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Acton's Belle Choate—Photographer, Painter, Volunteer—Dies at 62

She worked at the Jenks Library of the Acton Historical Society for many years.

Isabella V. "Belle" Choate. Credit: Acton Funeral Home
Isabella V. "Belle" Choate. Credit: Acton Funeral Home
The following obituary is from Acton Funeral Home:

Isabella V. (“Belle”) Choate, lifelong resident of Acton and Littleton, died June 29th, 2014 at the Life Care Center of Nashoba Valley after a brief illness.

Daughter of the late Isabella (Counselman) Choate and Ralph (Culver) Choate, Belle was a graduate of Concord Academy and Clark University, from which she graduated with a degree in cartography in 1974.

Belle worked at the Jenks Library of the Acton Historical Society for many years, archiving and publishing written works on items in the collection, including the papers donated by the Robbins Family (“The Robbins Papers”), and the Clerk’s Book of the Concord Village Proprietors. Belle volunteered in many capacities at the Hosmer House, as well as at the Littleton Historical Society, the Faulkner House, and a number of historical organizations in the area. She served as president of the AHS, and as director of Iron Work Farm in Acton.

An avid gardener, Belle also worked on the early research, planning and development phase of the Acton Arboretum. She was a member of the Boxborough Grange, and served as secretary for the organization. Belle also designed and installed floral arrangements for many organizations, including St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church in Ayer where the Choates were longtime members.

Belle was an accomplished watercolorist, exhibiting her works locally in venues such as the Concord Art Association, the Littleton Lyceum, and through the Acton Open Studios. She was an active member of NH Plein Air, and enjoyed many outings painting throughout the region.

In addition to her work as a painter, Belle enjoyed photography, and examples of her work can be found in many Acton Town Reports and publications. She self-published a book of her photographs entitled, Fort Pond: It’s Community Through the Seasons, chronicling the nature and wildlife around her beloved Fort Pond, where she often painted and kayaked.

Belle also worked for the Town of Acton in the Building Department, for the Littleton Historical Society, in addition to private consulting work.

All who knew Belle are invited to join together for a celebration of her life after the holiday. The date and time will be announced.
Danimal July 02, 2014 at 08:12 AM
She sounded like a very special person. So sorry for the family's loss.
Jill Maxwell July 02, 2014 at 09:16 AM
Belle was a force of nature and one of the only people in this town willing to speak truth to power--but she always did it with patience and kindness. We, her next door neighbors, will miss her for so many reasons, from her steadfast support of our lemonade stands in summer to her firelight solstice parties in the winter, but the town of Acton has lost its conscience.

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