Category: Obituaries

Obituary: Robert B. Fraser, JP resident, dies

Robert Burchmore Fraser, the son of the late Alfred and Helen Fraser of Wellesley, died peacefully at his home in Jamaica Plain on June 23.  He was 87. Bob graduated from Wellesley High School (1946), Harvard College (1949) and Harvard Law School (1952). He became a corporate lawyer with a lifelong passion for public education and for the arts in Boston, the city that he loved. He is survived by his spouse, Hui Z. Liao, and former spouse Mary-Ann Fraser of Salem; a sister, Marilyn Fraser, of Sarasota, Florida; his children, Melanie Fraser Hart of Riverside, Rhode Island, Jennifer Fraser, son-in-law, James Boyd, of Auburndale, Matthew Fraser of Salem; and grandchildren Robert Fraser Hart, Callula Hart, Xander Boyd, Madeline Boyd, Lucas Boyd, Paxton Boyd, Seamus Boyd, and Hayden Boyd. Bob joined the Boston law firm, Goodwin Procter & Hoar, in 1955, after serving in the United States Army in Korea. He practiced corporate law with a specialty in taxation matters. He loved his work and brought to his practice a sharp wit, an impressive breadth of knowledge and a consummate professionalism. With a mandate to align the firm’s organization, operations and governance, Bob was named the firm’s first full-time Managing Partner in 1984 and he became its chairman in 1993. He led the firm for more than a dozen years, retiring in 1997. Goodwin more than doubled in size under Bob’s leadership. It entered the 1990’s as the “largest law firm under one roof in the country,” according to Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly. Bob’s most enduring contribution was his development of the firm’s institutional culture; he encouraged his partners to think like an organization rather than a collection of individuals and practices. He encouraged his colleagues to go beyond the boundaries of comfortable tradition and experience with his inimitable “walk the halls” management style. Bob encouraged the firm to become more involved in the City of Boston. With his guidance, the firm looked outward, providing its support to the City of Boston and its people and institutions. Perhaps the fullest expression of that support was a $1 million charitable endowment the Goodwin partnership donated to the Boston Public Schools in recognition of the firm’s 75th anniversary in 1987. It was called SEED (Support…

Obituary: Howard R. Leibowitz

Jamaica Plain resident Howard R. Leibowitz, an adviser to Mayors Ray Flynn and Tom Menino, died suddenly on Dec. 27. He was 63. For 29 years, the beloved husband of Constance Jane Doty. Dear son of Laurie (Berman) Leibowitz and…

Obituary: Mildred Hailey

Mildred Hailey, a Jamaica Plain resident and longtime leader of the Bromley-Heath housing development, died on Nov. 18. She was 82. Hailey founded the Bromley-Heath Tenant Management Corporation (TMC) along with Anna Mae Cole more than 40 years ago. It…

Obituary: Holly Cavender-Wood

Jamaica Plain resident Holly Cavender-Wood, 38, died in her home on Eliot Street on Nov 13. Born in Newport, Rhode Island and raised in Holland, Pennsylvania, Holly arrived in JP in 2007. Many residents may recall seeing her walking Pip,…

Obituary: Eleanor Elias

Eleanor Elias of Jamaica Plain, formerly of the South End, died on Sept. 28. She was 63 years old. Born and raised in Boston, Eleanor owned and operated Sorella’s restaurant with her sister in Jamaica Plain for 32 years. Sorella’s,…