Candlelight vigil for Buffy Krause, Sept. 14, on Beech Hill

Buffy Krause and her parents remembered for generosity, community spirit, passion for volunteerism

Posted:  Tuesday, September 12, 2017 - 11:00pm

ROCKPORT — On Thursday, Sept. 14, the community will gather on Beech Hill, in Rockport, to honor Buffy Krause, who was killed last week in Groton, Mass. Beech Hill was one of Buffy’s favorite places, according to her friends, who are holding a candlelight vigil in remembrance.

On September 8, four people lost their lives when Orion Krause, 22, of Rockport allegedly killed them in a home on Common Street in Groton, Mass. The victims were F. Danby Lackey III, 89, Elizabeth Lackey, 86, Elizabeth "Buffy" Krause, 60, and the Lackey's home health worker, Bertha Mae Parker, 68.  Citing The Boston GlobeThe Lowell Sun reported that Bertha Mae Parker lived in the Common Street home of the Lackeys and served as a caretaker for the Lackeys. 

Buffy Krause was Orion’s mother, and the Lackeys were her parents, whose home was in Groton. There, the Groton community honored the four who were killed with its own candlelight vigil held Sunday, and Groton residents have been sending their love to Rockport, knowing that both communities are feeling deep pain as many continue struggle to make sense of the tragic event.

“Many in Groton will dearly miss the Lackey family,” wrote Paul Reilly, in a Sept. 12 note to Penobscot Bay Pilot.

“My family shared our sorrow at a well attended candlelight vigil held around the gazebo on the field behind the Groton town Library Sunday evening,” he said. “Know that our best wishes and prayers are with the surviving family and their Maine community.” 

As both communities contend with grief and disbelief, it is clear that the Lackeys and their daughter, Buffy, were generous and loving people, and well respected by many.


Some people make a difference

You may not know it at the time
But when they’re gone
You know for sure 

They give their best
Straight from the heart unafraid
With no punches pulled
Because they deeply care

Their thinking is invaluable--
Helpful, clear reasoning designed
To make you and things better
No matter where the chips fall

When their time is up
And they are no longer here
Is when it hits you hard

Some people really make a difference
You better listen
Their quiet right no nonsense
On target common sense reasoning
Staunchly wins the day

We miss them 

--Dan Lackey, March 14, 2004

Buffy Krause came by her charitable nature honestly. Her parents, known affectionately as "Dan" and "Esu" were revered for their kind spirits and charitable giving. Their giving was not limited to financial support, however; the Lackeys were active participants in the nonprofit community.

Danby Lackey III sat on the board at the Chewonki Foundation in Wiscasset, and was an integral part of the organization, according to a memorial statement issued by Chewonki. The organization, which teaches appreciation and stewardship of the natural world, described the four-decade relationship between the Lackeys and the Chewonki Foundation.

The statement, issued September 11, is as follows:

"Dan served as a trustee of Chewonki from 1976-2003 and had been an honorary trustee since 2003.

Former Chewonki Director of Development Lucy Hull, who knew them well, says, 'Dan was so generous, and I don't mean just financially. He was incredibly knowledgeable and incredibly giving of that knowledge. He was a caring, sweet person. And Esu was a dynamo and a rock of their community. This is heartbreaking news.'

Despite decades of generous support as members of Chewonki's Osprey Society, Dan and Esu 'didn't want any recognition at all,' says Hull. 'They represented the Chewonki ethos at its best, always directing attention to others.'

Dan spent his career as an investment advisor and served as president of Spinnaker Capital in Boston. He played an important role building Chewonki's financial stability, creating the organization's first investment committee. 'He was the investment committee for a long time,' says Hull. 'He'd bring out careful spreadsheets to explain where we were and where he hoped we were going. In his hands, everyone had a huge amount of confidence.'

A graduate of Phillips Academy Andover, Yale University, and Columbia Business School, Dan had many interests outside of work, including poetry, photography, tennis, and travel. Esu held a master's of divinity degree from Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge, and was involved in many educational initiatives.

Dan had a deep interest in environmental education. He once wrote, 'Chewonki's future: In the mainstream of environmental education, which is so much needed to protect our natural world, we need to do as much as we can to educate others about how to care for nature. Chewonki is still in its embryonic state as we look forward to future centuries.'

We will miss Dan and Esu's intelligent, kind, and inspiring presence." 

A family strong in philanthropy 

The Lackeys held a family foundation, the Naduse Foundation, which was founded in 1997, according to the online nonprofit reporting and information service, Guidestar. The Naduse Foundation is listed as having a post office box in Groton, Mass, and was formerly known as the Polaris Foundation.

According to the 2015 990 tax filing, the Naduse Foundation gave to nine organizations, including the Massachusetts Audubon Society, Friends of the Hale School, the Chewonki Foundation, the Mass Art Foundation, and the Masters School. Their most significant beneficiary that year was the Masters School in Dobbs Ferry, New York, where Mrs. Lackey attended preparatory school, according to the archives of The New York Times.

F. Danby Lackey III and Elizabeth Lackey were married in Pelham Manor, New York, on June 9, 1956, according to The New York Times archives.

Buffy carried on the family’s legacy of giving in Rockport.

She graduated from the private boarding school Dana Hall, in Wellesley, Massachusetts, with the Class of 1975. She and her husband, Lexi, lived on Penobscot Bay islands before moving to Rockport with their young children.

She settled in and became a dedicated member of the Rockport community. Buffy was an active member of the Rockport Boat Club, and she gave freely of her time. She helped Doris Buffett with the Sunshine Lady Foundation do its charitable work, and assisted Rockport more than 13 years ago, when the town was working on its comprehensive plan.

She was a notable tennis player, competing in local fundraising events, such as the annual New Hope for Women Tennis Tournament. Friends characterized her as a caring, loving and involved parent, and a really good friend. 

“If you ever needed any fresh garden vegetables, Buffy was your girl,” said her friend, Barbara Grondin Spear. “Buffy shared her bountiful garden with the whole community. Rhubarb, Lettuce, cucumbers, blueberries, tomatoes, swiss chard, and perhaps if you were lucky enough, a few precious raspberries.”

She was, said Spear, “a deeply caring, giving, and supportive friend, who will be greatly missed.”

“The community is invited to the top of Beech Hill, one of Buffy’s favorite places, at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Sept 14,  for a candlelight vigil to honor the memory of our dear friend and help her family draw strength from our love and prayers to help begin the healing process.”


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