Gail Eaton Roberts

December 27, 1939March 8, 2013
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Abigail (Gail) Eaton Roberts, 73, of Marblehead, passed away peacefully on March 8, 2013, surrounded by her family. She was born in Brockton, MA on December 27, 1939, to Charles and Nina (Tucker) Eaton.

Raised in Hingham, MA, Gail attended Hingham High School (’57), where she sang in the chorus and was accepted to the Massachusetts All-State Choir. She was a proud graduate and active alumna of Wellesley College, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1961, majoring in Biology. A year later, she received her Master of Arts in Teaching from Harvard University. In 1966 she married George Owen Roberts, whom she met while teaching at Newton South High School. Just after getting married, they spent a fabulous year together near Florence, Italy. A life-long educator and advocate for public education, Gail taught Biology and English in the Newton and Marblehead public school systems, and served as the Student Activities Coordinator for Marblehead High School. She retired from the Marblehead Public School system in 1991 and became a volunteer for, and supporter of, the Friends of the Marblehead Public Schools.

Gail was a generous and caring woman, a consummate hostess, and a social networker before there was such a thing as social networking. In her later years, she traveled extensively with her husband, particularly in Western Europe and the Mediterranean. Other hobbies included gardening, golfing, boating, music and the arts.

She is survived by her husband George of 47 years, a son Gareth and his wife Julie of Worcester, a daughter Gwyneth Croll and her husband Bobby of Jacksonville, Oregon, a brother John Eaton and his wife Linda of Marshfield, and two grandchildren, Bronwyn Croll and Owen Roberts.

A memorial visitation honoring Gail will be held at the Eustis and Cornell Funeral Home, 142 Elm Street, Marblehead on Friday, March 15 from 4 – 8 pm. A gathering in celebration of her life will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Mass General/North Shore Cancer Center, 102 Endicott Street, Danvers, MA 01923 or the Friends of the Marblehead Public Schools, P.O. Box 718, Marblehead, MA 01945.


  • Memorial Visitation Friday, March 15, 2013

Gail Eaton Roberts

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Penny Whiteside

November 27, 2013

I was so shocked to read that my Wellesley classmate and dorm friend Gail had died. At my 70th birthday party in Marblehead she was such a vibrant presence. She will live on in so many hearts!

Penny Wilmot Whiteside, Evanston, IL

March 28, 2013

Dear Gareth, Gwen, and Mr. Roberts-

I'm not sure if you remember me, but I have very fond memories of spending time with your entire family. I am so saddened by your loss. My thoughts are with all of you during this very difficult time.
Warmly, Lori(Cohen)Sherf, Marblehead

Linda Eaton

March 27, 2013

I remember Gail as a woman with vibrancy, enthusiasm, laughter, dedication, generosity, style, and skills with cooking and gardening. I love her and admire her.
Linda Eaton

Pennie Crooks

March 23, 2013

Dear George, I was just at the Mt WashingtonHotel last month and mentioning to my son Bill what fun times we had there playing golf and also at Tedesco and many dinners, I am so sorry for your loss, I will remember her with fond memories

Pennie Crooks, Orlando Florida

Nancy Chambers

March 18, 2013

So sorry hear of Gail's passing--we graduated from Hingham High School together in '57 and,although it has been many years since I last saw Gail, I have always held her fondly in my heart. Gail was such a loving, caring girl. she brought so much light into the world. She will surely be missed. Love and Blessings, Nancy Fraser Chambers

Caroline and Bill Baldwin

March 18, 2013

Dear John and all Gail's family,

It's so hard to believe that one so strong and vital has passed. Bill and I send our condolences. We have known Gail since early school days in Hingham, MA.

Gail and I (Caroline Harris) became friends when we attended Mrs. Jones nursery school next to the Hingham Centre fire station. As youngsters, we followed similar paths, participating in many of the same school activities, taking piano lessons, the Saturday morning music appreciation class at Mr. Boyer's home, and ballroom dancing lessons with Russell Curry and his big dogs. During many summers, Gail and I raced together, she as the captain and I the strong crew, in her Lawley sailboat. Of course, in the springtime, we had sanded and sanded and varnished the hull, mast, rudder, and centerboard to smooth the surfaces for faster passage through the waters of Hingham Harbor.

Our friend Gail was a strong presence in the lives of so many as we grew up in Hingham. She and her family were ever generous in hosting other young folk for softball in the field next to the house, an after-school ice cream snack, pool and card games, pajama parties, and more.

Thank you John for your wonderful words about Gail in this guest book.

So many of us were blessed to have Gail and her family in our lives.

John Eaton

March 16, 2013

Gail taught me the Ten Commandments. She had been learning them in Sunday school. One evening, at dinner, she announced that she was teaching them to me. I proudly recited this commandment, “Honor your father, your mother and your older sister.”

The irony is that at the end of the day, I did end up honoring her, or admiring her or just plain looking up to my big sister. It was not only her intelligence or how well she raced a sail boat, or how good a gardener and golfer she became. It was this sense that no matter what the challenge, she was going to charge straight ahead, determined to do her best. Whether it was to have a spectacular perennial garden, to beat cancer, be a great sister or a good friend, Gail was all learning, focus and effort.

Gail, Doug and I grew up in a family that valued learning, laughing, doing what you loved and bearing the hard times of life privately. We went to church, swam, sailed, played games, ate dinner and laughed together. And, because I was blessed with such a wonderful sister, we became friends.

In some way that passes my understanding, our dear ghosts, the friends and loved ones of our life, are always with us. They come in the moments of our greatest sadness and greatest joy. Gail will be there every time I feel a summer sea breeze come in off the Atlantic or enjoy a flower garden.

Rest easy, Gail, you good and faithful mother, wife, sister and friend.

Diane Stoddard Getchell

March 16, 2013

I couldn't believe what I was reading when I received the e-mail from our classmate advising of Gail's passing. She was very much "her Mother who was the original "Energizer Bunny"!! Gail and I were students in the Hingham School System and had fun at school be it in sports as was Gail or with the Marching Band where I was the head majorette. School dances... Decorating the gym for proms... All fun for all in a simpler way of life. We were good kids and had RESPECT for others and ourselves. I remember the pajama parties at Gail's house and all her Mom did for us... She was indeed a lady and always there for those in need of friendship. She will be missed by many family members, classmates, former students. May she rest in peace for her job here on earth is done.

Benjamin Ascher

March 15, 2013

Dear George, Gareth, Gwen, Julie, Bobby, Owen and Bronwyn,

I am so sorry for your loss, Gail was a great person and my thoughts are with you. As a friend of Gareth's growing up, I remember many lovely visits with Gail and the family over the years where she was always a great hostess and very giving of her time and especially interested in keeping up with events of the lives of all the friends. We will miss her.

Joyce Berry Rice

March 14, 2013

I have so many memories of Gail, from playing piano four-hand Beethoven symphonies on her baby grand to several of us playing Pounce on the living room floor, or pool in the family room, or softball in their field, or doing Girl Scouts under her mom's leadership, or working on homework projects in their well-equipped study room (all the colored paper and pens we would need!), or fun parties, or good times at Wellesley. She was a good and generous friend, and my sincere sympathies to George, Gareth and Julie, and Gwyneth.