Cover photo for Mary Helen (Johnson) Terrell's Obituary
Mary Helen (Johnson) Terrell Profile Photo
1936 Mary 2010

Mary Helen (Johnson) Terrell

June 1, 1936 — November 18, 2010

Mary Helen (Johnson) Terrell age 74 of Lincoln passed away on Thursday, November 18, 2010 at Concord Health Care Center in Concord. She was the wife of John H. Terrell.

Born in Bangor, Maine she was the daughter of the late James Alloyd and Helen (Morrissey) Johnson. In 1958 Mrs. Terrell moved from her childhood home in Portland, Maine to Boston to attend nursing school. Her education included Boston College School of Nursing, Bachelor of Science, Boston University School of Nursing Master of Science, Harvard School of Public Health, Master of Public Health and Brandeis University, Heller School, PhD.

Mrs. Terrell began her career working as a nurse for several years in a variety of clinical settings. She worked in several areas with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health: Wrote Maternal and Child Health sections of the Massachusetts Health Plan; Principle Health Planner developing Determination of Need regulations for neonatal intensive care; and Health Policy Analyst for School Health Programs. As a visiting Scholar at the Women's Studies Program, Brandeis University, Mary served on women studies committees and lectured on Florence Nightingale. She was an Assistant Professor of Nursing at Simmons College, responsible for teaching and clinical instruction for sophomore level students. Her Ph.D. thesis about Martha May Elliot, head of the Children's Bureau under Franklin Roosevelt, was being developed by her into a book for possible publication near the time of her death.

Mary had a lifelong love of the art of poetry. She published Place of Vision and Dreams, a book of her poetry in 1998. Her poems have been published in numerous small compilations and journals as well. Mary led the Lincoln Poetry Group for over 10 years honing her craft and helping others find their voice.

In addition to writing poetry, Mary enjoyed a rich personal life that included singing in the Concord Chorus, taking long daily walks in Lincoln, and frequently visiting with her family and many close friends. Mary was a strong humanitarian, never hesitating to advocate for social justice, and helping those in need. Mary was a tireless advocate for keeping the Metropolitan Council for Educational Opportunity (METCO) program viable in Lincoln. The METCO program was established to provide the opportunity for children from racially-imbalanced schools in Boston and children from isolated suburban schools to learn together in an integrated public school setting.

Mary was instrumental in the development of the Brandeis University Women’s Studies Program and was an alumni of the Brandeis University Women’s Studies Research Center, Scholars Program.

Besides her husband John H. Terrell of 51 years she is survived by her children, Lisa Mary Poulos and her husband Nick of Berlin, MA., Shawn Christopher Terrell and his fiancé Kaeti Elizabeth Miller of Washington DC, Tracy Helen Terrell, Alison Hart-Booth and her husband Steven Phillip of Alameda, CA and the late Scot Terrell and her grandchildren, Valarie Mary Machado, Julia Helen Machado and Luis Scot Booth. She was also the sister of Linwood Johnson, Francis Vaughn, Kathleen Vaughn, Judy Tolbert, Janet Johnson, Joan Wright and the late Frank, Alloyd, James (Sonny), James (Jimmy) Johnson.

Saturday, December 18, 2010 at 2:00 p.m.
First Parish in Lincoln
14 Bedford Road
Lincoln, MA 01773

Alzheimer’s Association
311 Arsenal St
Watertown, MA 02472
40 Dimock Street
Roxbury, MA 02119
Attn: Dr. Jean McGuire

Arrangements under the care of Glenn D. Burlamachi, CONCORD FUNERAL HOME, Concord, MA.

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