Anne Brooke, Former FOPG Chair, Succumbs to Illness

Anne Brooke, 84, who was the Chair of the Board of the Friends of the Public Garden for the past four years up until June 2016 has passed away after a long battle with heart disease on October 13.

Anne Brooke

Anne Brooke

She was a resident of Concord, Boston and North Pomfret, Vermont. Her husband, Peter, sons Samuel, Peter W., and John and daughters-in-law Gail and Ruth were with her when she left.

“She was generous of heart to countless people and gave much to the communities in which she lived,” the obituary said for Brooke in the Boston Globe. “She was passionate about the causes she loved, a wise leader and an elegant lady.

“Her love of the natural world and her joy of life will be missed by all that she touched,” the obituary continued. “Above all, she loved her sons, daughters and eight wonderful grandchildren and they all adored her.”

A memorial service will be held in the spring.

As Chair of The Friends of the Public Garden, Anne worked with the city of Boston to protect and enhance Boston’s first public parks: the Boston Common, Public Garden, and Commonwealth Avenue Mall.

Brooke was only the second president of the association that was founded in 1970, succeeding the founder Henry Lee.

She helped oversee the $4 million renovation of Brewer Fountain Plaza and its adjacent landscape at the southeast corner of the Common. It has since been revitalized with a food truck, tables and chairs, a reading room and piano music at lunch time in the summers.

There is still continuing renovations of the Boylston Street border in the Garden. She helped with securing the funding for the current restoration of the fountain at the George Robert White Memorial.

Throughout those efforts she worked to continue to the ongoing care and preservation of trees, sculptures and turf in all three parks.

Before Brooke served as the chair she served on the board for more than six years, serving as co-chair of the Development and Membership Committees and as a member of the Executive Committee.

In the past Brooke was also active with the Mass Audubon Society, where she served as a board member for 20 years and as vice-president for 10 of those years.

She was instrumental in establishing the Boston Nature Center in Mattapan at the end of the Emerald Necklace. Brooke was an overseer of the Boston Symphony Orchestra and of the Museum of Fine Arts, a Visitor to the Harvard Art Museums, and a member of the Council of Overseers at the Massachusetts Historical Society.

During her time in Concord, Massachusetts where raised her three sons, Brooke served as president of the Concord Garden Club, chairman of the Historic Districts Commission, and president of the board of the Concord Museum.

Memorial donations may be made to Mass Audubon, designated to the Boston Nature Center. You may donate online at or by mailing to Mass Audubon, Attn: Sarah Arsenault, 208 S. Great Road, Lincoln, MA 01773. A guest book may be found at


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