Rosamond Riley Bennet

Member, Unitarian Universalist Church on Main Street; Volunteer for Planned Parenthood

"I can’t remember what I majored in, but I remember I wanted to be a doctor, but I knew no one would go to a female surgeon in those I married one instead."


Rosamond Riley Bennet was born in 1918 “on the corner of West and Salisbury on the dining room table” in Worcester, Massachusetts. Aside from the three years she spent in New York with her husband during World War II, she has lived in Worcester for her whole life. A widow and the mother of five children, Rosamond is a long-standing member of Worcester’s Unitarian Universalist Church on Main Street and a volunteer for Planned Parenthood. She plays tennis daily and sings in a number of local choruses. While frustrated with her fading memory, in this interview, Rosamond works hard to recall her early experiences in Worcester. She speaks about her education at the Bancroft School and the different places she lived in the city throughout her life. She discusses her desire to become a surgeon while studying at Smith College, and her disappointment to realize that she would not be accepted in the profession as a woman. She speaks fondly of her extensive world travels and reflects upon her privilege in life. Rosamond also touches upon some of her well-known relatives’ roles in establishing some of Worcester’s central business and cultural institutions in the 1920s, including Riley Stoker, the Norton Company, and the Higgins Armory Museum.

Interview Date: 
October 23, 2006
Interview Language: