Esther and Kitty

Vol. 1, No. 5 - Spring 2002

In 1952 Kathryn McNamee, the co-founder of the Goddard Memorial Association, moved into her new home on Brookline Street. She was unaware at the time that across the street at One Tallawanda Drive, formerly Maple Hill Farm, lived the widow of a man who was famous in the world of science and academics. Kitty and Esther gradually became friends, exchanging neighborly visits and taking small outings. Kitty was raising her children, and Esther, who had none, enjoyed the antics of the three little boys and the family atmosphere of the McNamee household. At times, when Esther had important visitors, she would beckon for Kitty to come across and meet them as they were leaving. The one visitor that Kitty glimpsed, but did not meet, was Charles Lindbergh who had remained Esther's friend and who would drop by to see her when he was in the Worcester area. Gradually as the decades passed, Esther became closer to Kitty and her family. Esther's mother and Albert, her brother, died, leaving her with no living relatives in the area. She shared Thanksgiving and Christmas with the McNamees, and as she became older and more frail, Kitty shepherded her to parades, took her shopping, and did what old friends do - enjoy each other's company.

After Esther's death, Kitty purchased One Tallawanda Drive, Robert Goddard's birthplace.