2009-05-07 / Obituaries

Eleanor Fitchen

Eleanor Beach Fitchen of Brewster, NY died at home on April 20, 2009. Born on October 9, 1912 in NYC, she was the daughter of Chester and Eleanor (Murdock) Beach. She was raised in NYC with summers in North Salem and Brewster. She attended school at Friends Seminary, NYC and graduated from Vassar College in 1934. She married Paul Russell Fitchen of Albany, NY on December 29, 1934 in NYC where they continued to live.

Throughout her life she was concerned about family, friends, the community and her surroundings. In NYC she had a long-term involvement with the Women's Prison Association and was on the board of its Hopper Home, a half way house for recently released offenders, for which she created a fund raising thrift shop.

On Paul's retirement as Executive Director of the New York Clearing House in 1967 they moved permanently to Brewster where she founded the Landmarks Preservation Society which restored the Walter Brewster House, the Old Southeast Church and its adjacent school house. She actively promoted beautification throughout Southeast. She established a program of court designated community service for youthful offenders who worked alongside her every weekend for twenty years maintaining old cemeteries, creating pocket parks and restoring buildings.

She was predeceased by her husband in 1990 and by a son Douglas Beach Fitchen of Ithaca, NY in 2008. She is survived by her daughters Ellen Tappan of Wolfeboro, NH and Anne Burton of London, England, by eleven grandchildren and thirteen great grandchildren.

A memorial service will be held on Saturday, June 20th at 3:30PM. Gifts in her memory may be made to Landmarks Preservation Society, 43 Oak St., Brewster, NY 10509.

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