Phyllis Marie (Clarkin) Dumont
Harwich – Phyllis Marie (Clarkin) Dumont, 89, died April 4, 2014 at Cape Cod Hospital following several years of declining health. She was the wife of Lucien E. (Lou) Dumont. They made their home in Harwich, MA.
Phyllis, the daughter of Margaret (Ford) Clarkin and Peter F. Clarkin, was born in Cambridge, MA on March 23, 1925. The Clarkins established their home in Milford, New Hampshire in the late 1920s. Phyllis attended Milford, NH schools receiving her formal education. She was a graduate of Milford High School, class of 1942.
She was a 1944 graduate of Leland Powers School of Theatre and Radio, Boston, MA., becoming one of radio’s early women pioneers of broadcasting. Phyllis began her professional broadcast career at Radio Station WHEB, Portsmouth, NH. She was assigned to the station’s Dover, NH studio, writing and announcing.
In 1945, she found emloyment as a writer at Radio Station WCOP, Copley Plaza Hotel, Boston. There she met Lou Dumont, chief announcer. In 1947, Phyllis was engaged as a copy writer for the Ernest Johnston Advertising Agency, Washington, DC. In the summer of 1948 she furthered her radio career by signing on at WFEA, Manchester, NH. At about the same time, Lou Dumont expanded his career at radio stations in Pittsfield, MA and New Britain, Connecticut.
Phyllis and Lou were married in October, 1948. They were among original staff members for Radio Station WIDE, Biddeford-Saco, Maine. A year later, they returned to WHEB and soon, established a husband-wife radio team producing “The Dumonts and Homemaker Harmonies.” Among Phyllis’ credits are interviews with renowned theatre and film stars who appeared at the Ogunquit (Maine) summer playhouse during the years 1949-1954. The tapes were played back on their radio program.
In 1954 they moved to Manchester, NH to become affiliated with WMUR-TV.
A son, Clark P. Dumont, was born to Phyllis and Lou in November, 1955. Lou became affiliated with The Manchester Union-Leader. A daughter, Michele (Trudy) Dumont was born in September, 1959.
In the 1980s, Phyllis began her interviews with collectors of antiques and collectibles.
Her early series, “The Fine Art of Collecting” were produced the National Public Radio Cooperative. Within a year, she began her “Collectible Collectors” and continued
those broadcasts when the couple moved to Cape Cod in 1987. She interviewed actress Julie Harris and film producer Ken Burns in 1988. Lou produced an afternoon “drive-time” radio show, daily, from 3-6p.m. for WFCC, Cape Cod’s first commercial radio station. It was there that Phyllis met and interviewed former Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, Thomas P. O’Neill.
Phyllis became affiliated with Massachusetts Republican leaders and was active in founding the Lower Cape Republican Women’s Group in 1989; she was a member of various Cape organizations, including the Garden Club, Child and Family Services of Cape Cod, and volunteered at the Museum of Natural Museum, and the Thursday Writer’s Group.
Phyllis continued her work in broadcasting until illness forced a retirement in 2010. She and Lou are the proud parents of Clark P. (Anne) Dumont, Michele G. “Trudy” Dumont, proud grandparents of two grandchildren, Clark (Julie) Dumont, Jason (Jessica) Dumont, and proud great-grandparents of Owen Joseph Dumont and Nora Marie Dumont.
Visitation will be held at Morris, O’Connor and Blute Funeral Home in Harwich Center, Massachusetts, on Thursday, April 10th at 12:30 pm followed by a funeral service at 1:00 p.m. Burial will follow at Evergreen Cemetery in East Harwich. There will be a Memorial Mass for her on Friday, April 11th, at 10:30 a.m. at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Milford, N.H.
Notes of comfort and sympathy may be made to her family at www.MorrisOConnorBlute.com.