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Obituary: Millicent Gordon Vosburgh

Millicent Gordon Vosburgh, 90, recently of New York City, and formerly of Plandome, died peacefully on June 8 at Cayuga Medical Center in Ithaca, NY. A resident of Bridges Cornell Heights Millicent was surrounded by her family at the time of her death. Predeceased by her husband, Dr. Lee F. Vosburgh, Millicent is survived by her children, Rick Vosburgh (Durham, NC), Lisa Stone (Boston, MA), Brooke Alexander (Wittman, MD), Evan Vosburgh (NYC), Tracy Vosburgh (Ithaca, NY) and Lee Vosburgh (Cabo San Lucas, Mexico); and grandchildren, Matthew (San Francisco) and Ian Ghent (NYC); Jessica (New Haven, CT) and Brendan Vosburgh, 2LT, IN, US Army (Fort Benning, GA); Emily (Punta Gorda, Belize), Michael (Boston, MA), and Benjamin Stone (Boston, MA); Alexander (Washington, DC) and Elizabeth Frieden (Ithaca, NY).

Born and raised in Albany, NY, Millicent was the daughter of William Edward Gordon and Millicent Miscall and was the oldest of 5 children. Millicent attended Adelphi University then worked as a medical secretary when she met her husband Lee F. Vosburgh, then a student at Albany Medical College. Millicent supported Lee during internship and residency in New York, after which they lived for three years at Fort Bragg, NC, during Lee’s service in the Army. Lee joined the founding staff at the North Shore Hospital, with his practice in OB-GYN located on Plandome Road in Manhasset for 25 years. Millicent, known as Pat during her Manhasset years, lived her life as her father told her “as if each day was her last.” She gave to others and took joy in the accomplishments of her six active children. She was a friend, a mother, and ever a fan and supporter of the lacrosse community, most recently an ardent supporter of her grandson’s team, the Boston Cannons. She even found time to read the New York Times cover to cover every day. Millicent was active in several charities, including Chairman of the Babies Alumni of the North Shore Hospital Volunteer Auxiliary from 1971 to 1983. She served on the executive board of the Auxiliary of North Shore Hospital.

Upon Lee’s retirement in 1979, Millicent and Lee moved to Columbus, OH, where Lee worked at the Ohio State University student health center and Millicent continued contributing to the community through the Starling Foundation. Millicent was a lifelong learner. Legally blind from Macular Degeneration, Millicent cared for Lee during several years of illness, traveled the country living near various family and friends, living in Boston 1993-1996 where Lee died, returned to Manhasset from 1997-2000, joined lifelong friends in New Orleans from 2001-2005 where she “toughed out” Katrina but eventually left for the Eastern Shore of Maryland 2007-2008, and then New York City from 2008-January 2012 where she lived independently on West 68th Street. Her apartment became a haven of family and friend get-togethers, stopovers, and conversations informed by her incredible memory, and facts collected from listening to John Gambling and Tony Kornheiser. She never missed Friday morning interviews of “her” mayor. She was a “connector” of people–all visitors would be questioned about their interests and background and almost always, Millicent found a common link, which both fascinated and annoyed her children. Her recent move to Ithaca NY was thought to be the next stop on travels, but a sudden decline put a quick stop to a long and interesting journey through life.

 Grandma Pat managed individual relationships with all her nine grandchildren, whether in her living room watching NY sports teams while quizzing them on schools, friends, careers (and a few questions about their parents), or out at lacrosse games and polo matches. Whatever her secret was, at her death all six of Millicent’s children, her nine grandchildren, and all the spouses were both fascinated by and dedicated to her. She was the epicenter of their lives and will be sorely missed and never forgotten.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the restoration fund for Christ Church, 1355 Northern Blvd., Manhasset, NY 11050, where Millicent will be memorialized at a service at 11 AM, on July 7, 2012 with a reception following at Plandome Village Hall.