Alison C. D'Amario
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Topsfield, MA - Alison Chalmers D'Amario passed away on November 22, 2019. She was 85 years old.
Alison was born on September 25, 1934 and grew up in Scarsdale, New York. Upon graduating magna cum laude from Smith College in 1956 she moved to New York City, where she worked at Scribner's Books and the United Nations. New York City was also where she met and married her husband, Edmund.
Alison resided in Topsfield, MA from 1963 until the time of her death. She taught English at Masconomet Regional High School for nearly two decades and was a beloved mentor to many students. Upon resigning from Masconomet, she became the director of education at the Salem Witch Museum, where she worked for 27 years, helping to establish the annual Salem Award. She garnered an international reputation as an authority on the Salem witch trials and lectured frequently on their relevance to current events.
After leaving the museum, she continued to pursue her passion for teaching at both the Immigrant Learning Center in Malden and at North Shore Community College where she taught ESL. Alison found time to volunteer at the Northeast Animal Shelter and the Topsfield Historical Society. A gifted writer, she also contributed many human-interest stories to Topsfield's Tri-Town Transcript.
Alison loved to travel and took several trips to Europe with her family and friends. Among her favorite trips were those to France with her daughter Julia, as well as two horseback riding treks with her daughter Nina to Portugal and Wyoming. She celebrated her 70th birthday with her family in the Scottish Highlands.
Ever active and athletic, Alison loved to ride her horse, Jessie throughout the local state parks; she played tennis in several North Shore leagues and took daily walks around Topsfield with her beloved dog, Sadie.
Her unbounded generosity, compassion, intellectual curiosity and humor enriched the lives of those fortunate enough to be close to her.
Alison is survived by Edmund, her husband of 60 years and her children; Julia, of Eagleville, California; Thomas, his wife, Heidi Hood, and their daughter Olivia Alison, of Melrose, Nina and her husband, Mio Nakamura, of Brooklyn, New York.
In lieu of flowers, please make donations in her name to the Northeast Animal Shelter: 347 Highland Ave, Salem, MA 01970
The celebration of her life will be held on Saturday, December 14th, 2019 at The Emerson Center, 9 East Common Street, Topsfield, MA from 2 to 5 p.m.
Published on November 28, 2019


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Showing 10 of 4 posts

Karen Lavery
Dec 05, 2019
Alison was one of the good ones, one of the rare people who always made you feel like you were the only person in the world. For her family, her friends, all the animals she loved on, and, selfishly, for the book club she so enriched, hers is a grievous loss.
Jack Armitage
Dec 02, 2019
In the forty or so years that I chatted with Alison during her walks around the Coolidge loop, I never once saw her lose her stride. The suddenness of her loss is beyond the reach of belief. She was a skilled mentor and encouraged deep personal strength in so many people. I will still watch for her on my walks.
Dr. Jo Sullivan
Dec 02, 2019
To Alison’s family, friends and colleagues,
Please accept my condolences. I met Alison when I was an elementary principal in Salem. While she was known internationally, her interest in and work with the children of Salem was much appreciated. May she rest in perfect peace.
Biff Michaud
Nov 28, 2019
I am profoundly saddened by the death of my close friend Alison. Anyone who was touched by her was always left better for just having a simple conversation with her. I had the pleasure of working with her for over three decades as she continued to come back to help out at The Salem Witch Museum during October following her retirement. Just a couple of weeks ago, I told her how grateful that I was to have had the quality of life so enriched by her friendship. Alison was so multi talented, interested and kind that every staff member at the museum just loved her and will remember her forever. Her contribution as Director of Education made her a world respected authority on The Salem Witc...h Trials of 1692. Though travel and technology, Alison lectured to many in the USA, Asia and Europe who were interested in Salem's unique history. The inocent victims of that time were given life and personality through her dedication to keeping their story front and center. The world press loved her. Her passing leaves me unable to express the depth of loss that we all feel at the museum. I will miss her laughter, smile and most of all her bright, beautiful eyes. I want Eddie and her family to know that we care...she was quite a gal!!Read more