Former Reading Selectman Camille Anthony remembered as ‘legendary’
Mar 18, 2019 08:12AM
● By Lisa Redmond
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READING - When a Select Board seat opened in 2015, Barry Berman said Camille Anthony, a long-time community activist, called him and urged him to run for office “in a Don Corleone kind of way.’’
"She was an awesome person who was here for the town in so many ways,’’ Berman said.
Anthony, who devoted three decades to various town boards and community activities, died on March 6 at the age of 76.
She served as a Town Meeting member for 20 years, a member of the Reading Conservation Committee for 12 years and served on the Select Board for 18 - one of the longest serving members in recent history.
In 2015, Camille was honored by the Reading-North Reading Chamber of Commerce as their Outstanding Citizen of the Year.
At the March 13 Select Board meeting, former member Ben Tafoya described Anthony, his former colleague, described Anthony using words, including: “community, wisdom, a passion for making a difference, a voice of reason, gracious chair (man), determination and patience.
Tafoya said Anthony left her mark on the town with significant initiatives, including the development of the former town landfill into what is now Walkers’ Brook Drive, The Downtown Development Project, Conversion of Reading’s water supply to the MWRA, development of the Addison Wesley project and the defeat of the aggressive I-95/I-93 interchange proposal.
She also produced a cooking show with Jean Prado, sang with the Reading Community Singers and for a number of years ran the biggest auction fundraiser of the year for the Unitarian Universalist Church, he said.
“She was great at bringing people together at a human level,’’ he said. Her obituary describes Anthony as loving the community of reading and being passionate about her family, friends, traveling, and her beloved dog, Caleb.
Select Board Chairman Andy Friedman described Anthony as “an all around great person.’’ Daniel Ensminger described her as “an awesome person who was here for the town in so many ways and she will be missed dearly.’’
Before Select Board member John Halsey was elected to the board, he was “a regular customer’’ before the board for a variety of issues “The one thing I was always struck with by Camille Anthony is she had that same wonderful smile whether she was saying yes or no. I actually really enjoyed that about her.’’
He described her as “legendary.’’
Anthony leaves behind her husband, Bill Anthony, her brother Bill Waterhouse, as well as her children Julia Benton, Jill McFadden (Carl), and Jessica Quirk (Sean). She was the proud grandmother to eight grandkids, and one great-granddaughter. Her family asked that in lieu of flowers people donate in Anthony’s name to the MSPCA at Nevins Farm in Methuen.
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