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Ann-Marie (Hines), Blute of Shrewsbury died at her home surrounded by her loving family and friends after a long illness. A Dame of Malta, a proud graduate of the Boston Public Schools and the mother of eleven children, she was 84.
Her girlhood in the Boston of the 1930's was filled with horse-back riding in the Arnold Arboretum, school trips to the Boston Children's Orchestra and Theater, laughing with friends at Scollins Drug Store in Roslindale Square, and a busy family life as the oldest daughter of eight children that revolved around Holy Name Church in West Roxbury. The daughter of a World War I hero elected State Representative, she was photographed at age 12 unveiling the new mural outside the Governor's office at the State House and was there for all of the Christmas Festivals her father, Colonel Paul Hines, organized on Boston Common.
Her memories of war-time Boston captured the era: she danced at the Totem Pole, saw Glenn Miller's last performance, played tennis with a shy boy named Bobby Kennedy. She followed her mother, Margaret Galvin Hines, a newspaper reporter, to work at The Boston Post until 1947 when love took her far away from Boston. She married Dr. Robert Blute, and sailed aboard a ship filled with military wives to Germany where her husband was stationed at the U.S. Army Hospital in Bremerhaven. There, they had the first of their eleven children. She always described their time in Germany as "a two-year long honeymoon."
When they came back to the States, the Blutes settled in Shrewsbury when Dr. Blute began practicing medicine at St. Vincent Hospital in Worcester. Ann-Marie began her life's work as a Mother, raising eleven children, and also mothering their friends and all the neighborhood children who came in to her life. As her family grew, so did Ann-Marie's passion for issues of social justice and working to help the sick and the poor. She was a devout advocate for Catholic schools and was a founding member of the Associates of the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur who educated many of her five sons and six daughters.
“Mother once told me that all she ever wanted to be was a Mother,” said her son Joseph Blute, “She had a special gift for all those traits one associates with motherhood – protector, teacher, caregiver, comforter, and advisor. She selflessly shared her gift not only with her large Family, but with countless others whose lives she touched in a lifetime devoted to charitable causes and the country she loved so deeply. We grieve our loss, but with great pride celebrate and honor her long and consequential life.”
An enthusiastic parishioner at St. Mary's Church in Shrewsbury since 1954, she served on dozens of committees as a Mother at the school, a member of the Women's Guild, a catechism teacher and a Eucharistic minister. She was proud to be a Dame of Malta, the oldest military order in the world, and one of the oldest religious orders of the Catholic Church whose mission is humanitarian aid to the sick and the poor.
The citizens of Shrewsbury elected her a Trustee of the Shrewsbury Library, and she was a member of the Shrewsbury Garden Club, as well as parent groups at Notre Dame Academy and St. John's High School. She was also a member of the Lady's Auxiliary of St. Vincent Hospital and the Ladies Auxiliary of the Massachusetts Medical Society.
Ann-Marie sat on the boards of Prospect House and worked for the success of Nazareth Home for Boys in Leicester and The Mustard Seed, a homeless shelter in Worcester. She was an ardent supporter of Marillac Manor, the Pernet Family Health Center, and the Society for the Propagation of the Faith. In addition to fundraising for Catholic Charities and the Bishop's Fund, she was a founding member of Mass Citizens for Life and spent five years volunteering for AIM - Aid to Incarcerated Mothers. "What she tried to do all her life," said her husband Bob, "was to perform each of the works of mercy: feed the hungry, help the poor, visit the prisoner, give aid to the sick and the stranger."
After her eleventh child left for college, she and her husband, now in their 60's, took a call from a friend who was a priest from Vietnam. Would they be willing to help a Vietnamese girl who had escaped the Communist country and had just arrived in Worcester looking for help? The answer came without hesitation - "send her over." Lucy Hoang, now a Chemical Engineer, recalls living with the Blutes for the first three years of her life in the U.S as she learned to speak English, and Ann-Marie took care of all of her needs - even purchasing her a first pair of eyeglasses, "I arrived here with nothing," Hoang said, "she was like a Mother to me."
Ann-Marie played the violin, and she and her husband Bob shared a life-long love of classical music. For decades they could be found in their regular seats at the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the Worcester Opera. She answered to many names during her life in addition to Mother: she adored being "Aunt Ann-Marie," her husband alone called her "Annie," her grandchildren call her "Grammy," but to her Great-Grandchildren she is and always will be "Grammy-the-Great."
She leaves her husband of 62 years Dr. Robert Blute, Sr. of Shrewsbury, her sisters Dr. Mary Hines of New York City, Carol Gleason of Natick, Margaret Kierstead of West Roxbury and one brother, John Hines of Columbus, Ohio. She was also the sister of the late Paul Hines and Peter Hines of West Roxbury and the late Leo Hines of Chestnut Hill; Six Daughters: Margaret Marshall of Shrewsbury; Carol Ryan of Worcester; Mary Blute of Shrewsbury; Ann-Marie Blute of Shrewsbury; Kathleen Madaus of Shrewsbury; Paula Ebben of Wellesley, and Five Sons: Dr. Robert Blute, Jr. of Northboro; Dr. Michael Blute of Rochester, Minnesota; John Blute of Columbus, Ohio; former US Congressman Peter Blute of Shrewsbury; Joseph Blute of Natick; twenty-three grandchildren, four great-grandchildren and many nieces and nephews.
Relatives and friends are invited to attend visiting hours on Monday, May 4th from 2-4 & 7-9 PM in Saint Mary’s Church, 640 Main St., Shrewsbury. Her funeral will be held on Tuesday, May 5th with a funeral Mass celebrated at 11 AM at the church. Burial will follow in Mountain View Cemetery, Shrewsbury.
Memorial gifts instead of flowers may be sent to the Saint Mary’s Parish Capital Campaign, 20 Summer Street, Shrewsbury, MA 01545, or to the Partners in Charity or the Society of the Propagation of the Faith, Diocese of Worcester, 51 Elm St., Worcester, MA 01609.
May 4, 2009, 2-4 PM
- 7-9 PM
Saint Mary 's Church
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May 5, 2009, 11 AM
Saint Mary's Church
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May 5, 2009, 12:30 PM
Mountain View Cemetery
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