Word has been received that Julia Warren Tucker of Medford, Oregon, who maintained her ties to Bourne throughout her life, died December 21. She was 87.
She was born in Boston, the daughter of Richard Tucker and Shirley Keene Tucker. She grew up in Wellesley and in Bourne, where she and her mother spent time with her grandmother, Betsey D. Keene, who was the author of “History of Bourne 1622–1937.” Through her grandmother she learned the history of the town where the Keene family had lived for many generations, and would keep up with her connections to the residents of Bourne Village in the future.
Ms. Tucker received a degree in English and theater arts in 1955 from Smith College in Northampton, and then moved to New York City to pursue her ambitions to be an actress. One of her first jobs in theater was as a set designer for the NBC affiliate there. Through her father, a photographer of Broadway productions, she worked on theatrical productions and had a bit part in one play.
Realizing that the future in theater and film was in Los Angeles, she relocated and found work as a script girl, later becoming a script supervisor in both film and television series. She met cinematographer Gerald Hirschfeld when working together on films including “Cotton Comes to Harlem,” “Goodbye Columbus,” and others; they were married on July 28, 1981.
After retiring in 2006, she and her husband moved to Ashland, Oregon, where both were active in the Ashland Shakespeare Festival and other live theater, as well as in theater and film programs at Southern Oregon University.
Ms. Tucker visited Bourne through the years to see her grandmother, mother and aunts at the Keene family home and, in later years, continued to return to the Keene house and to visit with other families in the neighborhood. The relationship between the Keene and Eldridge/Burgess families had lasted for several generations, as had other friendships, and she made the trip to visit her “second mother,” Gladys M. (Eldridge) Burgess (1912-2011) and other members of that family. One was Deborah M. Burgess, and the two women telephoned each other every Sunday night for more than 30 years.
When Ms. Tucker sold her interest in the Keene family home to her cousin, she donated historical records to the Bourne Archives and to the Bourne Historical Society, and donated two pieces of furniture to the Bourne Society for Historic Preservation, which owns and maintains the Briggs-McDermott House across the street from the homestead. The Keene and McDermott families were cousins. She gave a chest of drawers decorated with flowers and her mother, Shirley’s, name that was painted by one of her aunts, Myra Keene, and the 1890 Estey reed organ formerly played by her grandmother. She later added to the collection her great-grandfather’s desk, at which Betsey D. Keene wrote her book.
She was preceded in death by her husband, who died in 2017.
Burial was at the Keene family plot in Old Bourne Cemetery on County Road.