Louise "Weesie" Blanchard MeansAugust 25, 1943 ~ October 23, 2017 (age 74)
BROOKFIELD - Louise “Weesie” Blanchard Means of Brookfield, died Monday, October 23, 2017, after a lengthy illness. Born in Hartford, Connecticut, in 1943, Weesie was the only child of the late Blanchard W. Means, a Professor of Philosophy at Trinity College Hartford, and the late Louise Chandler Means, a philanthropist for the developmentally disabled and conservation.
Weesie was developmentally disabled all her life, but became a friend to and made a positive impact on many over her lifetime by her kindness and simplicity.
Approximately 20 years after her father’s death, Weesie and her mother moved from Hartford to Elm Hill Farm, their summer home, and lived there until shortly before her mother’s death in 2009. Louise and Weesie enjoyed each other’s company immensely, being seen around town and on trips throughout New England in matching coats and hats like two sisters. Weesie showed a love of music derived from her mother who was herself the daughter of Thaddeus Rich, an acclaimed violinist and assistant conductor of The Philadelphia Orchestra. Weesie would often show her happiness by humming and singing, which brightened the mood of whomever she was with.
She was the last of a long family line going back to the 18th Century to live at Elm Hill Farm, most of which is now preserved as the Massachusetts Audubon Society’s Elm Hill Wildlife Sanctuary, given by her mother in 1998, and as the Elm Hill Farm Historic District, designated by the National Register of Historic Places in 1991. Through her mother’s vision and generosity and the efforts of the Blanchard Means Foundation, Hope Homes and Rehabilitative Resources, Inc., Weesie was able to live her later years comfortably with other developmentally disabled adults in a group home built on the one-time family property.
Weesie leaves behind her long-time devoted guardian and cousin Peter Chick and his wife Cynthia, and cousins Virginia Giddens, Carolyn Means, and Frances Means. Peter Chick would like especially to thank Sarah Bergeron, Weesie’s caregiver, for her devoted and loving attention to Weesie and her needs, as well as Bonnie Keefe-Layden, former CEO of Rehabilitation Resources, Inc., for all that she did to make Weesie’s last home possible.
There are no calling hours and interment is private. A Memorial Service for Weesie will be held on Friday, November 3 at 11:00 a.m. in Brookfield Congregational Church, followed by a reception at the church. Relatives, friends and the community are invited. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made in the name of Louise “Weesie” Means to Brookfield Congregational Church, P.O. Box 457, Brookfield, MA 01506-0457. Varnum Funeral Home, Inc., 43 East Main St., West Brookfield is assisting her family with arrangements.
Brookfield Congregational Church
P.O. Box 457, Brookfield MA 01506