COHASSET -- For Eleanor (Trowt) Cooney Smith, libraries and reading were lifelong passions. The retired librarian, who worked in the Weymouth library system for 25 years, died last Thursday at her home in Cohasset. She was 93.
Mrs. Smith was born and raised in Wenham. She attended Beverly High School, graduating in 1929, and went on to earn a degree in library science from Simmons College in 1933. She moved to Cohasset in 1943.
Mrs. Smith worked in libraries in Amherst; Littleton, N.H.; Scituate, and Cohasset, before beginning work in the Weymouth library system.
While working in Amherst, Mrs. Smith became acquainted with the work of poet Robert Frost, who had lived there and lectured at Amherst College. In 1958, she arranged to have him speak at the Weymouth library.
''It was so exciting for her; she and my father were big fans," said her daughter, Christine Cooney of Sherborn.
During the quarter of a century that Mrs. Smith worked in Weymouth, she was active in helping to start programs that would expand the traditional role of the library in the community, such as the Weymouth History Study Group. Upon her retirement in 1976, Mrs. Smith received a proclamation from Governor Michael S. Dukakis honoring her public service.
Mrs. Smith was a member of the Massachusetts Library Association and a past president of the Old Colony Chapter. She was a member of, and briefly treasurer for, the Cohasset Social Service League. She was also a member of the National Organization for Women.
Mrs. Smith was also a member of Serving Health Information Needs of Elders. Working as a certified counselor into her 80s, Mrs. Smith helped advise seniors on their medical bills and getting medical benefits.
''My mother was extremely civic-minded," said Cooney.
Mrs. Smith was also a member of Simmons South Shore Alumnae Club, the Hingham Poetry Study Group, the Bare Cove Investment Group, and Second Congregational Church of Cohasset.
The other major passion in Mrs. Smith's life was nature. When she was younger, Mrs. Smith enjoyed skiing in the White Mountains. In her elder years, she enjoyed cross-country skiing in the woods behind her house.
''She really loved camping. When we were kids, that's where we would take our vacations," said her daughter. ''She just liked to go out and be in nature."
Her love of nature prompted Mrs. Smith to place a conservation restriction on her property to preserve the native holly trees and lady's slippers that grow there.
In later years, Mrs. Smith, who loved to travel, became a fan of Elderhostel, with which she traveled to France, Norway, and Ireland, as well as across New England. She also traveled to China and Africa with her second husband, the late Chester W. Smith.
Mrs. Smith was also married to the late Wilfred O. Cooney. In addition to Christine Cooney, Mrs. Smith leaves two other daughters, Nancy Cooney of Boston and Carolyn Cooney of Milford. She also leaves her sister, Doris (Trowt) Eldredge of Orleans, two grandchildren, and stepchildren, step-grandchildren, and step-great-grandchildren.
A memorial service will be held Sunday at the Second Congregational Church in Cohasset.
Margaret Denon, former bookkeeper
WEYMOUTH -- Margaret (Quinn) Denon, a retired bookkeeper, died Saturday at Colonial Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Weymouth. She was 97.
Mrs. Denon was raised in Roxbury and lived in Braintree before moving to Hingham, where she lived for 33 years. Eight years ago, she moved to Weymouth.
Mrs. Denon worked as a bookkeeper for several Massachusetts companies, concluding the Lovell Floral Co. in Hingham. She began working there at age 68 and stayed until her retirement at age 90.
''She wished she hadn't stopped at 90; she liked working with people," said her daughter, June Buckley of Abington.
Mrs. Denon was a member of Saint Paul's Church in Hingham for 33 years. When she was no longer able to attend Mass herself, Mrs. Denon would watch the Mass on Boston Catholic Television.
''It was part of her daily life, but it was a personal thing," Buckley said of her mother's spirituality.
Mrs. Denon enjoyed cooking and was quite good at it, according to her daughter. She also enjoyed listening to music.
With a large extended family, there was always something going on. ''She was always interested in what they were doing," said June Buckley.
Mrs. Denon was the wife of the late Edward Denon Jr. and mother of the late Edward J. Denon III and the late Denise Collins.
In addition to June, Mrs. Denon leaves another daughter, Sheila Stross of Loudonville, N.Y., and a sister, Ann Butler of Weymouth. She also leaves 11 grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren.
A funeral Mass was to be said Tuesday at Saint Paul's Church in Hingham. Burial was to be in Blue Hill Cemetery in Braintree.
Edward Keane, 84; owned liquor store
ROCKLAND -- Good food, family, and honesty were the focal points of Edward Keane's life. The retired owner of South Shore Package Store died Jan 21 at Boston Medical Center in Boston. He was 84.
Mr. Keane was born, raised, and educated in Rockland, graduating from Rockland High School.
After high school, Mr. Keane worked for the Civilian Conservations Corps in national parks. He worked in the Fore River Shipyard in Quincy until the outbreak of World War II, when he enlisted in the Navy. Stationed at Pearl Harbor, Mr. Keane was assigned to submarine maintenance aboard the USS Griffin. He earned several awards, including the Word War II Victory Medal, American Area Ribbon, Philippine Liberation Ribbon, Good Conduct Medal, and Asiatic-Pacific Ribbon with two stars.
Returning home, Mr. Keane worked as a salesman for South Shore Beverage Co. He later owned South Shore Package Store in Rockland and worked at Hallissey Liquors in Brockton until his retirement in 1986.
As a past president of the Rockland Rotary Club, he helped to organize Operation Goblin, a series of Halloween parties that provided entertainment of children in the community.
For 26 years, Mr. Keane was chairman of the Rockland Water Commission. He was a member of the American Legion, the Rockland Knights of Columbus, and a communicant of Holy Family Church in Rockland.
''Whenever anyone ever needed anything, he was there; he was the kind of person who always reached to help somebody," his daughter, Barbara Laverty of Plymouth, said of her father's civic dedication.
He made friends with people throughout the community and was honest with everyone, she said. ''He would never gloss over anything. You always knew where he stood. He said what he said."
His home and gardens were where Mr. Keane poured a lot of his energy. ''He had magnificent gardens," his daughter said. ''He had flower gardens and vegetable gardens. He [also] had a great arbor. He had beautiful grapes."
A master in the kitchen, according to his daughter, Mr. Keane loved to host large family feasts, often being heard saying, ''That was in my garden an hour ago."
When he wasn't at home with his family, Mr. Keane was traveling. ''He just loved being on the go," Laverty said. ''He was constantly looking for new places to travel."
Mr. Keane revisited places in the South Pacific he had been while serving in the Navy. He also took a trip to Ireland.
In addition to his daughter Barbara, Mr. Keane leaves his wife, Florence N. (Huntley); four sons, Dennis of Lakeville, Robert of North Carolina, Richard of Westford, and John of Halifax. He also leaves a brother, Michael of Hanover, and two sisters, Phyllis Gardner and Catherine Pizzano of Rockland. He also leaves 13 grandchildren and a great-grandson.
A funeral Mass was said last Thursday at Holy Family Church in Rockland. Burial was in Holy Family Cemetery in Rockland.
Compiled by Amanda Carswell.