Remembering Jean Bratton


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The following was submitted by Patti Mason and Ellen Harde. Additional information is available at the Blake Funeral Home website. To submit your own content, e-mail the editor at

Every resident who had any connection with Roudenbush Community Center knew Jean Bratton. When Jean was hired in 1982, her title was “Head Clerk,” but for twenty years, Jean was in fact the heart of the Roudenbush.

Jean’s death last week took us back to those years when we all were at Roudenbush together. For Patti, Jean was one of her first mentors at Roudenbush who taught Patti many things, and much about Roudenbush traditions.

In the twenty years Jean Bratton worked at 65 Main Street, she worked with half a dozen directors, dozens of Roudenbush Committee members and saw the Roudenbush expand to include Roudenbush at Nabnasset and Roudenbush at Frost. Through all the change, as former instructor Bev Palmer wrote, “Jean was the life line of Roudenbush.”

No matter how many people came into the office each day, and the many more who telephoned, Jean seemed to remember every one of them. Residents stopped by the main office simply to say hello to Jean, a friend to so many people for so many years. No matter how busy she was in the one-woman office, Jean would take time to acknowledge a greeting. Marcia Dana, a gymnastics instructor and then Roudenbush Committte chair, wrote, “She used to let my daughter Abby sit at her desk and pretend to answer the Roudenbush phone! “

Chris Dwyer, a member of the Roudenbush Associates board recalls, “Jean had a smile on her face each time she greeted someone.”

How lucky Westford was that this gracious woman from Chelmsford made her way to Roudenbush Community Center.


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