Doris E.  Olmstead


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TOPSFIELD - Doris Emery Olmstead, 86, died peacefully on Tuesday, March 26, at Beverly Hospital surrounded by her family. She was born in Atlantic City, New Jersey, on March 19, 1933, to the late Lt. Hugh Douglas Olmstead, U.S. Coast Guard, and Eleanor Saunders (Wennerberg) Olmstead. Her father's career with the Coast Guard moved their family to New Jersey, Florida, Washington, and Mississippi during the first 14 years of her life. She was happy when her family returned to Gloucester and settled in her maternal grandparents' home on Plum St., East Gloucester, in 1948.

Doris was a graduate of Gloucester High School, class of 1951. She followed her mother's career as a physical education teacher and graduated from Bouvé-Boston School of Physical Education at Tufts University in 1954. During the summers of her college years, she taught swimming lessons at Stage Fork Park, Plum Cove, Magnolia and Niles beaches for the City of Gloucester.

After graduation, she began her career at Simmons College as Assistant Professor of Physical Education and also earned her master's in Education from Boston University. Doris remained at Simmons College until her retirement as Professor Emeritus in 1996. During her 42-year career at the college, she served as Associate Professor, Department Chair and Athletic Director.

From a young age, Doris enjoyed physical activity and loved to be outdoors. She was happiest when riding her horses, Denny and Nifty, or out for a walk with her beloved Standard Poodles, Tari and Brilli, at her side. Doris made her home in Topsfield for more than 40 years and was a dynamic and generous neighbor. Always true to who she was, Doris entertained many a friend and family member with her lively stories, preferably with a cup of coffee in hand. She treasured her neighbor and friend Jen LaRussa and her family, as well as Carri, Abby and Roberta, and all her neighbors who would stop by or wave as they drove by each day. All of us who knew her will sorely miss her.

Doris is survived by her sister, Eleanor Parrott of Rockport, Mass.; her sister-in-law, Sheila Olmstead of Falmouth, Maine; and six nieces and nephews, Nancy and her husband Richard Olson, Jane and her husband Jeffrey Tutein, Laurie Parrott, all of Rockport, Mass., Bryan Parrott, D.V.M. of Ipswich, Mass., Jonathan Olmstead and his wife Nancy of Portland, Maine, and Caroline Wallach and her husband Scott of Rye, N.Y.; and 13 grand-nieces and -nephews. She was predeceased by her brother Hugh D. Olmstead Jr., Ph.D.
A memorial service will be held at Campbell Funeral Home, 61 Middle Street, Gloucester, Mass., on Friday, April 5, at 11 a.m., followed by a luncheon. Relatives and friends are cordially invited. There will be no visiting hours and burial will be held privately. Arrangements by the Campbell Funeral Home, 61 Middle Street, Gloucester.
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Published on April 3, 2019
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