Erin Anne Brayton, of Jamaica Plain, loving mother to daughters Austin and Adriane Brayton, widow of Dana Brayton, died on May 10 after living with cancer for nearly eight years.
She was born Oct. 16, 1951 to David and Anne Pearsall, and leaves behind brothers David and Bob. The daughter of a U.S. Air Force colonel, Erin was born in Wiesbaden, Germany and lived in Paris for over three of her early teenage years.
Erin was a graduate of Concord Academy, Pomona College, and the University of Washington School of Social Work. She met her husband Dana in Seattle in 1980. They were married in 1981 and moved to Boston in 1983. They were well matched in their love for the arts and travel. Erin was constantly supportive of Dana in his career as a musician, composer, and professor at Boston Conservatory of Music. This partnership sadly ended with Dana’s sudden death in 2006.
Erin began her career as a social worker, but soon shifted paths. She found success as a craftsperson, creating textile pieces and jewelry for the Cambridge Artists Cooperative in Harvard Square. In 2001, Erin fulfilled her dream of owning a business and opened an eclectic shop, Birch Street Home and Garden, in Roslindale Square, a business that still exists today.
Erin was a lover and supporter of the visual and performing arts, as well as public education and environmental causes. She enjoyed movies of all varieties and had deep affection for animals, especially Siamese cats. After retiring due to her illness, Erin took great pleasure in gardening, pottery, travel (to Guatemala, Turkey, Argentina, Panama, the Caribbean, and more) and a myriad of excursions with family and friends. She will be greatly missed for her creativity, generosity, tenacity, and unrelenting humor.
For those who wish to make a contribution in Erin’s memory, three of Erin’s favorite organizations are: Mass Audubon’s Boston Nature Center and Wildlife Sanctuary, Boston Conservatory Erin and Dana Brayton Scholarship Fund, and FINCA International.