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Helen Danforth Buchanan

January 11, 1922 November 5, 2014
Helen Danforth Buchanan
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Obituary for Helen Danforth Buchanan

Helen Danforth Buchanan of Exeter died Wednesday November 5 at age 92 after a brief illness.  The daughter of the late Helen Metcalf Danforth and Dr. Murray S. Danforth, she is survived by her children, Fanchon M. (Monty) Burnham, Stephen D. Watkins, and Jane P. Watkins, four grandchildren, Helen M. Burnham, John S. Burnham, William T. Watkins, and Ian M. Watkins, as well as eight great-grandchildren.  She was pre-deceased by her son, Robert D. Watkins, and both of her brothers, Stephen M. Danforth, and Murray S. Danforth, Jr..
 
            Mrs. Buchanan was a graduate of St. Timothy’s School and Vassar College.  Her first husband, the late John C.A. Watkins, was publisher of The Providence Journal for twenty-five years.  She was also pre-deceased by her second husband, Patrick B. Buchanan, with whom she lived for forty years in Stirling, Scotland.  Mrs. Buchanan moved back to the United States in 2000.
 
After the death of Patrick Buchanan Mrs. Buchanan initiated a tapestry weaving project in his memory at Stirling Castle.  This project, developed in cooperation with The Metropolitan Museum of Art, is now nearly complete.  It involved the weaving of copies of the Unicorn Tapestries to hang in Stirling Castle, and resulted in her being awarded an OBE by Queen Elizabeth II in July 2006.
 
            In Rhode Island, Mrs. Buchanan was also active philanthropically.  She had a particular interest in the Orthopedics Department at Rhode Island Hospital, which was started by her father, Dr. Danforth, an orthopedic surgeon, and in a number of other Rhode Island non-profit organizations. 
 
A memorial service is planned for Saturday January 10, 2015 at 11am in Grace Episcopal Church in Providence.  Donations in Mrs. Buchanan’s memory may be made to the Exeter Public Library, 773 Ten Rod Road (Route 102), Exeter, RI 02822.

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