heart and was very generous. Usually, when she did flea markets, she would give things away as she became so friendly with the buyers. She often reduced the price if the person buying it was in need, or of a kind and generous spirit.


She was also committed to the Parent TV Council Mission for keeping offensive language off the airwaves. She felt children should be protect from adult themes in media and be free to enjoy childhood with play, nature, sports, and arts. She had a gift for creating a wonderful non-judgemental space for her children and their friends in town. Many who grew up in her neighborhood have expressed their appreciation for opening her home to kids and her warmth and fun spirit throughout their childhoods and adolescence years.     


She was ahead of her time as an early advocate of concerns about lead paint, water quality, and a leading proponent of organic foods. She could be seen driving in her station wagon to buy organic produce directly from local farmers in Lexington and Concord before this was mainstream. She was one of the 1st shoppers at Bread and Circus in Bedford and Newton that became Whole Foods. She was a vegetarian/pectarian since the age of 50.


She loved her organic red wine and dining out, often supporting and befriending new restaurant entrepreneurs in the local area. She enjoyed modern art and appreciated local artisans in Lexington, Lincoln and Concord. Elaine was born with the heart of an artist and had artistic sense of color and composition. She had shown a flair and innate skill for painting and drawing since childhood. She often did artistic projects with her grandchildren. In the past year, Elaine rekindled her passion and natural ease for the process of creating art with Joy Geha at Goddard House, which was a gift Elaine and her family will always cherish.  


Besides her love for her husband, family and friends she loved music and to dance throughout her golden years (throwing her cane to the side). Her mission was to get people to lighten up, relax and have fun. She always told her grandkids NOT to do their homework. She figured there was plenty time later to work hard.


Many people have reached out in recent day and mention Elaine’s kindness and ability to make each person feel they were the star in her life.


She always had an open mind and was accepting of everyone and their choices; she was the first to share perfect heartfelt words in challenging times or to root you on for any joys, goals or accomplishments. She always encouraged people to be creative, march to the beat of their own drum, and follow their bliss.


Some quotes that aptly represent her mindset:


  • "Remember there is no such thing as a small act of kindness. Every act creates a ripple with no logical end" … Scott Adams
  • “In order to be Irreplaceable one must always be Different”… Coco Chanel
  • “If you obey all the rules you miss all the fun” … Katharine Hepburn


Elaine received blessings, the day of her passing, from by Jesuit priests Fr. Russell and Fr. Curry from Weston- who were friends of her late cousin Father Louis Grenier (of Cambridge and Jamaica)


Family burial service was held by Fr Francis M. Conroy of Saint Margaret's Church Burlington MA in Saint Bernard’s Cemetery in Concord, MA.


In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in her memory to:


Seniors for Seniors Dog Adoption - North Shore Animal League



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