Cornelia (Connie) Mary Hurd of North Smithfield died April 19, 2019 at home. She was the beloved wife of the late Alan L. Hurd for 52 years. She was born in Woonsocket on March 9, 1941, the daughter of John and Anna (Kazan) Kokolski. She was a graduate of Woonsocket High School and Rhode Island College, where she was a member of the honor societies. She taught 4th grade at Kendrick Avenue and Globe Park Schools in Woonsocket for 33 years.
While teaching at Globe Park School in 1994, Mrs. Hurd received a $2,000.00 grant to conduct a school-wide project studying the impact of the Blackstone River on the city of Woonsocket throughout its history. One major outcome, of which she was proud, was the printing of a book “Memories of the Mills”, which had a second printing and is sold at the Museum of Work & Culture in Woonsocket.
Hurd and her students requested that the Woonsocket City Council construct a canoe launch area in Cold Spring Park. The city did so, and on November 2, 1996 that area was dedicated and Mayor Susan Menard declared that day “Connie Hurd Day” in Woonsocket.
After retiring in 1995, Mrs. Hurd became a Volunteer-in-the-Park for the John H. Chafee Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor, where she felt she was continuing teaching. She loved history, and relating the story of the Blackstone River Valley brought her much satisfaction. In 1997 in Bar Harbor, Maine, she received the Volunteer of the Year award for the Northeast Region of the National Park Service, which encompassed an area from Maine to Virginia. In 1998, Mrs. Hurd was honored as Woman of the Year by the RI Charter Chapter of the American Business Women’s Association. As such, she represented RI at the national convention in Phoenix, Arizona.
Active in the community, she served as the first secretary of the North Smithfield Conservation Commission and was the Green Acres Coordinator, vice-president of the Garden Club of North Smithfield, Brownie leader, board member of Boy Scout Troop 1139, and member of the North Smithfield Fine Arts Council.
She served on the boards of Family Resources of Woonsocket and the Northern RI YWCA, and as president of Theta Chapter Delta Kappa Gamma, a women educator’s society, and president of the Northern RI Women’s investment Club. She was the leader of her Red Hat Club, President of the Lincoln Garden Club, member of the Blackstone Valley Retired Teachers’ Association, and the RIAFT Retired Teachers’ Association. She was a docent at the Eleazer Arnold house on Great Road in Lincoln and a docent at the Museum of Work & Culture in Woonsocket where she was also the volunteer coordinator for a number of years.
She loved gardening, and became a RI Master Gardener during her first year of retirement. She enjoyed playing Mah Jongg, and she was an avid reader, especially reading mysteries, participating in the Mystery Book Club at the Greenville Library.
She was a lover of classical music and attending live theatre performances, especially with her theatre discussion class at the Lifelong Learning Collaborative.
She is survived by her children, John Alan Hurd of Rochester, NY and Susan Beth Hurd of North Smithfield, grandchildren Lauren and David Hurd of Middleton, WI, a sister, Joan Marek and her husband Thomas, and several nieces and nephews including Anne Marek of Harrisburg, PA and Emily Marek of Providence, RI.
Funeral arrangements are under the direction of the Holt Funeral Home, 510 South Main Street, Woonsocket, RI. Calling hours will take place Wednesday, April 24, 2019 at 10:00 A.M., one hour prior to the 11:00 A.M funeral service at the Slatersville Congregational Church, Greene Street on the Common, Slatersville, RI 02876.Burial in the Blackstone Cemetery, Mendon Road, Blackstone, MA. At the family’s request for those attending the services, due to serious chemical sensitivities, please refrain from wearing scented fragrances. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the RI Community Food Bank, www.rifoodbank.org or to Hope Hospice and Palliative Care of RI, www.HopeHospice.org
Rhode Island Community Food Bank
200 Niantic Ave., Providence RI 02907
Hope Hospice of RI
1085 North Main Street, Providence RI 02904