Obituary of Anne Plunkett (1944-2021) – Heath, MA

Anne P Plunkett

Heath, MA — Anne Palmer Plunkett, 77, of Heath, died December 7 at Fisher Home Hospice in Amherst. The cause of death was uterine cancer. She was in the care of Pioneer Valley Hospice and Palliative Care for about six months, living at home with her wife before moving to Fisher Home where she was lovingly cared for in the final months of her life.

Anne was born on May 9, 1944 in Chicago, IL to Nancy Reta Palmer and Robert G. Plunkett. She grew up in Stamford, CT with three siblings: Robert, Peter and Mary. She attended the Baldwin School for Girls and received her BA in Sociology from Chatham College in Philadelphia, PA. She worked in varied and interesting jobs. She often spoke about how much she loved leading summer camps at the Philadelphia projects. She worked for the Environmental Fund in Washington DC. She held a position at the Department of Health, Education and Welfare where her job was to look after the needs of recipient families in their homes.

Longing to move out of town, Anne moved to the Shenandoah Valley. She took a job in Front Royal, VA as a buyer for the Royal Oak Bookshop and often traveled to New England to explore the incredible wealth of books. In 1987, on one of her many travels, she stopped in Greenfield and immediately fell in love with the public library building. Their love eventually spread to all of Franklin County.

Anne skillfully began crafting a life that encompassed two of her greatest passions: books and animals. She decided to move to New England and bought a home in Heath, MA. She was joined in this move by her former partner and lifelong friend Chris Herdell, as well as their 11 cats, two dogs and two chickens, all of whom were rescued. (The chickens were adopted after falling off a Purdue truck!)

Continuing to follow her intense love and vast knowledge of books, Anne bought a small bookshop in Shelburne Falls called Bridge St. Books. She soon renamed the shop Boswell’s Books and rescued a cute tabby cat to live between the books and the customers full-time. She named the cat Boswell, of course. After years of selling books in Shelburne Falls, Anne sold the business and acquired Bartleby’s Books in Wilmington, VT. (Boswell’s Books still operates in Shelburne Falls with a wonderful selection of books and Boswell number five, the beautiful black and white house cat.)

Anne eventually retired from the business of selling books to devour in her spare time. She often commented after she retired that she now had time to actually read books and not just book reviews! During her retirement, she also volunteered for what was then Franklin County Home Care (now Lifepath) in the Ombudsman program.

Anne will be remembered for her brilliant mind, clever sharp wit and robust laugh. She possessed an enormous range of curiosity. Her feelings and opinions were strong and passionate, and she did not hesitate to express them. She was a faithful friend and when she loved, she loved very much! She was an advocate for the often forgotten people and animals. She loved and was loved by many, especially her 28-year-old wife, Amy Metzler-Clough. Amy will forever be grateful to Pioneer Valley Hospice and Palliative Care for their help and guidance during Anne’s illness, and Hospice of the Fisher Home for the excellent, compassionate care she received in the final months of her life. Memorial contributions can be made to Pioneer Valley Hospice and Palliative Care or to the Hospice of the Fisher Home. It was Anne’s implacable wish that there should be no more services after her death, and this wish will be honored.

Anne’s end of life care was entrusted to the McCarthy Funeral Homes in Greenfield, MA. Memories can be posted to Anne’s Tribute Wall @

Published by The Recorder on January 26, 2022.


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