Obituary : Katharine W. Tweed
Katharine Winthrop Tweed, 89, a long-time resident of Martha's Vineyard, died at her home in Northern Pines, Vineyard Haven, at approximately 10 pm on Sunday, Nov. 8, after a long illness. Although she suffered many complications, the cause of her death was essentially old age.
Her son Tweed and his wife, Leslie, were with her and at the time of her death she was with some of her closest friends on the Vineyard including Penny Uhlendorf, Mary Kann, and her two loyal caregivers, Linda Bigelow and Sara Evans. Ann Ledden of Hospice of Martha's Vineyard also provided Katharine additional comfort in her final days.
Katharine moved to the Vineyard permanently in 1956 after vacationing here seasonally. Katharine and Henry Beetle Hough established S.P.A.Y. Inc. program in November 1982 for year-round residents in need of financial assistance to spay or neuter their pets. Together with other Island animal activists, she was instrumental in saving the Katharine Foote Memorial Shelter in 1989 that then operated through the MSPCA.
Katharine also coordinated the Island's Animal Day in 1991 and 1992 at the Grange Hall in West Tisbury to celebrate Island pets and other animal organizations with special guests James and Huey Taylor and others. For several years to follow, a group of volunteers created animal quilts as raffles to benefit S.P.A.Y. Inc.
Her favorite pastimes consisted of doing her beautiful crewelwork as well as being a prolific reader of novels and Newsweek, The Economist, and the New York Times. She always stayed up-to-date on current news, politics, and world events. Two of her dearest friends were Isabella White and Craig Kingsbury. Over the past few years, Katharine, with the help of her dear friend, Howard Turner, and Penny Uhlendorf, was in the process of writing her memoirs.
Katharine's first marriage was to Archibald Roosevelt, grandson of President Theodore Roosevelt. Divorced twice, her second marriage was to Dr. Robert Blackwood Robertson.
She was the daughter of the late Harrison Tweed and Eleanor Roelker Tweed and sister of the late Eleanor "Cully" von Metzler. In addition to her son and daughter-in-law, she is survived by her two grandchildren, Winthrop C. Roosevelt, once a summer intern for The Martha's Vineyard Times, and currently with Dewey Consulting, and Amanda C. Roosevelt who works for the Boston Symphony Orchestra, both of whom were with her a week before her death. She is also survived by her nephew, Nelson W. Aldrich, and her beloved dog, Muffin.
Burial will be private and a memorial service is tentatively planned for Memorial Day Weekend, 2010. Her two favorite charities were S.P.A.Y. Inc. and Hospice of Martha's Vineyard.