Obituary : Despina H. Duane
Despina H. "Dee" Duane, of Falmouth, died on January 22. She formerly resided in Oak Bluffs and Cambridge.
Despina was born in Providence, R.I., to the late Dr. Haralambie Cicma and his wife Iona on June 12, 1931. Her father delivered her at home proclaiming her a "beautiful and very good" baby. She attended Boston University, where she received a degree in education. Her husband was the late, Francis S. Duane, whom she met while they were working at the Boston Arts Festival. Dee spent many years working as a teacher for Project Head Start in Roxbury during the 60s, a program that was part of Lyndon B. Johnson's "War on Poverty."
If there ever was a person who embodied the idea that "there are no strangers, only friends you haven't met yet," it was Despina. Blessed with the gift of gab, Dee enjoyed nothing more than holding court on her front porch in Oak Bluffs, chatting with friends, neighbors, and passers by. Her friendly nature gained her a wide and varied circle of friends.
The appreciation of art and the value of crafts were Dee's passions. She was an avid knitter, selling and trading her creations in various venues throughout her life. She enjoyed the time she spent as a vendor at the Artisan's Festival and the Chilmark Flea Market and was proud of her partnership in a store called Traditions. Despina reveled in the lively arts environments of both Oak Bluffs and Cambridge. Among Despina's other loves were singing, dancing, and chocolate.
Despina is survived by her daughter, Christa Fischer and husband Arnold Fischer Jr.; three grandchildren, Lila Merrily, Mason Forest, Emily Fern and her husband Doug Brush, and their newborn son Milo Francis Brush, Despina's first great-grandchild.
A memorial service for Despina will be held at Union Chapel in Oak Bluffs at 3 pm on August 8.