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Estelle Kucich

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Estelle Kucich Obituary
Estelle Kucich

WILLIAMSTOWN Estelle Kucich of Williamstown, 82, died Friday, May 3, 2013, in the company of her husband and children in Rancho Mirage, Calif., after a long struggle with pneumonia. The wife of John J. Kucich, Sr., she was born Estelle Marie Woisard and raised in Danielson, Conn., the second child of Louis Woisard, Sr., a local lawyer, and Beatrice Lafrance Woisard, a nurse. She was part of a large extended family with French Canadian roots. Her grandfather, Urgele Lafrance, of Central Village, founded the Lafrance Beverage Company. Estelle lost her mother in childhood, but she remembered her years in Danielson as idyllic, full of family and friends and highlighted by summers in Quonochontaug on the Rhode Island shore.

She graduated second in her class from Killingly High School and attended Wells College in Aurora, N.Y., where she flourished. Known as "Wizzy" to her many friends, she majored in sociology.

After her graduation in 1953, she moved to New York City and began a career at New York Life Insurance Company. Estelle particularly enjoyed Broadway musicals, an interest cultivated by her own love of the piano and her close relationship with her uncle Louis Lafrance, partner of the lyricist, Edward Heyman.

While living in Tarrytown, N.Y., Estelle met John Kucich, and the couple married in 1959. John pursued a career in the alcoholic beverages industry as Estelle raised their two children; she also spent many years caring for her father after a stroke left him paralyzed.

The family lived in Chappaqua, N.Y., Lake Forest, Ill., and Ridgefield, Conn. For the last 20 years, Estelle and her husband lived in Williamstown, and spent winters in Rancho Mirage, Calif.

Estelle is remembered by family and friends for her sunny optimism, her unfailing kindness and her warm generosity. She became an accomplished cook, hosting large family gatherings, especially at Thanksgiving, for some 40 years, and was never happier than when welcoming family and friends to her table. She was also a doting aunt who took great pleasure in sending off birthday gifts to her many nieces and nephews.

Estelle was an avid reader and an active follower of politics; she also developed into a studious and sharp-eyed investor. She was a devout Roman Catholic throughout her life and for many years eagerly volunteered in local schools, food pantries and church fund-raisers. She loved dogs and animals of all kinds and greatly enjoyed museums, plays and concerts. Her children remember her most as an unfailingly supportive and loving parent with a clear moral compass. Her grandchildren remember her for her delight in their visits and her brimming stash of chocolate chip cookies.

Estelle is survived by her husband, John; her brother, Louis Woisard, Jr., of Mystic, Conn.; her children, Margo Lancia, of Bedford, N.Y., and John Kucich, Jr., of Maynard, Mass., and her grandchildren, Nicholas, Alexander, Christopher and Michael.

FUNERAL NOTICE: A Mass in Estelle Kucich's memory will be held Saturday, May 18, at St. Patrick's Church in Williamstown, at 11:30 a.m. Burial will be private.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Berkshire Food Project in care of FLYNN & DAGNOLI-MONTAGNA HOME FOR FUNERALS CENTRAL CHAPEL, 74 Marshall St. North Adams, MA 01247.

To send flowers, a gift basket, card or message, please visit www.flynndagnolifuneralhomes.com.


Published in The Berkshire Eagle on May 10, 2013
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