Helen Charlotte Barendsen Dolberg, aged 92, died peacefully in her sleep at home on Saturday, October 10th.
A Newbury resident since the early 1990s, Helen was born in the Hague, Netherlands. She and most of her family lived through World War II, though her mother was killed by Allied bombs. Determined to study medicine after the war, she was one of very few women to do so, and became an MD, specializing in anesthesiology. Helen met her husband, Harold Dolberg, in medical school in Leiden. They were married and, after completing their medical degrees, moved to Connecticut, where they raised their four children. Soon after their fourth child was born, she retired from medicine to be a full-time mother.
After her husband’s death in 1990, Helen began a new life on Plum Island, where she lived happily for over two decades. She volunteered at Anna Jacques Hospital and offered rides to local seniors who were no longer able to drive themselves. Some of Helen’s best days were spent on the beach with her black labs and a house full of friends and family. In addition to her biological family, she had lots of “kids” who regularly came to stay, enjoy the beach, her warm hospitality, and her sharp wit. Her door was always open, and something delicious was usually in the oven. Known to her oldest friends as “Tos,” and to her grandchildren as “Oma,” she was fiercely independent and full of life. During her years on PI, she spent much of her time helping to raise her Newburyport grandsons, Tano and Luca, teaching them to jump in puddles, play cards and love speculaas.
She is survived by her children, Lawrence Dolberg and his wife Phyllis of Connecticut, Andi White and her husband Larry of Hawaii, Robert Dolberg of Florida, Lynn Barendsen and her husband John Rossi of Newburyport; her grandchildren Erica, Kelly, Kim, Daryn, Lauren, Josh, Jessi, Jason, Tano and Luca; and her 6 great grandchildren.
Services and burial will be private. The Twomey, LeBlanc, & Conte Funeral Home 193 High St. Newburyport, MA 01950 is assisting Dr. Dolberg’s family with her funeral arrangements.
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