Obituary, Elizabeth “Liz” Johnson LeBaron

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Elizabeth “Liz” Johnson LeBaron, 89, of Wayland and Sudbury, died peacefully on December 28, 2021, at Vassar Brothers Medical Center in Poughkeepsie, New York. A loving mother of four, Liz was a lifelong teacher and learner. Born in Boston, Massachusetts on August 26, 1932, Liz was the daughter of Margaret Ingraham and George Blake Johnson. She attended Framingham High School and graduated from Mount Holyoke College in 1953. That same year she married Ken LeBaron, and then joined him in Bremerhaven, Germany, where he was stationed for two years with the Army Dental Corps. Upon their return to the US (along with their infant daughter) in 1954, they settled in Wayland, Massachusetts, where they raised their four children.

Ever active in her community, Liz was an avid Membership Chair of the League of Women Voters. She was a passionate religious education director for the First Parish Church in Wayland for six years, which spurred her return to school. Liz received an M.Ed. from Framingham State College. In 1976, she became a special needs and reading teacher at the Wayland Middle School. Liz was a driving force and mentor to many.

A pioneer in the project-based learning movement, Liz wrote curricula for several programs, and in 1988 was nominated for Conservation Teacher of the Year by the Mass. Audubon Society for her development of an annual WMS bike trip to Cape Cod. She was a Horace Mann Teacher in 1989 and obtained numerous grants and developed programs for ESL and multicultural initiatives in Wayland. As leader of Thoreau house, she took great pride in her annual bicycle excursion with students to Walden Pond which she led every year until her retirement in 2001.

Liz was a lifelong choir member of the First Parish in Wayland. She loved both music and nature and supported many conservation organizations. She enjoyed many happy years with her family at Squam Lake in New Hampshire, hiking and skiing the White Mountains, swimming, canoeing, and sailing; loves she passed on to future generations.

Liz maintained a friendship with her college classmates with whom she reconnected at her 45th reunion, thereafter enjoying 20 years of shared trips with the group. She spent whatever spare time she had reading, taking notes, and sharing her pride in her children and their families.

She is survived by three daughters; Carol LeBaron and her husband Dan of Elizabethton, Tennessee; Barbara Kendall and her husband Brad of Dover Plains, New York; Dorothy Johnson and her husband Thomas of Concord, New Hampshire; her son James LeBaron and his wife Pamela, of Moultonborough, New Hampshire, grandchildren Kenneth, Michael and Emily Woofenden, Travis and Stephen Kendall, Jennifer and Benjamin Helm, five great-grandchildren, and one great-great-granddaughter. Liz was predeceased by her husband Kenneth and her brother George of Fairfield, Connecticut.

A memorial service will be held at a later date at the First Parish Church in Wayland, Massachusetts. In lieu of flowers please make contributions to the Squam Lakes Conservation Society at PO Box 696, Holderness, NH 03245. To send the family an online condolence, please visit http://www.hufcutfuneralhome.com

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Author: Harlem Valley News