Georgess McHargue poet, writer, editor, gardener, lover of animals of all sorts, activist, friend, mother and wife completed her 16 year-long “dance” with breast cancer on Monday July 18, 2011. She detested the notion of “battling” cancer, and decided she’d rather dance.
And dance she did! With her beloved husband Michael Roberts, daughter Mairi McHargue Elliott, grandsons Colin Elliott and Griffin Elliott, step-daughters Traci Roberts and Kelly Richardson, her innumerable friends, as well as with words, with ideas, with music, with politics, and among her flowersâ€¦ especially roses. How appropriate that she loved to celebrate the Christmas season reveling in the “Lord of the Dance”!
Georgess or “G”, as she was known, was raised in New York City and graduated from the Spence School. Her surviving classmates are mourning her loss. She graduated summa cum laude from Harvard. with a concentration History and Literature. Her vast knowledge of innumerable subjects is legendary, and several friends have commented that now they will finally have to buy an encyclopedia!
After working at Golden Press, Georgess became an editor at Doubleday. In her long career as an author she published 35 books, many are for young adults, some focused on archaeology, mythology and history. She was nominated for a National Book Award for The Beasts of Never, and wrote many reviews over the years for the NY Times Book Review.
Her political activism began with protesting the Vietnam war, segregation, and continued through her life as she stood firmly against all social injustice and repression of freedom everywhere.
Vacations took her to the mountain wilderness of Montana on horseback, and to historical archaeology in England and Scotland where she dug up an archaeologist husband, Michael Roberts, recently she wrote that on that expedition his “blue eyes made me dizzy” and always “I’ve loved him passionately”.
While still writing books and raising a daughter, she managed to edit close to 800 technical reports in history and archaeology for Michael’s Institute for Conservation Archaeology at Harvard’s Peabody Museum and for their historic preservation company Timelines Inc where she served for a time as CEO. She was also a founding member of the Groton Town Democratic Committee, former member of the Groton Historic Districts Commission, Registrar of Voters, and was involved in numerous town activities, and was very devoted to the First Parish Church of Groton.
Her dance with breast cancer drew her into various support groups and culminated in her involvement with and devotion to “the Virginia Thurston Healing Garden” in the town of Harvard MA. In lieu of flowers you are urged to contribute to the Garden at 145 Bolton Road Harvard, MA 01451-0145 in her memory. Or to the First Parish Church Unitarian, 1 Powder House Road, P.O. Box 457, Groton, MA 01450-0457. The dance may have ended, but for all who knew her, the music will never die.
You are invited to join her family at a reception at the Badger Funeral Home 45 School St. Groton, MA from 4 to 7 PM on Monday, July 25. She always appreciated other people’s gardens so if you would like to bring a sampling of yours please do so in a vase you won’t miss. A Memorial Service will be held in the fall.
(The Groton Line received this notice Tuesday (July 26) morning. — Ed.)