Doris Marie (Leger) Progen
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LEOMINSTER -- Doris Marie (Leger) Progen released her sprit to eternity on September 2, 2011, at the age of 85.

Doris was born January 9, 1926 in Fitchburg, MA to the late Joseph Albanie (Benny) and Marie Beatrice (Babineau) Leger. She attended Fitchburg High School and was a graduate of the Burbank School of Nursing, LPN Class of 1963. She was married to the late Gilbert N. Progen, with whom she had five children.

While independently raising her family Doris' nursing career spanned 35 years, including employment at Burbank Hospital, Dr. John DeLeo's medical practice in Fitchburg, and many years at Fairlawn Nursing Home in Leominster. She was highly respected and loved by patients and colleagues alike. Many nurses now employed in the area cite her as their mentor and model.

Doris loved music of all types, most especially Opera, and was a pianist who, while teaching many young children to play, enjoyed sharing her love of music.

She was very active in the Stratton Playhouse Productions during the 1950's, and loved playing Scrabble. She loved to cook and baked bread regularly, often sharing her home-made creations with her many friends and neighbors.

She was a big fan of the New England Patriots and Boston Red Sox.

Doris earned college-level credits at the age of 85 while completing a course in Creative Writing, and recently saw two of her articles published. Her life-long experiences, having come from simple beginnings in a French Catholic family during the Great Depression, volunteering in Hospitals and doing factory work during World War II, raising a family, and her years of working in the Nursing profession, provided many wonderful stories for her to share.

Doris was a deeply spiritual woman, who often prayed to St. Therese of Lisieux and considered "The Little Flower" to be her family's protector and patron Saint.

After having lived in Fitchburg most of her life, Doris moved for a number of years to Harborside, ME, to live with her daughter Lisa and four granddaughters. She loved her ocean community experience and made many friends there. Her final years were spent living in Leominster with her son Chris, and his wife Jayne, who cared for her with devotion while it became necessary for her to undergo regular dialysis treatments at Davita Dialysis Center in Fitchburg.

Above all, Doris was most proud of her large family. She will be sorely missed by those who survive her: daughters Islene Runningdeer and her husband Don Wilcox of Brookfield and Chelsea, VT, Michelle Roche and her husband Dan of Townsend, and Lisa Jae and her partner Tim Doyle of Harborside, ME; sons Michael Progen and his wife Meri of Venice, FL, and Christopher Progen and his wife Jayne of Leominster; grandchildren Tawnya Kristen, Marnie Roche, Tom Roche, Sihaya Hopkins, Kendal Hopkins, Chelsea Hopkins, Kipp "Elde" Hopkins, and Colin Progen; great-grandchildren Julia Buckingham, Abigail Buckingham, Daniel Thomas Roche and Olivia "Liv" True Kristen; Doris' brother Raymond Leger and his wife Rena of Shediac, New Brunswick, Canada, sister-in-law Susan Leger of Las Vegas, NV; and many nieces and nephews.

She was predeceased by her parents, her brother Joseph Roland "Rookie" Leger, her former husband Gil Progen, and her beloved sister-in-law Dorothy Jordan.

PROGEN Her funeral will be held from the Lunenburg Chapel of the Sawyer-Miller-Masciarelli Funeral Home, 763 Mass Avenue, on Monday, September 19, 2011 with a Mass of Christian Burial at 11:00 a.m. in Our Lady of the Lake Church, 1400 Main Street, Leominster, MA 01453.

Burial will follow in the St. Joseph Cemetery, 486 Clarendon Street, Fitchburg, MA 01473.

Calling Hours will be in the Funeral Home on Sunday, September 18, 2011 from 5:00 -- 7:00 P.M.

In lieu of flowers, Memorial Contributions can be made to the Davita Physicians Dialysis Center, 551 Electric Avenue, Fitchburg, MA 01420.

For further information see (www.masciarellifamilyfuneralhomes.net).


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Published in Sentinel & Enterprise from Sep. 6 to Sep. 13, 2011.
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Memories & Condolences
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19 entries
September 26, 2011
Dearest Lisa Jae, Sihaya, Kendal, Chelsea, and Elde,
I was sad to hear about Mimi's death. What I remember most about her was I could relax and be me in her presence. Her accepting spirit, and love was a great comfort. She lived her wisdom. I'm glad I met her in your Alaskan home. In sympathy, and love.
Lynette Fenn
September 25, 2011
Doris' Creed
from her daughter Lisa's reading.

You can always be a decent person, even in the most challenging situations.
You can always choose to be the bigger person.
You must not judge another unless you've walked in his moccasins.
Expect the best from others, extend grace always.
Give everyone your courteous attention.
Respect others and they will respect you.
Pray for those that need it, and we all need it.
Listen to lots of music, all kinds.
Always leave a place in better shape than you found it.
Always make your bed.
Cherish all of your friends and family. They are your riches.
Live everyday like it's your last. Know that your efforts make this world a better place.

Doris, Mimi, Me'me', Biggy, Aunt Doris, Mom

You will be missed, Thanks for teaching us.
September 18, 2011
Dear Ilene,Shelley,Michael,Chris and Lisa,
I was deeply saddened to hear of Aunt Doris' passing. I had hoped that Phyllis and Doris would have a day together...it would have been a wonderful visit filled with reminiscing of the many rich memories they shared together as close friends through the years.
Doris will always hold a special place in my heart. Such an amazing woman! What I remember most is her joyful spirit; just being in her presence was an infusion of pure joy and the high energy that I can only describe as a double dose of inspiration. A truly deep and wise woman with a warmth that filled the room. When my mom and Doris got together, the conversations were long and deep and mixed with Doris' humor. She loved to laugh and hers was a deep hearty laugh. Her friendship with Phyllis and Hale was truly special. Doris will always be remembered as a blessing to all who knew her.
The Kenney family shares in the sadness of her loss and the celebration of her life.
Love to all,
Mary Kenney
Mary Kenney
September 18, 2011
Doris will be greatly missed at Davita. She was loved by patients and staff alike. I will keep your family in my prayers. She was the kind of person you do not meet very often.
Theresa Maillet
September 18, 2011
"Aunt Doris" and her family were a huge part of my families lives long before I was born. My parents had a very special freindship and deep love for Doris and her children. My second home was at the Progen's...my second Mom was "Aunt Doris".
Growing up with them was so unique and fun! The atmoshpere she created in her home was filled with love and more than welcoming. Lisa and I grew up together literally from the playpen and through our teens. I stayed over my bestfriend/sisters home many times and practically lived there in the summer months. I've learned so much in this loving home and am grateful for those years together.
I expecially remember Aunt Doris' baking homemade bread and fried donuts that we tried not to DEVOUR the same day!!!! She was an incredible cook!
With all the memories I carry of life with the Progen's I am also grateful for the day our parents met. I believe Hale Kenney was there with Doris to take her to her new home. She is in my heart forever as I have loved her forever. She is sadly missed by my mom, Phyllis, and all my brothers and sisters.
Much love and peace are sent to you all in your loss from the Kenney's.
XOXO
Judy Kenney Durling
September 17, 2011
Dear Chris & Jayne,
We are so sorry to hear of your loss. Your loving care and kindness was evident. May you find comfort with family and friends. In Sympathy and Love, Lisa Angel and family
September 15, 2011
Long, long ago we grew up with the Progen family - we lived near one another in South Fitchburg and had a wonderful childhood. Islene was my best friend - and I have celebrated her successes along the way. Shelley and Chris were young. But, I so vividly remember your Mom. She was a talented woman, an accomplished woman, a busy mom, but she always had time for everyone. I remember the music coming from your home - and we all loved hearing it. Our thoughts and prayers are with all of you at this sad time. Know, though, that your Mom touched so very many lives during hers - and we remember her fondly.
Marcia Bennett Hebert
September 15, 2011
To all friends who have left your kind messages here...

Reading these personal tributes to our Mother is so heartwarming and such a comfort to me and my family. We love her so much, as you do. Deep thanks for your kindness.

Islene Runningdeer
Doris' eldest child/daughter
September 14, 2011
So sad to read this news. Doris was my very first "neighbor" as a homeowner on Seneca St from 1978 thru 1985.We had many conversations and one especially was of a huge weeping willow in my yard that swayed back & forth in high winds...to cut it or not was always the question..no cut was the decision.To have been fortunate to listen to her piano playing should have been used as part of the real estate advertisement. Talk about an extra. She was a wonderful person. Sincerely,
Johnl, Nancy, Shane & Ryan Davenport
September 14, 2011
To know her was to Love her. Her joy of life, kindness, and warmth will always be remembered, and she will live on in the memories of those who love her as I do.
You were the best Sister-in-law ever!
Susan Leger
September 14, 2011
She was my second Mom. I followed Chris home one day, and stayed for about 4 years. All I can say is she was unique, open-minded, and loved life. The world is a lesser place without her. I will miss her, but she will always live in my heart.
Owen O'Neil
September 13, 2011
Dear Doris,you will be a very special person to me,I will never forget the day I had a colonoscopy and you had dinner ready for me, thank you!!!
noemi ferraro
September 13, 2011
What an honor to have known Meme. She was such a kind and gentle woman. Many lives were touched by her and she had the incredible ability to make people feel so comfortable and loved. I know that she will be missed by many and is smiling at us for she is at peace now. Our thoughts and hearts are with your family during this time. Love,Doreen & Jerry Archibald
Dee & Jerr Archibald
September 13, 2011
Meme, you are one very special lady! You've always had something good to say and always headed yourself in a positive direction. Being a good friend of Colin, it is clear you passed your great ways onto your family. I've become very close to you while doing your hair and making you feel "new" again. It was an honor to me and you will be greatly missed by so many! Keep the sun shinning on your family to keep them strong!
andrea gamache
September 13, 2011
Chris Jayne and Colin: We think about Doris all the time. We enjoyed every Christmas with her. This year it will be different without her. She was a GREAT Cook!!! We will truly miss her!! Love the Withingtons!!
Donald Withington
September 12, 2011
I'll never forget the summer I got to spend a few weeks with Aunt Doris and Meme! She made me the very best bread pudding ever. I'll miss her sweet, kind face, and gentle laugh. I know she and my dad are dancing in Heaven together. Love to you all. - Sherri
Sherri Leger-Lecky
September 12, 2011
Dear Michele,
I Loved your mother she was so nice and fun to work with,She always called me Roberta!! My love and prays are with you and your family!! Audrey Wilson
Audrey Wilson
September 9, 2011
We were very fortunate to have been neighbors for many years. My family will always remember her baked goods which she rewarded us with whenever the kids shoveled after a snowstorm. Family was first and most important to her. She will never be forgotten.
Carol & Frank Steffanides
September 7, 2011
Some people enter our lives at a time when they are needed and Doris was one of those people for us. She will be sadly missed.
Val & Sven Schedin
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