Folsom Funeral Service

Brush, William R.

 Brush, william

Brush, William Rothwell, “A Life Well-Lived”, Westwood, at 96

It is with great sadness that the family of William (Bill) Rothwell Brush announce his death on February 17th at the Clark House Nursing Center in Westwood surrounded by his wife and three daughters. He was born on July 22, 1921 in Boston to Elise R. Brush and Horace D. Brush.

With his ready smile and love for life, Bill touched everyone he met. He grew up in Brookline and spent summers in Swampscott and Marblehead, where he developed his life-long passion for sailing. He attended Dexter School, Noble and Greenough School, and Williams College.  At the outset of WWII, Bill trained as a glider pilot but, due to an eye injury, was unable to actively participate in the war. In 1948, Bill married Harriet Smith of Rockville Center, Long Island. Following a brief stint working for TWA, Bill began his long and successful career as an insurance agent, largely providing life insurance to physicians and their families—a career from which he never fully retired.

Bill had many interests and passions in life, most centered around his love for the outdoors and nature. Sailing, on vessels including his T-boat as a young man and his beloved 34-foot Bristol “Mistral” later in life, was a central theme. He was also an avid birdwatcher and spent many hours identifying birds as well as learning their sounds and behavior.  Bill and his wife Harriet traveled extensively, often on birding trips, to such places as Alaska, Africa, the British Isles, Siberia and throughout South America.  In his mid-seventies Bill took up tennis, and he played several times a week until his late eighties.

Bill and Harriet moved to the Fox Hill Village retirement community in Westwood in 1994 and have lived there actively and happily for the past 24 years. At Fox Hill, Bill enthusiastically embraced life and made numerous contributions. As head of the Garden Committee, he raised funds and had a charming and now well-loved pergola built; he planted and tended many varieties of Clematis along the garden borders, and; he kept the gardens in the best of shape. Bill also labeled the artwork hanging on the walls of Fox Hill, an enormous task that involved assigning the artist’s name and the artwork’s title to more than two hundred and fifty prints. And, Bill was instrumental in bringing the very popular Boston Musical Theater Cabaret Night to Fox Hill Village each year.

Bill is survived by his wife of 69 years, Harriet S. Brush of Fox Hill Village, Westwood, daughter Deborah Brush Wilson and her husband Mark Becker of Damariscotta Mills, Maine, daughter Nancy L. Brush and her husband Dario Preger of Durham, North Carolina, and daughter Suzanne Brush Gerstner and her husband Barry Gerstner of Safety Harbor, Florida and The Hague, The Netherlands, as well as seven grandchildren (Nathaniel W. Wilson, Eben S. Wilson, Nicholas B. Wilson, Orion C. Becker, Phoebe S. Brush, Kathryn N. Teesink-Gerstner and Erick M. Gerstner) and six great grandchildren.

There will be a Celebration of Life for Bill on March 10th from 2 to 4 pm at Fox Hill Village in Westwood. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Massachusetts Audubon Society, 208 South Great Road, Lincoln, MA 01773.




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Folsom Funeral Service

Folsom Funeral Service