Williamsport, Pa. — Gretchen Hills Flock, 90, died peacefully in Arlington, Massachusetts on November 14, 2022.
Born in Williamsport to Dr. Herman Flock and Doris Hills Flock (later Eustis), she grew up in Darien, Connecticut. As an adult, she migrated to New York City for the 1950s and then to Massachusetts where she lived in Cambridge, Stow, Concord, and Arlington, with over a decade in Washington, D.C. along the way.
Starting out as an editorial page at Women’s Wear Daily, Gretchen later attended Harvard Extension School to become a scientific editor focusing on the environment, a profession in which she excelled. Her employers and clients ranged from Massachusetts Audubon’s Sanctuary Magazine to the White House for which she helped edit speeches for three U.S. presidents: Ronald Reagan, George H. Bush, and Bill Clinton.
A book lover, particularly of British mid-century novels, Gretchen also managed bookstores in the Washington, D.C. and Boston areas and volunteered for public libraries. She served on the building committee for Stow’s Randall Library bicentennial expansion, identified and priced rarities for Washington D.C.’s Cleveland Park Library book sales, and helped at Arlington Public Library’s Fox & Robbin Shop (aka The Little Fox.) She passionately believed in the importance of encouraging children’s reading.
Gretchen also adored European cheeses, New Mexican Chili Rellenos, and Arlington’s Café Barada. Her other loves included the art of Henry Moore, vividly patterned dresses by Marimekko, and the Boston Red Sox. As a lifelong liberal Democrat, she was proudest of actively protesting the Vietnam War.
Gretchen is survived by her children, Michael Charles Herman Holland of Alexandria Virginia, Molly Bloom Holland of Middletown Rhode Island, Rachel Seng Holland of Newbury, Massachusetts, and Anne Hills Holland of Providence, Rhode Island. She is also survived by her siblings, Cecily Robinson of Vernon, Connecticut and J. Christopher Eustis of Tucson, Arizona.
The family held a burial in Williamsport’s Wildwood Cemetery, but asks for donations to the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center of Austin, Texas in lieu of flowers.
Arrangements were entrusted to Crouse Funeral Home.