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Susan I. Howard Boice

Susan I. Howard Boice, 71, of Topsfield Road, Ipswich, passed away at the Kaplan Family Hospice on July 16, 2013.  Sue was born in Essex and was a lifetime resident of Ipswich.  Sue loved life and she loved Ipswich.  Sue was driven to raise issues that will positively affected Ipswich for generations to come.  She provoked respect for Ipswich’s heritage and was innovative in tirelessly pursuing her goals.

Sue was a talented oil painter, photographer, and writer.  Sue spent a number of years as a columnist for the Ipswich Chronicle newspaper, and wrote a column called “Historic Ipswich”---this evolved into her series of books called “Historic Ipswich,” which include many old pictures of the town.  When video cameras and public TV became popular, Sue filmed Ipswich Selectmen meetings and started her own cable TV show, “Eye on Ipswich,” to provide residents with the opportunity to present their solutions to Ipswich issues. 

Sue was involved in her community.  When she saw something that needed to be improved, Sue took action, including the refurbishing of Daniel Boone Park and Arthur Wesley Dow Park (both at the top of Spring Street) and the establishment of Sawmill Park on County Street.  Sue is a recipient of the Ipswich Golden Clam Award for her contributions to the Ipswich River Festival and for her watchful stewardship of land along the Ipswich River, and in 2010 received an Unsung Heroine Award from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.  Most recently, Sue was active in raising the issue of public access to the waterways of Ipswich by means of easements and rights of way (some of which are ancient and in danger of being lost). 

Sue had a knack for growing plants, flowers and vegetables in her garden.  She loved birds, and, at one time, had over 240 birds of all types and sizes.  Sue loved her parrots, Ashley and Junior.  Ipswich residents will remember Sue’s sign for maple syrup and fresh eggs in front of her home.  Sue owned and managed restaurants in Ipswich and Rowley, and provided in-home care services to many in Ipswich.

 Sue had a particular interest in and love for the Agawam Indian Tribe, and had many friends in the Native American community.  Sue led the movement to renovate and recognize Emma Safford’s (the Indian Princess of Ipswich) burial site in Ipswich and Chief Masconomet’s burial site in Hamilton.  She enjoyed PowWows and embraced the Native American view of life.  Sue often said that, “When I am ready to leave this world, the owl will alert the eagle, who will escort me on my journey to the Creator.”  Sue is now flying with the eagle! 

Sue is survived by her son, Brian Richardson of Ipswich, and her two grandchildren, Anthony and Rhianna Richardson of Florida, with whom she enjoyed spending winters.  Sue is also survived by her sister-in-law, Ann Howard of Jensen Beach, Florida, and her nieces, Mandy Howard of Jensen Beach, Florida and Kim Eckmann of Ipswich, a great niece and great nephew and many cousins. Susan is greatly missed by her friends and family. 

A private graveside memorial will be held in Fall.  Memorial contributions in her name  may be made to First Light (a Native American Education Program), Attention Annawon Weedin, 33 Essex Road, Mashpee, MA 02649. Arrangements are under the direction of the Whittier-Porter Funeral Home of Ipswich.


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