Dorothy Dean Aspinwall of Hanover, New Hampshire, died in her sleep on November 11 at the age of 86.
She and her husband of 64 years, Duncan P. Aspinwall, lived in Falmouth from 1987 until their move to New Hampshire in 2014.
During their time here, Ms. Aspinwall designed the memorial garden of the Church of the Messiah in Woods Hole, and also designed the campus layout of the Woods Hole Historical Museum.
In 1997 she and her husband visited Cuba to explore Ms. Aspinwall’s family connections with that country. Their trip became the topic of a talk and slide show presentation they gave at Woods Hole Library in the debut of a series for “armchair travelers” that the library began in 2001.
Ms. Aspinwall also served as a member of the Falmouth Coastal Resources Working Group; that group had been formed in 2000 to develop long-term policies for managing coastal erosion.
Born in Springfield, she was the daughter of Harry Bender Dean and Charlotte (Bridgman) Dean. She spent her early years in Longmeadow before moving to the Boston area with her family in 1945. She graduated from Needham High School in 1952 and attended Cedar Crest College in Pennsylvania, where she graduated with a degree in psychology.
During her college years she met Duncan Payne Aspinwall, who was attending Lehigh University. They married in 1956, shortly after both graduated from college. Her husband entered the United States Army, and together they moved to Heidelberg, West Germany, for the duration of his posting there from 1957 to 1959.
They settled in Westwood in 1962 and raised their three sons in that community, with weekends and vacations spent at their camp on Long Pond in Parsonsfield, Maine.
Ms. Aspinwall helped to found an environmental education program at the Hale Reservation in Westwood that served 6th graders from Boston and the suburbs. She earned a graduate certificate in landscape design from the Radcliffe Seminars program, and her love of the outdoors and appreciation for nature inspired her to become an avid gardener, creating flower and vegetable beds with green spaces as well as an area for beekeeping.
She also worked in development at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. After studying piano as a child she returned to it as an adult, accompanying her sons on their instruments.
In addition to her husband, she leaves their sons, Mark Aspinwall of Mexico City, Brian Aspinwall of Croton-on-Hudson, New York, and Dwight Aspinwall of Hanover, New Hampshire; eight grandchildren; and extended family.
She was preceded in death by her brother, Harold Dean.
Her ashes will be interred at the Church of the Messiah in Woods Hole.