Natalie Gillingham, the first woman employee at the Burlington Recreation Department, passed away on Friday, December 18, 2020. She was 94 years old. Natalie was born in Boston. She was the only child born to George and Esther (Gough) Montgomery. She grew up in Dorchester. She was a graduate of Dorchester High School and Boston Clerical School. She married a returning World War II Veteran, Gordon Gillingham in 1948 and they settled in Burlington in 1954. Despite being the only female in the family, Natalie was in charge. She watched over her 4 boys, kept them in line, and instilled upon them the importance of hard work and taking pride in what you do. When they were all settled in school, she took a position at the Burlington Recreation Department working for Richard N. Binnall, the first Recreation Director for the Town of Burlington . She never thought that when she took the position, that eventually she would end up working for her son, Doug, who became the Maintenance Superintendent for the department. She retired with almost 35 years with the Recreation Department and was proud to be part of making Burlington’s Recreation Department one of the best in Massachusetts. She was inducted into the Recreation Department’s Hall of Fame in 2017.
Natalie was an active part of Burlington’s community. She was a member of the Eastern Star, serving as Worthy Advisor in 1943, plus a member of the Burlington Garden Club. She was a very active member of the United Church of Christ Congregational Church in Burlington. Along with attending Sunday services, she served as a Deacon at the Church, taught Sunday School, helped in all the fundraisers, events, activities, and celebrations at the church. She loved helping in the kitchen for the church suppers. In her leisure time, she loved going out to eat with family and friends or could be just as happy in her favorite chair reading a good mystery or historical novel. She enjoyed spending time at the family vacation home on the shores of Lake Winnipesaukee in Alton Bay which was the summer gathering spot for her family for decades. She also enjoyed traveling with her husband and her sons. Natalie will be lovingly remembered by her family, friends, and the residents of Burlington.
Natalie was the loving wife of the late Gordon P. Gillingham. She was the devoted mother of Philip Gillingham & his wife Brenda of Chelmsford, Douglas Gillingham & his wife Pauline of Burlington, Stephen Gillingham & his wife Denise of Ossipee, NH, Bruce Gillingham & his wife Kathleen of Lowell. Grandmother of Lauren Xavier & her husband Bryan of Chelmsford.
Funeral services will be private. In lieu of flowers, memorials in Natalie’s name may be made to the United Church of Christ, Congregational, 6 Lexington, Burlington, MA 01803. For obituary, online guestbook, video tribute see www.sullivanfuneralhome.net