The Winchendon Courier
Serving the community since 1878 ~ A By Light Unseen Media publication
Week of January 14 to January 21, 2021


Mavis Esme (Harris) Boris

1929 ~ December 30, 2020 (Age 91)

Winchendon - Beloved mother, grandmother, and friend, Mavis Esme (Harris) Boris (Esme) died on December 30, 2020 at the age of 91. She lived her life with kindness, compassion, and a remarkable spirit that endured despite the challenges she faced.

Born in 1929 in New Marston, Oxford, England, Esme spent much of her childhood under the shadow of World War II. She attended East Oxford School and later earned a secretarial certificate. After passing the Civil Service exam, Esme held a number of positions in England, including serving in the President's Office of Corpus Christi College, Oxford University. Longing for independence and open spaces, Esme decided to immigrate to America, surviving on cheese-and-pickle sandwiches for a year to save for her passage on the Queen Mary in 1955. Her journey ultimately brought her to Buffalo, New York, where she met her future husband, Thomas Alexander Boris.

After moving to Townsend, Massachusetts in 1965, Esme managed a home and raised four children, compensating for limited resources with tremendous love, energy, and self-sacrifice. In the mid-seventies, Esme returned to formal employment as a secretary in the patent department at Foster Grant in Leominster, MA. Some years later, Esme found her true passion (and lifelong friendships) when she joined the team at the LUK ("Let Us Know") Crisis Center in Fitchburg, MA, a non-profit human services agency. As office manager and administrative assistant, Esme supported the agency's work however she could, whether by preparing time-critical grant applications or by painting the Center's lobby on Renovation Day. She continued to assist part-time after her "retirement" in 2002.

Esme was sustained by the community of faith that she found as a member of the Townsend Congregational Church, where, in earlier years, she taught Sunday school and served as Deacon. She enjoyed many hobbies. An avid reader, she was drawn particularly to history and to British detective fiction (especially Dorothy L. Sayers). Esme loved music of all kinds: from John Dowland and Giacomo Puccini to Aretha Franklin and Hamilton. She enjoyed gardening as well as knitting, patiently replacing lost mittens for her growing children each year. She also opened her heart and home to generations of much-loved cats, who were devoted to her gentle spirit.

Esme lost her husband in 1983; and in 2019 her son, also Thomas A. Boris; and a stepdaughter, Bernice Garibotto. She is survived by three daughters: Sarah A. Boris of Winchendon, MA; Mary A. Harris and husband Brad Harris of Ashburnham, MA; and Carol L. Kunz and husband Larry Kunz of Dunbarton, NH; as well as her late son's life partner, Estelle James of Townsend, MA; four grandchildren: Katherine Harris, Timothy Harris, Ethan Kunz, and Isabel Kunz; cherished family, including Rosemary Pollard of Moraga, CA; and many dear friends.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to one of the following: St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, The Salvation Army, or Best Friends Animal Society.

A service is planned at the Townsend Congregational Church at a later date, to be announced on the Anderson Funeral Home website.

James McCrohon

1935 ~ January 9, 2021 (Age 85)

SHREWSBURY - James J. "Maxi" McCrohon, 85, longtime Shrewsbury resident, passed away peacefully on Saturday, January 9, 2021, surrounded by his loving family.

Along with his beloved wife of 63 years, Marie B. (Curran) McCrohon, James leaves his children: James M. McCrohon, of Winchendon, Kathy Ann McCrohon, of Petersham, and Mary Lee Harrington and her husband John, of Winchendon; his grandchildren: Jonathan W Harrington, James M Harrington, Gregory A Kasper, Patrick T Harrington, Bridget Marie Harrington, and Garrett A Kasper; his great-grandchildren: Sadie and Piper Harrington; his sister, Maddy Figueras, of Shrewsbury; and five nieces and nephew. James was predeceased by his parents, Joseph McCrohon and Mary (Lapinsky) Cernis, step-father Vincent Cernis, and brother, Ronald McCrohon.

Born and raised in Worcester, he was a graduate of Saint John's High School, Worcester, prior to enlisting in the U.S. Marine Corps during the Korean Conflict. James was honorably discharged in 1955, after which he attended Boston University, where he received a B.A. and M.S.W. in Social Work. He dedicated his life to serving children and families through his work at Volunteers of America, McCrohon House, Catholic Charities, Family Services, and as Director of Madonna Hall in Marlboro.

James was one of the original founding members of the "Jug O'Punch" Irish Band along with "Uncle" Dan Dewolfe – singing and playing banjo, bodhran, harmonica, tin whistle, and performing weekly for forty years at the Old Timer's in Clinton. His knowledge of Celtic music was extensive, and his love for it was boundless. He relished playing music with his grandsons and was enormously proud when they formed their own Irish band, Slainte, and gained popularity in the Boston/NYC area. James also loved watching his grandkids' sporting events, spending time outdoors racing sailboats at Regatta Point with his son, Jay, and gardening in his beautiful yard. He was an active alum in Saint John's activities and was a frequent supporter/attendee of events, especially athletics, to which he dedicated himself when he was a student. He kept active playing golf with his buddies including his beloved brother Ronny, and many of his friends from the St. John's Boola-Boola Gang.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Saint John's in memory of Maxi McCrohon, c/o Saint John's High School, 378 Main Street, Shrewsbury, MA 01545.

Relatives and friends are invited to visit with the McCrohon family between 9:30 and 10:45 AM on Friday, January 15, 2021, at Saint Mary's Church, 640 Main Street, Shrewsbury, where his funeral Mass will be celebrated at 11:00. Masks and social distancing measures will be required upon entering the church. Burial with military honors will be held privately. The Britton - Shrewsbury Funeral Home is honored to be assisting with arrangements. To leave a note of condolence for his family, please visit

Robert Arnold Borroughs

November 16, 1931 ~ January 10, 2021 (Age 89)

Robert Arnold Burrows, 89, of North Attleboro, passed away peacefully on Sunday, January 10, 2021 at HopeHealth Hulitar Hospice Center in Providence, RI. He was the beloved husband of 66 years to his college sweetheart and love of his life, Dorothy J. Burrows.

Born on November 16, 1931 in New Bedford, MA, he was the loving son of the late Harry and Alma (Hughes) Burrows.

Bob spent his formative years in New Bedford, MA and was a 1949 graduate of Murdock High School in Winchendon, MA. He went on to further his education, obtaining his Associate's degree from Becker Junior College in Worcester.

He was a proud veteran of the United States Army, having served in the Korean War. He was discharged with the rank of CPL (T), at which time he married Dorothy on December 18, 1954.

Mr. Burrows was in the banking industry in North Attleboro for 42 years. At the time of his retirement, he held the position of Vice President at Bank Boston. He formerly was employed by Manufacturers Savings Bank. He had a vested interest in the town and was involved in many organizations, including Housing for the Elderly and the Salvation Army. He was a longtime member of the Lion's Club where he served as past president and past treasurer, and was a recipient of the Melvin Jones Fellowship. He also served as the North Attleboro District Nursing Treasurer.

Bob was a communicant of Grace Episcopal Church in North Attleboro for 66 years, where he served as an usher and collector. He was loved by everyone he encountered. His wisdom and humor brought many people great joy.

In addition to his beloved wife, Dorothy, he is survived by his devoted children: Bruce Burrows and his wife, Sue of Amesbury, MA; Nancy Burrows and her fiancée, Russell Franceschini of Plainville, MA; and Carolyn Burrows and her partner, David Bibby of Kirkland, WA. He also leaves his cherished grandson, Brian Burrows of Amesbury, MA.

Visitation, to which relatives and friends are most kindly invited to attend, will be held on Friday, January 15, 2021 from 11 AM – 12 PM, followed by a funeral service at 12 PM in the Sperry & McHoul Funeral Home, 15 Grove Street, North Attleboro, MA. Military honors will be accorded at the conclusion of the service.

A private interment will be held in Mount Hope Cemetery and Arboretum in North Attleboro, MA at the convenience of the family on a later date.

In lieu of flowers, donations in Bob's name may be made to Grace Episcopal Church, 104 North Washington St., North Attleboro, MA 02760 or a charity of your choice.

To sign an online guestbook for Bob, please visit www.