Obituaries and Condolences

Rita M. (Poirier) Beaudoin

Greenfield, Massachusetts

Rita M. (Poirier) Beaudoin, 85, a resident of 175 Barton Road, died Tuesday, April 8, 2014 at Baystate Franklin Medical Center, following a period of declining health.

She was born on January 15, 1929 in Jamaica, NY and raised by Leo A. and Bertha (Smolen) Poirier in Greenfield. She was educated in Greenfield Public Schools and graduated from GHS in the class of 1946. Upon her graduation from high school, she accepted a position with the New England Telephone & Telegraph Company, later working for St. James Episcopal Church as an administrative assistant, as well as for the former Sears and Wilson’s Department Stores.

She married Damase L. Beaudoin, Jr. (on the occasion of her birthday) on January 15, 1947 and they celebrated 67 years of marriage this past January.

Rita was a member of St. James Episcopal Church, where she served on the St. Barnabus Guild for many years. Additionally, she was a member of the Board of Organized Work at Baystate Franklin Medical Center, and volunteered at the hospital for many years. She was a former Girl Scout leader of Troop 4 in Greenfield, MA for many years. Rita enjoyed many activities including, downhill skiing, ballroom dancing, candlepin bowling, reading, sewing, swimming, cooking and baking and was known for her delicious German Chocolate cake with boiled frosting.

Rita leaves her devoted and loving husband of 67 years, Damase L. Beaudoin, Jr., of Greenfield, MA and their children: Damase L. Beaudoin, III and his wife Rosemary, of Sparks, NV, Linda L. Beaudoin, of Greenfield, MA,

Sandra L. Beaudoin, of Seabrook, NH and Denise B. Burnett and her husband Alan, of Mystic, CT. Additionally, Rita is survived by her sisters: Marcella Waldron and her husband Arnold, of Greenfield, MA and Shirley Call and her husband, Thomas of CA Rita is lovingly remembered by her grandchildren: Ryan and Alec Beaudoin and Hanna Burnett, as well as several nieces, nephews and grandnieces and grandnephews. She also leaves her sister-in-law: Joanne ( Hastings) O’Brien and her husband Dan of North Ft. Myers, FL.

In keeping with Rita’s wishes, her remains have been gifted to the University of Massachusetts Medical School, Department of Cell Biology Anatomical Gift Program to advance medical research.

A memorial service will be observed at St. James Episcopal Church, 8 Church Street, Greenfield, MA on Sunday, June 22, 2014 at 2:00 PM. The Rev. Heather Blais, Priest-in-Charge, will officiate. Inurnment will take place in Calavary Cemetery and will be private and at the convenience of the family. Visitng hours have been omitted. Expressions of affection in lieu of flowers are suggested in Rita's name to St. James Church, 8 Church Street, Greenfield, MA 01301.

 

Ernest S. Lucas

Erving, Massachusetts

ERNEST S. LUCAS, 87, a resident of 5 Warner Street, died Sunday evening, April 6, 2014 at Baystate Franklin Medical Center, Greenfield, MA, following a period of declining health, surrounded by his loving family.  A native of Greenfield, MA, he was born on July 18, 1926 to Albin and Amelia (Giknis) Lucas and was educated in Greenfield Public Schools, graduate of the Class of 1944 at GHS.

He enlisted in the United States Army on December 18, 1945, serving with the 43rd Air Depot and received the WW II Victory Medal and the Army Occupation Medal.  He was honorably discharged on December 27, 1946.  Upon his return to civilian life, he worked for the Esleeck Paper Company, as well as for Erving Paper Company and retired in 1988.

Ernest enjoyed as leisure time activities which included fresh and salt water fishing, hunting, vegetable gardening, photography, hand carving duck decoys and loved dogs .

He is lovingly remembered by his wife, Annabelle P. (Paradis) Lucas, as well as by his daughter, Bernadette S. Lucas and her husband, Bruce Georgian of Amesbury, MA   He is also survived by is sister, Amelia “Millie” Markol and her husband Joe, of Montague Center, MA.  (2) Grandsons: Luke Georgian and his wife, Isabelle and their children Riely and Reese, of Niantic, CT and Mark Georgian and his wife, Chandon and their son Conrad, of Amesbury, MA.  Additionally, there are several nieces, nephews and grandnieces and grandnephews who will remember him with great affection. 

He was predeceased by his siblings: Alfred, Joseph, John and Helen Kuzmeskus.   

A memorial service will be conducted on April 16, 2014 at the McCarthy Funeral Home, 36 Bank Row, Greenfield, MA at 11:00AM, with Rev. Corey Sanderson, Pastor, of the Second Congregational Church of Greenfield, MA to officiate. The Lucas family will receive guests from 10:00AM until the time of the services.  Military honors will be observed, with a detachment of the 54th Massachusetts Army Patriot Honor Guard in attendance, assisted by the Hale-Clapp VFW Post of South Deerfield, MA providing a firing detail.   Inurnment following cremation, will be private and at the convenience of the family.  Expressions of affection in the form of charitable contributions are suggested in lieu of flowers to the Dakin Pioneer Valley Humane Society, P.O. Box 6307, Springfield, MA 01101 or to the Franklin County Sheriffs Office Regional Shelter, 10 Sandy Lane, Turners Falls, MA 01376.

Geraldine (Scullion) Klima

Colrain, Massachusetts

Geraldine M. “Gerri” (Scullion) Klima, 80, a resident of 219 South Green River Road, died Friday, April 4, 2014 at the Buckley Health Care Center, 95 Laurel Street, following a period of declining health.  A native of Chicago, Illinois, she was the daughter of Thomas and Beatrice (Maloney) Scullion who were both born in Ireland

She was educated in parochial schools in Chicago and lived most of her life in the Chicago suburban area, before moving to Greenfield, MA in 2003.  She spent 39 years working for the Illinois Tool Works Fastex Division, in Des Plaines, Illinois before retiring in 2002.   A devout Catholic, she was active in parish life while residing in Chicago and was a communicant and parishioner of Holy Trinity Church in Greenfield, MA, where she was active in the parish’s Rosary Society. 

Survivors include her life long devoted friend, Janet Zilch and her husband Mike, of Colrain, MA and their children: Dawn of Littleton, CO, John of South Elgin, IL, Victoria of Centennial, CO, and Stephen of Colrain, MA, who were her caregivers. She leaves her beloved brother, Edward Scullion of Hoffman Estates, Illinois.  Gerri was predeceased by her sister, Mary (Scullion) Stanton, as well as by her former husband, Robert Klima and their son, John Robert Klima who died in May of 1991.  She leaves several nieces and numerous grandnieces and grandnephews who will remember with affection. A heartfelt thanks is extended to the nursing staff of the Buckley Health Care Center, in particular to the 3rd floor staff and in a special way to Angela her “angel”.  She adored the company of her many friends at the Congress Street High Rise Apartments and members of the Holy Trinity Church Rosary Society.

A Memorial Liturgy of Christian Burial in remembrance of Gerri and her late son John, will be observed on Thursday, May 1, 2014 at 10:00 AM at Holy Trinity Church, 133 Main Street, Greenfield, MA, with Msgr. Ronald G. Yargeau, Pastor, as the celebrant.  Rites of committal and inurnment will follow in Calvary Cemetery, Greenfield, MA.  The family will receive guests the morning of the services in the Fr. James Casey Parish Hall of Holy Trinity Church from 9:00AM until 9:45AM. Visiting hours are omitted.

Flowers are respectfully asked to be omitted and that an expression of affection in the form a charitable contribution to Holy Trinity Church, in c/o its Community Meals Ministry, 133 Main Street, Greenfield, MA 01301 be considered in Gerri’s memory.

Denise M. (Singley) Bergeron

Colrain, Massachusetts

Denise M. “Dee Dee” (Singley) Bergeron, 57, a resident of 297 West Leyden Road, died Tuesday, April 1, 2014 at Baystate Franklin Medical Center, Greenfield, MA, following a courageous battle with cancer, surrounded by her loving family. 

A native of Montague, MA, she was born on September 3, 1956 to Donald F. and Claire A. (Prunier) Singley.  Denise attended the former St. Anne’s Parochial School, Montague Public Schools and graduated from Turners Falls High School in the class of 1974.

She was employed by the Greenfield YMCA for more than 20 years, where she taught swimming in the Aquatics Program, was an aerobics instructor and was the Membership Secretary.  She accepted a position at the Stoneleigh Burnham School in their equestrian program as a groom and associate stable manager, working from 2000 to 2004.  It was there that she was most at home with the horses and met her equine soul mate “Ozzie”, a Chestnut Canadian Sport Horse.  They were kindred spirits who became fast friends and he remained a large part of her life until his untimely death on April 1, 2013.  Dee Dee was diagnosed with her illness not long after Ozzie’s passing and she, with the help of family and friends, fought the disease with all of her strength and faith and passed on the first anniversary of his death…kindred spirits reunited.  Denise worked for the past several years for the Wilder Hill Farm (a horse farm) in Conway, MA, owned and operated by Gioia and Peter Braumann, as the farm’s stable/barn manager until April of 2013, when she left due to ill health. 

 

Dee Dee enjoyed many activities that included: walking in the woods and enjoying the out doors, camping on the end of Cape Cod, fishing (both fresh and salt water), swimming, aerobics, reading, music and attending concerts (Aerosmith, Grand Funk, Crosby, Stills & Nash, Simon and Garfunkle, Grateful Dead - to name a few.) She enjoyed western movies and television shows, creative drawing using charcoal and pencil, animals including her Shepard “Skyler” and her feline companion “Pat” the cat, as well as her beloved horses Ozzie and Fabian. She was a certified life guard for many years and a fan of the Boston Red Sox.

She married Robert B. Bergeron on August 9, 1975 in St. Anne’s Church, Turners Falls, MA and they celebrated their 38th wedding anniversary this past year.  Survivors include her beloved husband, their son, Adam D. Bergeron of Greenfield, MA; her parents : Donald and Claire Singley of Turners Falls, MA; her siblings:  Gary R. Singley and his wife Kathy of Health, MA, their son Joel of Amherst, MA and daughter Kirsten of North Carolina; Susan L. Cohen and her husband Eric of East Longmeadow, MA and Elizabeth A. “Betty” Singley of Turners Falls, MA.  Additionally, Dee Dee is lovingly remembered by her god- father; Paul Prunier and his wife Carolyn, of Turners Falls, MA; her step-grandmother, Lillian Prunier of Turners Falls, MA; her mother-in-law, Anita Bergeron of Greenfield, MA and brother-in-law Thomas Bergeron and his wife Deb, of Gill, MA.  She was predeceased by her son Christopher Bergeron on June 6, 1978.

Funeral services in celebration of her life will be observed on Thursday, April 10, 2014 from Our Lady of Peace Church, with a Liturgy of Christian Burial at 11:00AM, with Rev. Fr. Stanley J. Aksamit, Pastor as the celebrant.  Rites of committal and inurnment will follow in the St. Anne’s Cemetery, Turners Falls, MA.  Visiting hours have been omitted.  The Bergeron/Singley family will receive guests on Thursday morning prior to the services, in the Fr. Casey Hall of Our Lady of Peace Church from 9:45AM until 10:45AM. Denise’s family respectfully requests that flowers be omitted and that a charitable donation be considered in her memory to either the Baystate Franklin Medical Center Oncology Department, 164 High Street, Greenfield, MA 01301 or to the Dakin Pioneer Valley Humane Society, P.O. Box 6307, Springfield, MA 01101

Ruth E. (Milkey) Austin

Montague City, Massachusetts

Ruth E. (Milkey) Austin, 94, a resident of Montague City, died Friday, March 28, 2014 peacefully at home, surrounded by family, following a period of declining health.

A native of Montague, MA, she was born on March 23, 1920 to Gustave O. and Adelaide (Couture) Milkey. She attended the former Montague City School and was a graduate of Turners Falls High School in the Class of 1937. She furthered her education by attending Bay Path Institute in Springfield, MA and graduated with a degree in secretarial studies and bookkeeping in 1939.

After graduation, she worked for the Larson Theater Supply Co. in Springfield, MA and later for the Carpenter Motor Sales (a Dodge and Plymouth Dealer) in Greenfield, MA. Ruth then became the office manager and bookkeeper for the former George W. Wilcox, Inc. Buick Dealership in Greenfield, where she worked for 8 years. It was during this time, that she met her future husband, Louis Austin, as he worked for the dealership in the tire department. They married on September 15, 1951. She remained at the dealership until 1953, when she left to become a full time mother and homemaker.

Ruth and her husband Louis purchased the tire service business in 1954 and owned and operated Austin’s Tire Service until 1964. Ruth returned to work in 1978, working for Miskinis Tax Services until her retirement in 1987.

She was an avid ten pin bowler who could be found at the former Ten Pin Bowling Lanes in Greenfield, MA. If you learned how to bowl there, she was the one who most likely taught you. Ruth served as a past director and secretary of the Franklin County Women’s Bowling Association (FCWBA) for many years and was a life member. She was also a member and past director of the Women’s Bowling Association of Massachusetts (WBA) for many years and was elected member “Emeritus”.

In her leisure time, Ruth volunteered at the Franklin County Public Hospital in the maternity ward and was recognized by the hospital for many years of service. She was an active member of the former First Congregational Church in Turners Falls, MA, where she served as the treasurer for many years. Ruth enjoyed playing cards and bingo, as well as knitting for the Warm the Children Fund. She was a devoted New England sports teams fan and enjoyed watching the Celtics, Red Sox, Patriot’s and Bruins on television. In other words, Ruth was one “busy lady”!

Ruth was predeceased by her beloved husband Louis on September 8, 1992 following more than 40 years of marriage. She is lovingly remembered by her family who include her son: Philip M. Austin and his wife Debra, of Greenfield, MA and their children Christopher and Kathryn. Her step-son: Leroy Austin and his wife Marge of Stoddard, NH and their children Terri, Bruce, Mike and Tim and step-daughter: Lorraine Bellows and her husband Elbridge, of Langdon, NH and their children Heidi Excel and her husband Steve, LeAnn Gilitzer and her husband Dale, John Zebelski and his wife Martha, as well as several great grandchildren. Additionally, Ruth leaves her loving sister: Elaine M. Gregory of Reston, VA and her sister-in-law: Geraldine Austin, wife of her late husband’s brother Richard, of Zephyr Hills, FL. Ruth is also remembered with great affection by her nieces and nephews, in particular by Gail Reeves of Reston, VA; Susan Cronin of Syracuse, NY and Edward “Teddy” Milkey of Grand Island, NY.

Funeral services in celebration of Ruth’s life will be observed on Wednesday, April 2, 2014 from the McCarthy Funeral Homes, 14 Prospect Street, Turners Falls, MA at 11:00AM, with Rev. Carolyn Bellany, former Pastor of the First Congregational Church of Turners Falls, MA and family friend to officiate. Interment and committal services will follow in the Aaron Clark Cemetery, Turners Falls, MA. Visitation will be observed on Wednesday morning, with Ruth’s family receiving guests from 10:00AM until the time of the service. Ruth’s family have requested that flowers be omitted and that one consider a charitable contribution to either Hospice of Franklin County, 329 Conway Street, Suite 2, Greenfield, MA 01301 or to the Grace Congregational Church of Turners Falls, in c/o Rev. Verne Williams, 148 L Street, Turners Falls, MA 01376 in her memory.

Shirley M. (Upright) Rau

Montague Center, Massachusetts

Shirley M. (Upright) Rau, 78, of 25 Bernardo Drive, died Sunday evening, March 23, 2014 at Baystate Medical Center, Springfield, MA, following a period of declining health.

A native of Conway, MA, she was born on June 16, 1935 to Jesse and Rose (LaChapelle) Upright.  Shirley was educated in Conway Public Schools and graduated from the from Deerfield High School.

Following her graduation from high school, she worked for a period of time for the Greenfield Recorder.  She was married on August 24, 1953 to Ralph D. Rau, Sr., in Greenfield, MA.  Shirley worked for several years as a bookkeeper for the former Stan – Dan Steel Company in Northampton, MA. She later waitressed, at the former Athens Restaurant, for several years in Turners Falls, MA.

She established with her husband, “Rau’s Sunoco Service Station” in Montague Center, MA on October 1, 1965.  They operated the service station for 37 years with the assistance of their son Ralph, and retired (unofficially) in 2002 turning the day to day operation over to their son. Shirley and her husband continued to be a presence at the family held service station until his untimely passing in July of 2004, with Shirley remaining as a fixture at the business until her recent illness.

Shirley enjoyed Country Western Music and was a fan of Vince Gill, as well as The Chieftains.  An avid ten pin bowler, she was once a member of several bowling teams throughout the Pioneer Valley and enjoyed playing in many tournaments.  She enjoyed games of chance at the casinos, followed horse racing at the former Hinsdale Harness Track and was an avid bingo player. 

She enjoyed flower gardening, hosting annual holiday dinners at her home, baking her delicious raisin and mincemeat filled cookies and homemade donuts. She also made and sold decorative Christmas wreaths which adorned many homes throughout Montague Center and Franklin County for years.  She enjoyed annual trips to the Franklin County Fair, where she attended the horse draws, the demolition derby, Fireman’s Muster and going through the “Round House”.

She enjoyed local church fairs and holiday bazaars and to her delight, she was often a lucky winner in the silent auctions.  Shirley was a former past president of the PTA in Montague Center and was a member of the First Congregational Church, where she served on the Ladies Benevolent Society which hosted the annual Christmas “Fete Noel” and was an active participant in the communities annual “Old Home Days” event for many years.  

Shirley is lovingly remembered by her children:  Bercia Zaniewski and her husband Hank, of Sunderland, MA; Carla Blood and her husband Rick, of Lake Elmore, VT and Ralph D. Rau and his wife Debi, of Turners Falls, MA.  Additionally, she leaves her adoring grandchildren:  Jessica Erling and her husband Brian, of Arvada, CO, Sarah Zaniewski–Jones and her husband Rudy, of Portland, OR, Michael Zaniewski of Wesley Chapel, FL; David Blood of Craftsbury, VT and Hannah Blood of Lake Elmore, VT, as well as her great grandchildren Lillian, Violet and Wesley Erling, of Arvada, CO.  Shirley also leaves her sister, Marian Emerson of Haydenville, MA, as well as several nieces, nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews. Shirley will be also missed by her loving canine friend “Romeo Rau”. She was predeceased by her husband Ralph in 2004, as well as by her parents and her brother, Raymond Upright.  

Funeral services will be observed on Saturday, March 29, 2014 from the McCarthy Funeral Homes, 14 Prospect Street, Turners Falls, MA at 10:30AM, with family friend, Rev. Larry Riddle, Pastor of the Moore’s Corner Church, North Leverett, MA to officiate.  Committal services will follow in the Elm Grove Cemetery, Montague Center, MA.  A reception will follow the services at the cemetery in the fellowship hall of the First Congregational Church, Montague Center, MA. Visiting hours will be conducted on Friday, March 28, 2014 from the McCarthy Funeral Homes, 14 Prospect Street, Turners Falls, MA from 6:00PM until 8:00PM and again on Saturday morning prior to the funeral services from 9:30AM until the time of the service.  

Expressions of affection in the form of charitable contributions are suggested in lieu of flowers in Shirley’s memory to either the Poet Seat Health Care Center, in c/o of the Resident’s Activity Fund, 359 High Street, Greenfield, MA 01301 or to the Dakin Pioneer Valley Humane Society, P.O. Box 6307, Springfield, MA 01101.

Alan H. Smith

Deerfield , Massachusetts

Alan H. Smith, 58, of 784 River Road, died Wednesday, February 19, 2014 at Baystate Franklin Medical Center, Greenfield, MA, following having been taken ill at home earlier in the day.

A native of Montague, MA, he was born on September 6, 1955 to Arthur H. and Barbara F. (Thompson) Smith and was educated in local public schools. Alan served during the Vietnam Conflict in the USN attaining the rate of Seaman Apprentice and was honorably discharged on September 8, 1981.

He was previously employed by the Oxford Pickle Company in South Deerfield, MA and later for the Town of Wendell, in the Department of Public Works. He worked at the municipal landfill and retired due to health reasons.

He enjoyed snowmobiling and was a member of the Northfield Snowmobile Club for many years. In earlier years, he enjoyed four wheeling, the outdoors, fishing, hunting and hiking. He enjoyed “loud music” and his beloved parakeets “Tweety”, “Pretty Boy”, “Handsome” and “Pretty Girl”.

He leaves his loving son, Jeremiah J. Smith of Athol, MA, as well as his mother, Barbara F. Smith of Deerfield, MA, with whom he made his home. Additionally, he leaves his brothers: Patrick G. Smith of Montague, MA and his companion Donna Gaffey; Arthur H. Smith of Greenfield, MA and Michael V. Thorpe of Deerfield, MA. He is remembered with great affection by his cousin, Mary Lou Thompson and by his dear friend Craig Rice, both of Deerfield, MA. Alan was predeceased by his father, Arthur H. Sr., in 2002 and by his brother, James in 1985.

At Alan’s request he is to be cremated. His ashes are to be buried in the family plot in the Green River Cemetery in the spring of this year, with a private inurnment committal service for family only, to be conducted by Rev. Jeffrey Galbraith, Pastor of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church of Greenfield. A Life Celebration Service will take place at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, 23 Long Avenue, Greenfield, MA at a date and time to be announced. Visiting hours are omitted. Expressions of affection in the form of charitable contributions are encouraged in lieu of flowers in Alan’s memory to: St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, 23 Long Avenue, Greenfield, MA 01301.

Michelina DeStefano Siano

Greenfield, Massachusetts

Michelina (DeStefano) Siano, 95, of 297 Deerfield Street, died peacefully at home on Tuesday evening, February 11, 2014 following a period of declining health. A native of Sarno, Italy, she was born on October 28, 1918 the daughter of Emilio and Maria (Crescensio) Destefano and was educated in Italy.

She married Michael Siano on October 30, 1948 in Sarno, Italy. They immigrated to the United States in 1950, making their home in Greenfield, MA. Michael predeceased his beloved wife in 1965. Michelina was a devout communicant of Holy Trinity Church, Greenfield, MA, where she was an active member of the Holy Rosary Society. She enjoyed bird watching and animals (especially dogs), flower gardening, watching television (in particular her beloved “soap operas”), music, dancing and celebrating the holidays with family and friends. She was known for her delicious cooking and hospitality, as well as her gracious and generous nature. She was formerly a member of the Fratellanza Society (Italian society) for many years.

Survivors include her son: Antonio L.“Tony” Siano of Greenfield, MA, as well as her two loving and devoted granddaughters: Michelina Siano and her husband Vincent, of Greenfield, MA and Talia Siano, of Bonita Springs, FL and her daughter Angelina Siano. She also leaves her step-granddaughters: Antoinette Willoughby and Dawn Siano, both of Greenfield, MA and several nieces, nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews. She was predeceased by her step-grandson, Thomas J. Maratea, Jr. in October of 2009.

Funeral services will be conducted on Monday, February 17, 2014 with a Liturgy of Christian Burial at 10:00AM at Holy Trinity Church, 133 Main Street, Greenfield, MA, with Msgr. Ronald G. Yargeau, Pastor as the celebrant, with Rev. Fr. Timothy J. Campoli, Pastor of Blessed Sacrament Church as the co-celebrant. Those wishing to attend are asked to meet directly at the church. Rites of committal and burial will follow in Calvary Cemetery, Greenfield, MA.

The Siano family will receive guests on Sunday, February 16, 2014, from 4:00PM until 6:00PM at the McCarthy Funeral Homes, 36 Bank Row, Greenfield, MA. Expressions of affection in the form of charitable contributions are suggested in lieu of flowers in Michelina’s memory to: Holy Trinity Church, 133 Main Street, Greenfield, MA 01301