Doris Pauline (DeLisle) Valois

June 28, 1923 ~ February 6, 2018 (age 94)

Gardner - Doris Pauline (DeLisle) Valois, 94, passed away on Tuesday, February 6, with loving family by her side.

Doris was born in Athol, MA, on June 28, 1923, daughter of the late Damien and Germaine (Senay) DeLisle and stepdaughter of the late Mary (Robinson) DeLisle.  She was the fourth of nine children.  Her early life was marked by loss and upheaval.  After her mother died when Doris was nine, she and her siblings were separated and not to be reunited again until their new stepmother Mary gathered the children back together.  For Doris and her siblings, Mary was a second mother, and the stories they would tell of their childhood were filled with gratitude and love.

At sixteen, Doris moved from Athol to Leominster, and Leominster would become her beloved hometown.  In 1942, she married Robert Valois.  While her husband was fighting overseas, Doris lived in Saco, Maine and worked in the war effort.  She spoke of this time as a great adventure in the midst of national crisis  After the war,  "Bob and Dot" raised six children.  Doris's family was her world.  She was a dedicated and loving wife, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother.  She was a skilled cook, learning many traditional French-Canadian recipes from her mother-in-law Dora.  In her spare time, Doris loved to knit and made beautiful sweaters, scarves and hats.  She was an avid reader and taught all of her children at very early ages the wonder of reading and the love of knowledge and learning.  Because of her love of learning and the arts, Doris produced artists, writers, a musician and several teachers and administrators from her thankful brood.

Doris was a strong and independent woman, making her way alone for thirty years after her husband's death.  Her family marveled as they watched their mother claim a new place in the world, filled with travel - many Elderhostel stays, vacations to Maine with family,  and a memorable trip to Sweden and Finland - as well as good friends and meaningful work.  At the age of 74, Doris completed her GED at Mount Wachusett Community College, finally earning that high school diploma that eluded so many who grew up during the hardship of the Great Depression.  Doris held many jobs, but the last 25 years of her working life were devoted to Montachusett Home Care in Leomintser, visiting the elderly and disabled, bringing them joy and companionship.  She was truly gifted in this work; it was her calling and earned her the respect of supervisors, colleagues, and, of course, her clients.

Doris was a devoted, lifelong parishioner of St. Leo's Parish of Leominster, MA  She was civic-minded and always voted - even in the last primary, choosing a candidate who most resembled her childhood hero F.D.R.  She was a proud, nearly life-long resident of Leominster and was heartbroken to have to spend her last years away from the town she loved so much.

Doris leaves behind her children: Patricia Spiller of York, Maine and her partner Lawrence Clark; Nancy Valois and husband John Salonen of Winchendon; Susan Hui and husband Richard of Gardner; Donna Pobuk and husband Timothy of Templeton; Michelle Valois and her partner Katharine Daube, of Northampton; daughter-in-law Kathy Valois of Lunenburg; grandchildren Amy D'Angelo, Rob Valois, Kimberly Jones, Dustin Hui, Christopher Hui, Sarah Pobuk, Esther Daube-Valois, Ari Daube-Valois, and Noah Daube-Valois; five great-grandchildren, Victoria D'Angelo, Anthony D'Angelo, Evelyn Jones, Nola Jones and Anna Jones; one sister, Estelle Goselin of Connecticut; and many nieces and nephews.

Doris was predeceased by her loving husband Robert in 1986, her son David in 2015, and her grandson Jonathan in 1971; two brothers Roger DeLisle and Robert DeLisle; and five sisters Gladys, Lucille, Anita, Loretta and Genevieve.

Doris was a beautiful, strong, and independent woman.  She was a survivor, with a brave soul and a curious mind.  She learned to adapt to changes not only in her personal life but in the larger world, becoming ever more accepting of new ideas and people.

Calling hours are from 9:30 - 10:30 a.m. on Monday, February 12, in Wright-Roy Funeral Home, Inc., 109 West St., Leominster; followed by a Mass of Christian Burial at 11:00 a.m. in St. Leo's Church, 128 Main St., Leominster.  Burial will follow in  St. Cecilia's Cemetery.

Tremendous and heartfelt thanks go to the truly exceptional nurses and staff at Wachusett Manor, Gardner, MA and to the Gardner VNA, who gave much more than nursing care, providing a peaceful and compassionate environment during Doris's transition from this life to the next.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Athol Public Library, 568 Main St., Athol, MA 01331, in the name of Doris P. (DeLisle) Valois.  Contributions will be used to purchase large print books.

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