George Strelin World War 2 Veteran
ORANGE - George Strelin, 79, of 105 South Main St., died on Jan. 10, 2003 at the University of Massachusetts Memorial Healthcare, Worcester.
Born in Pittsfield, March 25, 1923, a son of Carol and Rose (Rosenberg Strelin, he grew up in Pittsfield, attended schools and resided there many years of his life.
A veteran of World War Two, he served with the United States Marine Corps in the Asiatic Pacific Theatre.
Prior to his retirement, he was employed at the General Electric Company in Pittsfield.
He lived in Orange since 1996, enjoyed walking and the outdoors.
He leaves nephews and nieces.
A private burial wll be held in the Massachusetts Veterans Memorial Cemetery, Agawam.
There are no calling hours.
Witty's Funeral Home is directing the arrangements.
Shirley E. Perry Teacher, Representative
ORANGE - Shirley Eloise (Cunningham) (Wilber) Perry, 84, died Jan. 20, 2003 at 11:15 p.m. in the Poet's Seat Nursing Home, Greenfield.
Born Dec. 6, 1918 in Hulls Cove, Maine on Bar Harbor Island to George E. and Frances (Sweet) Cunningham, she was the youngest of eight children. She lived with her oldest sister's family in Littleton for a time.
Following graduation from Bar Harbor High School in 1936, she briefly pursued nursing at Hanneman Hospital and then a course study at Providence Bible Institute in Providence, R.I.
In the 1960s she earned her teaching certification for Child Evangelism Fellowship. She came to Athol in 1945 with Rev. Stewart's family. It was at First Baptist (now Athol - Orange Baptist) that Shirley met Albert Hollis Wilber upon his return to Athol from Panama at the end of World War II. They were married on Jan. 1, 1947 and made their home in Athol until the late 1970s when they moved to Red Brook Village. Shirley later moved to Poet's Seat Nursing Home in Greenfield, where she resided until her promotion to Heaven.
At the nursing home, she met her second husband, Ralph Perry, and they were married on Aug. 30, 1994. They lived together at the nursing home until Ralph's passing five years later. While at the nursing home, Shirley took great pleasure in all of the outings and resident programs, especially the exercise class. She felt honored to serve as the nursing home's resident welcoming representative for new residents.
She also attended a Baptist Church in Greenfield every Sunday until she was unable to do so.
Children flocked to her and her tireless efforts at the Salvation Army in Athol reflected this. She helped restart the Sunbeam Program, Girl Guard Leader, Home League Secretary, Sunday School Teacher, ceramics and youth badge work at the Salvation Army's Camp Wonderland in Sharon, MA. This was her church and she lived what she spoke.
There were times when she outfitted a family of ten for Easter, sewed clothes, knitted, crocheted, baked breads and cookies, and decorated elaborate cakes for sale.
Shirley's local employment included Starrett's, both Athol and Orange Shoe Manufacturers, garment and raincoat factories, parachute manufacturer, Adell's and the Athol Memorial Hospital.
Her seven siblings predeceased her. They were Alice Tracy, May Murray, Lillian Knowles, Morrison Cunningham, George Cunningham, Marcus Cunningham and Elizabeth Minnich. Both husbands predeceased her: Albert Hollis Wilber in March of 1990, and Ralph Perry in January 1999.
She leaves her twins, Robert Thomas Wilber and wife Kathleen of 209 Squirrel Ave., Cloud Croft, N.M. and Roberta Wilber Meehan of Athol. There are seven grandchildren; Tina Meehan Smedley of Groveton, N.H., Patti - Ellen Meehan Nickerson and husband Shannon of Egg Harbor Township, N.J., Kenneth Meehan of Gardner, Jennifer Wilber McClain and husband Rob of Oklahoma University, OK, Jerramy Wilber of Eastern New Mexico University in Rosewell, N.M., Denise Phillips and husband David of Ft. Lewis, WA, and E2 Deborah Wilber of Sosibo, Japan with the U.S. Navy. Shirley's life was also enriched by her six great - grandchildren, Heidi Meehan and Nathan Rushia of Athol, Emma and Megan Nickerson of Egg Harbor Township, N.J. and David Alex III and Ryan Thomas Phillips of Ft. Lewis, WA.
Shirley had been a member of the Salvation Army in Athol since 1945 and the Orange Senior Citizens Club at the Armory.
A memorial celebration of her life will take place at 3 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 24 at the Salvation Army, Athol.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to The Salvation Army, 107 Ridge Ave., Athol MA 01331.
Witty's Funeral Home, Orange is in charge of arrangements.
Aldona T. Darcy Cashier 25 Years
FITCHBURG - Aldona T. (Losius) Darcy, 76, of 260 Richardson Rd., died on Monday, Jan. 20, 2003, in the HealthAlliance Leominster Hospital, after being stricken ill in her home.
She leaves her husband of 51 years, James L. Darcy; twin sons, Daniel Darcy of Simpsonville, Calif. and David Darcy of Fitchburg; three daughters, Lee Ann Haley of Fitchburg, Karen Gervais of Westford, and Jamie Lynn Millett of Fitchburg; one brother, Vito 'Ham' Losius and one sister, Eugenia Brouillet, both of Athol; 12 grandchildren, and one great grand daughter and several nieces and nephews.
Mrs. Darcy was a member of the St. Bernard's Parish in Fitchburg and a 1945 graduate of Athol High School. She was a cashier at Marshalls Department Store in Leominster for 25 years, retiring in 2000.
She was born in Athol, on Sept. 6, 1926, a daughter of the late Anton and Anna (Gedraidis) Losius, and lived here since 1951.
The funeral will be held on Thursday, Jan. 23 from the Smith - Mallahy - Masciarelli Funeral Home, 243 Water St., with a Mass at Noon in St. Bernard's Church, 240 Water St.
Burial will be in St. Bernard's Cemetery, Fitchburg.
Calling hours are 6 to 9 p.m. Wednesday at the funeral home.
Flowers may be sent or memorial contributions may be made to the St. Bernard's Parish Renovation Fund, 240 Water St., Fitchburg, Mass. 01420 or may be left at the Funeral Home.
Enjoyed Music, Piano
ATHOL - Madeline Wakem, 87, of the Quabbin Valley Healthcare, died on Saturday, Jan. 18, 2003 in the healthcare center where she resided for the past several years.
Born in Somerville on March 30, 1915, a daughter of Jeremiah and Emma (Fitzgerald) Wakem, she moved to Rindge, N.H. at an early age where she grew up and attended schools.
A long time resident of Dorcester, she enjoyed music and played the piano.
She leaves three nephews, Paul Surabian of Orange, Jeremiah Surabian of Athol and George Gentsch of St. Petersburg, Russia; a niece, Tanya Reilly of Orange; and several greatnephews and greatnieces.
A private graveside service will be held in the Calvary Cemetery, Winchendon.
There are no calling hours.
The Witty's Funeral Home, Orange, is directing the arrangements.
ATHOL - Funeral services for Bonnie J. (Russell) Racie, 57, of 257 Orchard St., were held on Monday, Jan. 20, 2003 in the St. Francis of Assisi Church. The celebrant was Rev. Stephen D. Johnson. The organist was Robert Lemoine. The church choir was present. Roger Duguay, Jr. and Marion Duguay offeredwords of remembrance.
Burial followed in Silver Lake Cemetery. The bearers were Roger Duguay, Roger Duguay, Jr., Michael Duguay, Pasquale Mazzamurro, Christopher Dale, Larry Burke and Joseph Zani.
The Fiske Funeral Home directed arrangements.
M. Christine Smith
WESTMINSTER - M. Christine (McAdams) Smith, 84, of 30 Main St., died on Sunday, Jan. 19. 2003, at home after an illness.
Mrs. Drozdal, Operated Greenhouse
ATHOL - Jennie E. (Sokoloski) Drozdal, 90, of Daniel Shays Highway, died on Monday, Jan. 20, 2003 in the Quabbin Valley Healthcare, following an illness.
Her husband, Atolia J. Drozdal, died in 1998. She leaves a sister, Henrietta Kulch of Turners Falls; and many nieces and nephews, grand - nieces and grand - nephews. A son, Henry V. Drozdal, died in 1944.
She was born and raised in Turners Falls, Dec. 29, 1912, daughter of Felix and Rose (Zelinski) Sokoloski, and lived in Athol most of her life.
Mrs. Drozdal and her husband began a greenhouse business, Pequoig Gardens, in 1933. In 1939, they established Ledge Greenhouse, Home of Fine flowers and gifts, located on South Main Street. She established the gift shop, which included rare items from Europe and the United States. She and her husband frequently attended floral design schools in Boston and New York City. They retired from business in 1966.
She was a member of the Our Lady Immaculate Church, and the former Daughters of Isabella and Catholic Women's league. She enjoyed gardening and decorative planting.
The funeral will be held on Thursday, Jan. 23 from the J. Edward Murphy Funeral Home, with a Mass at 11 a.m. in the Our Lady Immaculate Church.
Burial will follow in Gethsemane Cemetery.
Calling hours at the funeral home are 9 to 10:30 a.m. Thursday.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Our Lady Immaculate Church Building Fund, 192 school St., Athol, 01331.
Athol - Memorial services for Dorothy Lynn (Campbell) Dunchus, 59, of 198 Harrington St., were held Sunday, Jan. 19, in Higgins - O'Connor Funeral Home, with the Rev. Ronald J. Fournier, pastor of Advent Lutheran Church of Rindge, N.H., officiating.
The organist was Janet Paoletti, the flute was played by Mrs. Dunchus granddaughter; Gerene Selmer, the soloist was Barbara Doran and the bag pipes was played by Eric Goodchild of Shelburne. Readings and memories were shared by family and friends. Burial will be in Springhill, Nova Scotia, at a later date.
PHILLIPSTON - Funeral services for Barbara A. (Karjalainen) Manty, 64, of 725 Royalston Rd., were held Saturday, Jan. 18, 2003 in the Fiske Funeral Home, Athol, with Deacon James Linderman officiating. Burial will be in Lower Cemetery, Phillipston, in the spring.
ATHOL - Jennie (Sokoloski) Drozdal, 90, of Daniel Shays Highway, died Monday, Jan. 20, 2003 in Quabbin Valley Healthcare. Arrangements, under the direction of the J. Edward Murphy Funeral Home are incomplete.
Rosa G. Dinsmore
NORTHFIELD - Rosa G. (Guiu) Dinsmore, 78, of 70B Luckey Clapp Rd., formerly of Greenfield, died Saturday, Jan. 18, 2003 in the Franklin Medical Center.