Lavina (Viney) Chase Tomb
Feb 29, 1924 - May 9, 2020
Viney was born February 29, 1924 in Syracuse, New York, the daughter of Aurin Moody Chase and Lavina Bunton Chase. The Chase family had lived in Syracuse since the 1850’s.
Viney grew up surrounded by family. She spent time in the summer in nearby Mandana, NY, on Skaneateles Lake, where her father had a small farm; with her mother's Bunton family at Peaks Island, ME; and at the Chase family homestead in Whitefield, NH, owned by her uncle Will Chase. In later years, the Chase Farm Colony in Whitefield became the gathering place for Chase family and friends, which continues to this day.
She graduated from the public High School in Syracuse, and then from Smith College in 1946. She was an active alumna, serving as her class secretary for a number of years, and attending many reunions, including her 70th reunion in 2016.
World War II was going on during her Smith years, and she spent summers helping on the farm in Whitefield, doing needed farm work. One fall, with a fellow student, she helped with the apple harvest at a farm arranged by Smith College, since the men were all off to war.
After graduating from Smith, Viney taught History at Dana Hall School in Wellesley, MA for one year. She met Hugh Tomb, through his sister Barbara Tomb Lundberg (Smith '47). Viney was not allowed to wear her engagement ring while teaching because the headmistress felt "it would be too exciting for the girls." Viney and Hugh were married in Whitefield, NH, at the family homestead, on June 21, 1947, with a reception at the Mountain View Inn.
Viney loved her family and she loved animals. For many years the family had more than one dog, even adopting some from local neighbors. She was a welcoming hostess and an excellent cook, and had a warm welcome for family and friends who were encouraged to join in on many occasions. She enjoyed snow skiing, boating, singing and cultivating plants.
In 1952, at the height of the polio epidemic, Hugh and Viney, and their three boys, started spending summers at the Tomb family camp on Lake Winnepesaukee in NH. The family would head up there in late June, and stay thru Labor Day. Hugh would drive up for weekends.
Viney was a long time member of Second Church in Newton, she and Hugh having become members shortly after they settled in Newton in 1947. She was active in the Second Church choir for many years, and enjoyed many singing opportunities.
Viney was an active volunteer at various organizations in Newton and Boston, including The Jackson Homestead, and the original Head Start Program. For 40 years, she volunteered at Newton Wellesley Hospital, starting as a Candy Striper, working at the gift shop and in the sandwich cafe, and eventually served on the Hospital’s Board of Governors in the 1990s.
She enjoyed a multitude of personal friendships including the “Almosters,” a close-knit group of Newton friends who gathered locally and for US and overseas travel.
She loved traveling, and was active with Sharing A New Song, a singing group in the Boston area, that toured in Russia and China, to promote international friendship. She and the Song group were in China on tour in 1989, when the Tiananmen Square uprising occurred. Her group had their itinerary quickly changed, they were whisked out of Beijing, and only later did they learn of the reason why.
Hugh and Viney moved to Lasell Village in August 2000, and were among the original residents. Viney became active in the Garden Committee at Lasell, and received a Community Beautification Award from the City of Newton in 2003, for her work at the Lasell Community Gardens. For years she tended to the plants in the halls of Lasell, and over a couple of years time accomplished her goal of quietly replacing all of the plastic decorative flowers with live plants.
In 2019 Viney was accepted into the Daughters of the American Revolution, and was a member of the Eleanor Wilson Chapter, Washington DC. Viney’s ancestor, Aquila Chase, arrived in Newbury, MA in 1640 from England.
Mrs. Tomb is survived by two sons: William Chase Tomb and his wife Lynn Stowe Tomb of Gill, MA; and Douglas Bunton Tomb and his wife Beverly Baynes Tomb of Falls Church, VA; two grandchildren: Meghan Tomb Gladstone (husband William) of New York City, and Jonathan Chase Tomb (wife Allison) of Huntington, VT. She has four great-grandchildren: Gannon, Zoe, Emmett and Lachlyn, and many nieces, nephews, grand-nieces and grand-nephews. She is also survived by two sisters: Nancy Chase Kilquist Lockwood of Whitefield, NH, and Mary Jane Chase of Haverford, PA;
Viney was pre-deceased by her husband Hugh McKelvy Tomb in 2007, and by her eldest son John McKelvy Tomb II in 1966. She was also pre-deceased by siblings Aurin Moody Chase, Jr (Osmunde), Donald Chase, Lucy Chase Sparks (David), Austin Carleton Chase (Margaret), and Elizabeth Chase Pilotte (Adelard).
Memorial services will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in her memory to Newton Wellesley Hospital, 2014 Washington St., Newton, MA 02462. (www.nwh.org), or the Animal Rescue League of Boston, 10 Chandler Street, Boston, MA 02116.
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Animal Rescue League of Boston
10 Chandler Street, Boston MA 02116