Eleanore M. MacCombie, 90
Shrewsbury – Eleanore M. (Amoroso) (McAllester) MacCombie, 90, a resident of Southgate at Shrewsbury and formerly of Framingham, Natick and Wayland, died peacefully Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2013 at the Shrewsbury Nursing and Rehab Center.
Eleanore was born and raised in Medford. She graduated from Medford High School.
At a young age, Eleanore was diagnosed with Celiac Sprue. Little was known about the disease, including ways to treat it. She spent many years dedicated to learning everything about the disease, and along the way found that there were no support groups for victims of the disease. She founded the non-profit organization, “The National Celiac Sprue Society.”
Along with friends and volunteers, Eleanore spread the message about celiac disease through newsletters and support groups to distribute the information about living with and treatment of the disease. Through her groundbreaking work, the medical field became more aware of Celiac Disease. People benefitted from this information and were allowed to lead a better lifestyle.
Through the years, people turned to Eleanore for advice about gluten-free diets, long before it was so commonly spoken about, as it is today. She lobbied in Washington, D.C. to get the government to recognize the expenses incurred through a gluten-free diet to be a bona fide tax deduction. She also was instrumental in having the FDA require labeling on food and medicines with gluten in them.
Eleanore was proud of a letter published through the New England Journal of Medicine, one of a few lay people to do so. She also found time to work every day as a secretary for the Waltham School Department, working at Waltham High School for many years.
She is survived by her beloved husband of 20 years, Harold E. MacCombie; her four step-children, Richard MacCombie of Jonesboro, GA, William MacCombie of Marina del Rey, CA, Robert MacCombie of Hubbardston, and Paul MacCombie of Islamorada, F; her brother, Paul Amoroso of Stuart, FL; and many nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her sisters, Adeline McConnell, Marie Hanson, and Dorothea DeFiore, and her brother, Louis Amoroso.
She was a member of the Waltham School Secretaries Assoc. and the Wayland Women's Club.
A memorial service will be held Wednesday, Feb. 20, at 2 p.m., in the Chapel at Southgate at Shrewsbury, 30 Julio Dr., Shrewsbury. Burial at the Oak Grove Cemetery in Medford will be private. There are no visiting hours.
Instead of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Healthy Villi (http://www.healthyvilli.org) to continue the help for those with gluten issues.
The Britton-Shrewsbury Funeral Home, Shrewsbury is assisting the family with the arrangements. To leave a message of condolence for the family or view the Book of Memories, please visit www.brittonfuneralhomes.com.
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