Doris E. (Brais) Heafey (1913 - 2012)

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NORTHAMPTON - Doris E. Heafey, 99, of 67 Goldenchain Lane, Northampton, passed away at her home at the Lathrop retirement community on Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2012.

Doris was born July 8, 1913, in Northampton, the daughter of Napoleon and Marie (Gagne) Brais.

Doris was the youngest of six girls born into the family. Being of French Canadian descent, she attended the Sacred Heart French School during her early school years prior to graduating from Northampton high School and attending Northampton Commercial College.

She was married to William P. Heafey for over 40 years until his passing in 1981. They spent their early years on the family's large potato and tobacco farm in Whately. In 1947 they sold the farm and moved to Northampton where Doris trained as a hairstylist and eventually opened her own business in her home, named Doris Hairstylist. It was a very successful business and she continued working into her mid 80's, more than 50 years. She loved her work and the social contact with her many customers who became lifelong friends.

Always intellectually curious, Doris was an avid reader and remained well informed regarding world news throughout her life. She enjoyed doing daily crossword puzzles, playing scrabble and socializing with her weekly card playing group. She never missed Wheel of Fortune. She was a member of the Cooley Dickinson Hospital Volunteers and took great pleasure in knitting baby bonnets and sweaters which she donated to the hospital.

Unknown to many, she was an amazing artist having drawn many portraits including self-portraits in pen and ink. Certainly not to be overlooked, Doris was a wonderful cook preparing many fabulous family feasts with a French flair for cuisine.

Doris and her husband Bill made it a point of attending almost all of their children's school and sporting events over a four decade span while maintaining a business and household.

Doris continued to be an avid fan of the Red Sox, Patriots and any Northampton sports team, and also one of the very few fans able to witness five Red Sox Championships. (The 87 year Red Sox Championship remained her number one health risk).

Doris was a gracious and kind woman who lived her life with dignity and humility. She was in amazingly good health for a 99 year old and cherished living unassisted and independently in her own home until the time of her passing.

She was predeceased by her husband of over 40 years, William "Bill" Heafey; her parents, Napoleon and Mary Brais; and her five beloved sisters, Rhea, Bernadette, Yvonne, Sr. Clara Agnes and Sr. Louise Beatrice.

She is survived by her daughter, Maureen L. Heafey and her partner Beverly Matthews of Greenfield; her two sons, Brian Heafey and his wife Ginger of Northampton and Kevin Heafey and his wife Barbara of Florence; her grandchildren, Danyelle and her husband Adam LaRosa of New York City, Matthew Heafey of West Virginia, Nicholas and Brianna Heafey of Florence; and her great grandchildren, Luca, Lola and Lily LaRosa of New York City; as well as many nieces and nephews.

Calling hours at the Czelusniak Funeral Home of Northampton will be on Sunday afternoon from 1 to 4 p.m. Funeral services will be Monday morning from the Czelusniak Funeral Home of Northampton at 8:45 a.m., with a Liturgy of Christian Burial at 10 a.m. at Our Lady of the Annunciation Church, Beacon Street, Florence.

The family invites you to join them immediately following the Mass for a reception at the Lathrop Retirement Community Meeting House, 737 Bridge Rd., Northampton. Burial in St. Mary's cemetery will be private.

Donations in Doris' memory may be made to Cancer Connection, 41 Locust St., Northampton, MA 01060 or to St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish, 3 Elm St., Northampton, MA 01060.

To sign a Guest Book, express condolences, share memories and read other obituaries, go to
Funeral Home
Czelusniak Funeral Home
349 Elm Street
Westfield, MA 01085
(413) 562-4874
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Published in Daily Hampshire Gazette on Nov. 30, 2012