Dignified, polite, stylish, and best of all “fruitcakes at Christmas” are just a few of the memories Rebecca Tibball and Art Powers, Jr. had of their aunt, Eunice Buxton, who departed this world on January 20, 2018 to join her husband Thomas F. Buxton, Jr. A resident of Berlin, CT for 80 years Eunice taught Sunday school at the Berlin Congregational Church, was a member of the church choir, and led the local Girl Scout Troop of which her daughters Mary Ellen Buxton-Kutch and Betsey Buxton were members. “She was always there for me… she didn’t like or understand some of my choices, but she always supported me” said Mary Ellen. Her sister Betsey echoed this sentiment by saying “I always felt loved no matter what happened.”
A small business owner for 50 years, wildflowers, lampshades, and antiques were a large part of Eunice’s life. Custom House, her shop in Cromwell, CT, is where Eunice’s granddaughter Elizabeth Buxton remembered playing in the back room on the old manual adding machine and helping with the cash register in the main showroom. It was here that Eunice applied the advertising and design skills she learned as a graduate of Lasell Junior College in Auburndale, MA. Her step-granddaughter Kelsey Wilson recalled the stories Grammy shared about going to college in 1945, the war, and growing up on Liberty Street in Ossining, NY.
As many of you reading this may already know, Eunice and her brothers were adopted by Helen Fuller Boyd Powers during a time when women rarely had the financial means and emotional support to start a family as a single parent. As a result, it is thought that this blessing forged a bond among Eunice and her siblings that was indeed very strong. Her brother Arthur B. Powers fondly remembered his predeceased brothers Thomas B. and James B. Powers as true friends. Of his sister he recalled “Eunice was a loving mother… the world opened and closed with her children.” Daughter-in-law Karen Levi-Buxton shared a similar memory and said “Eunice had a zest for life and an amazing energy… she was the nucleus of her extended family.” And so, summers were spent with Eunice and her loving brood in Westport, MA. It was here, along the shoreline, where life seemed to slow down, and time spent combing her daughter’s curly hair after a long day in the sun and surf deeply satisfied Eunice. Her granddaughter Amhara Buxton-Kutch recalled “spending summers in Westport visiting different historic houses and ships; and traveling to the Cape to help with antique shows… Gram was a bright, vibrant spitfire who was always interested in hearing what people were doing.”
During her final years Eunice was considered a mentor by several of her dedicated and loving caregivers; tenderly offering her ageless wisdom and happily sharing her extensive gardening knowledge. Christin Buxton her daughter-in-law remarked “Eunice was a classy lady… intelligent, gracious, and always thankful for the little things you did for her.” A memorial service is planned for late spring/early summer by the members of Eunice’s family: sons Thomas F. Buxton, III and his wife Susan Schultz, James Buxton and his wife Karen Levi, John Buxton and his wife Christin; daughters Mary Ellen Buxton-Kutch and her husband Kevin, and Betsey Buxton; grandchildren Amhara Buxton-Kutch and her husband Christopher Willson, Amy Buxton, Tyler Buxton, Elizabeth C. Buxton and her mother Patricia Smedley Buxton; step-granddaughters Kelsey and Emily Wilson; and great-granddaughter Violet Buxton