Molly Bronwyn Hawthorn-MacDougall, 31, cherished wife, sister and daughter, died April 29, 2010, in Henniker. By an act of senseless violence, she was taken from her loving husband, Daniel Paul, from her extended family, and from her many friends.
She grew up at Camelot Farm, a home for disabled veterans in Winchendon, Mass. Among the joys of her childhood were summertime trips to visit her Auntie Betty in Minnesota. She participated actively in youth programs offered by New England Yearly Meeting of Friends (Quakers).
Starting in 5th grade, she attended the Monadnock Waldorf School in Keene, where she developed a lifelong love for art, handcrafts, music and dance. She spent the first two years of high school at The Meeting School in Rindge. There she acquired an enthusiasm for international travel while on a six-week intersession project in Costa Rica. She finished high school at High Mowing in Wilton, where she continued to draw, paint and dance, and became a skilled potter. After graduating, she spent three months interning with a master potter in Japan.
She will be remembered and loved by people who knew her in New York and Baltimore, two cities where she lived after high school. She established a welcoming, fun-time atmosphere at Tom and Jerry’s, the Elizabeth Street bar she tended for several years in New York.
When she met Danny, she packed up and returned to her country roots. Together they built a cozy cabin on their land in Henniker, and in their epic garden with wicked straight, weedless rows, they grew much of their own food. After living in the cabin for a couple years, they set out to travel and work in solidarity with people in several Latin American countries.
At her core, she was always a nurturer. A loving big sister who paved the way for her two younger sisters, she taught her mother and father much of what they needed to learn about parenting. Her concern for others and her love for people led her to choose a career in nursing. On her way to realizing this dream, she worked at the Concord Feminist Health Center. She was two weeks from graduating from the nursing program at NHTI – Concord’s community college. She looked forward to a career as an operating room nurse.
She could put on boots to fish, or be just as comfortable wearing fancy shoes for a night in New York.
People in Henniker may have known her and Danny as the couple who often rode around town on a blue bicycle built for two.
She had a glowing soul. She was a potter, musician, dancer, listener, avid reader, avid trout fisherwoman, passionate yogini, role model and compass for her sisters and others, beloved auntie (purveyor of frozen delights, smoke bombs and sparklers), adventurer, exquisite cook, Red Sox fan and colicky baby who grew into one of the sweeter people on the planet. She possessed an impeccable sense of style and grace, an irreverent sense of humor, a passion for justice and a green thumb. She was sparkling, magical and mythical, feisty, courageous, outrageous, humble, intrepid, insatiably curious, meticulous and dauntless. A diligent student, she hung her sign out at the beginning of each semester reading “Closed for Business,” and reopened after final exams. She never took herself too seriously, but she took life seriously.
Although she is gone, her spirit accompanies her survivors, who include her husband, Daniel Paul 8th; parents, Bruce MacDougall and Margaret Hawthorn; sisters, Ruby and Sadie MacDougall and Sadie’s husband, Dan Jones; mother-in-law, Beth Ann Paul; father-in-law and stepmother-in-law, Leslie and Daniel Paul 7th; siblings-in-law, Jason Paul, Sage Risteen, Emily Chandler, Shainan Paul and Shade Paul; aunt and uncles, Betty Hawthorn, John Hawthorn and Ralph Lusich; and nieces and nephews, Aden Risteen, Samantha Hunt, Jack Scanlon, Elliot Jones, Liam Risteen, Jude Risteen, Amos Jones, Henry McAlister and Isabella Tue.
A gathering to celebrate her life will be held Saturday at 11 a.m. with a worship service at noon at Pats Peak Ski Area Valley Lodge in Henniker (www.patspeak.com/summer_fun.htm). Family and friends are welcome.
The family has asked that, in lieu of flowers, donations be sent to the Concord Feminist Health Center, 38 South Main St., Concord 03301.