East Lyme - Irene Isabel (Roulier) Lewis of Niantic, passed away suddenly on Sunday, July 29, 2012.|
Born on Feb. 16, 1923, Mrs. Lewis was predeceased by her husband, Robert E. Lewis, and sisters, Jane Deno and Roma Roulier.
Mrs. Lewis leaves behind two daughters and sons-in-law, Donna and Richard Gada of Niantic, and Joanne and Thomas Gennette of Springfield, Mass. She also leaves behind five grandchilden, Karen (O'Connor) Marryat and her husband, Alan, Carol (O'Connor) Cave and her husband, Richard, Julia (Gennette) Bekeritis and her husband, Paul, James Gennette and his wife, Michele, and Richard Gada Jr.; as well as 12 great-grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews.
Mrs. Lewis was born in Pittsfield, Mass., and lived most of her life in the farmhouse her grandfather built in Berkshire Village. Her husband served in both World War II and the Korean War, and she raised her two daughters while he served with the help of her mother Julia (Best) Roulier.
She worked for over 25 years at the 1896 House in Williamstown, Mass., where she had the pleasure of serving Ted Kennedy, John Wayne, and Doris Day, among many luminaries. She also managed the Berkshire News Bookstore for a time and worked at the Lanesboro School cafeteria where everyone called her "Gram". She relocated to Niantic to be closer to family and worked at Smith's Pharmacy in Niantic and later Stop & Shop. Most recently she worked at Bayberries, where she was well known and much loved by customers and staff.
Mrs. Lewis was a member of the VFW where she was a chaplain, St. Agnes Church, and the St. Agnes Church Women's Club. For many years she transported sick children from the Berkshire area to Boston Children's Hospital, so they could receive specialized medical treatment. She was an accomplished knitter, seamstress, cook, and gardener, skills she passed to her daughters and granddaughters. She was extremely well read and was curious about everything and everyone. She made friends easily, and had friends of all ages. At 89, she was still meeting friends for coffee and having dinner with young people with whom she previously worked. She will be missed by three generations of her extended family.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10 a.m. on Friday, Aug. 3, 2012, in St. Agnes Church, Niantic. Interment will be private. Calling hours will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 2, 2012, in Fulton-Theroux Funeral Home, 13 Lake Ave., Niantic.
Please visit www.fultontherouxniantic.com for photos, tributes, directions, and more service information.
Donations may be made in Mrs. Lewis' memory to the Wounded Warriors Fund, PO Box 758517, Topeka, KS 66675 or the VFW Hall Restoration Fund, PO Box 380, Niantic, CT 06357.
Published in The Day on Aug. 1, 2012