Grew up working on family farm

 Published in the February 12, 2016 edition

Emerson-obit-webBRADFORD — Helen A. (Ostrander) Emerson, 84, of Bradford died unexpectedly on Jan. 29 after a short illness.

She was born and raised in Windsor, N.Y., the daughter of the late Caroline and William Ostrander.

She was one of four sisters, Ginger Colpitts and Wilda Colpitts of Windsor, N.Y. and the late Madge Ellis of Longwood, Fla. All of whom worked on their family farm in upstate New York when they weren’t attending Binghamton North High School.

Helen’s first job was at the local library. After turning 18 she was hired by General Electric in Johnson City, N.Y. where she met her husband and moved to Georgetown to raise a family. Before retiring, Helen worked at Newman’s Furniture in downtown Haverhill where she had many friends and colleagues. She was also a talented seamstress and lovingly knit beautiful items for her family.

Her sense of humor endured to the very end.

She is survived by her children William Emerson of Bath, N.H., Virginia and Cynthia Emerson of Campton, N.H. and Russell Emerson of Melrose. She was the grandmother to nine grandchildren, Frank Gatchell and Nathan Gatchell of Kingston, N.H., Amy Gatchell of Mt. Vernon, Maine, Courtney Emerson of New York City, Jillian Emerson of Newark, Del., Meredith Emerson of Riverview, Fla., Alexandra Emerson of Woburn, Natalie and Rowan Emerson of Melrose. She was also loved by numerous nieces and nephews.

Family and friends are welcome to gather at the Gately Funeral Home, 79 West Foster St., Melrose on Saturday, Feb. 13, from noon to 2 p.m., followed by a celebration of life at 2 p.m.All are respectfully invited to attend.

Burial in Upstate New York will be private.

In lieu of flowers memorial contributions may be made to the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America at To leave an online message of condolence please visit