Christine Paige MacLeod, b. March 30, 1946 to James Fenwick MacLeod and Gladys M. (Strickland) MacLeod of Erving, MA, died peacefully at home on April 30. Christine liked simple things like music, sweets, a porch swing and a spring breeze, getting her hair cut, and a caring touch from another person in a home where she felt safe. She was resilient and had a drive to survive.
Her life would have been a lot different if she had been born in different times. Because Christine was born with autism and cognitive disabilities, her family was counseled to place her in Belchertown State School at the age of six. There was no home support, and she would not have been accepted by the public schools. As an adult she was notified that she may have been part of the radioactive milk trials with institutionalized children in the 1950’s. She was moved first to Northampton State Hospital as a young adult, when a consent decree closed Belchertown State School, and then into a series of community residences where she was able to find contentment. Christine touched and changed the lives of many others, not least her family who like similar families, always felt the space she’d left.
Christine is predeceased by her parents, and brothers Fenny and Norman. She is survived by her sister, Cynthia Gail (Macleod) Haynes of Texas, who knew her as “Tina,” and her guardian of 40 years, Jeanne Henry Hoose. Both would like to thank the people who have supported her during her life, especially those ServiceNet staff led by Tammy Stevens who have seen her through these last months. There will be a gravesite service in the Erving Cemetery on June 3 at 2 PM.
Williamsburg Funeral Home