HESTERLY FEARING BLACK — STOWE — on October 1, 2023, at the age of 90, Hesterly Fearing Black departed this world peacefully, surrounded by her children.
Her illness was thankfully short. Feisty, beautiful, and intelligent to the end, Hesterly enjoyed life on her own terms. Born in Boston in 1933, she was the daughter of Vera Whistler Howell and George Richmond Fearing. She spent several of her early years with her family in Kitzbühel, Austria, where her father worked as an intelligence officer for the U.S. Army Air Force. At the outbreak of W.W.II, the family returned to the Boston area. There, Hesterly attended the Windsor School and Garland Junior College. She made her society debut in the 1951-52 season and was a member of the Vincent Club and the Junior League. While visiting Vermont, she met the love of her life, Charles Frederick Black, and after marriage in 1955, the couple moved to Stowe, Vermont.
Hesterly surrounded herself with animals. She was a gifted equestrian, and in the early years of her marriage often drove her children around Stowe in a buggy or sleigh. She was one of the founders of The Green Mountain Hounds, serving as the first field master and teaching her children and even her husband to ride. She was also a long-time member of the Green Mountain Dog Club, serving as chair for the Stowe Dog Show. Beyond animals, she was passionate about gardening, birding, traveling, reading, and spending time with dear friends.
Living in Stowe, naturally she skied. She donated time to the Mount Mansfield Ski Club while her children were racing and later worked at the Ski School Desk. Several times she graciously hosted members of the U.S. Ski Team in her home. She and Charlie filled that house with the happy chaos of friends and their children’s friends, several of whom she mothered like her own.
For 20 years she wintered in Vero Beach, FL, but returned to Stowe full time to be closer to family.
Hesterly leaves behind her brother, Travers Fearing, and her four children: John Charles Black [Mary]; Jennifer Black St. Sauveur [Keith]; Hesterly (LeeLee) Black Goodson [Gregg]; and Benjamin Fearing Black [Sarah]. She also leaves eight grandchildren: Sam, Anna, Matt, Kelsey, Gwendolen, Angela, McKenna, and Alyson, all of whom adored their “Granny.” She was pre-deceased by first husband, Charlie, and second husband, T. Garry Buckley, as well as grandson, Jack, but was thrilled to be a great-grandmother to Anja, Beckett, and Whitt.
A celebration of Hesterly’s life will be held at the Stowe Community Church on October 28, 2023, at 1:00 p.m., to be followed by a reception at the Green Mountain Inn.
In lieu of flowers, please consider donating in her memory to the Stowe Land Trust (stowelandtrust.org).