Fitchburg - Pauline H. Wilkins, 95 years old, of Fitchburg, passed away peacefully at home in the embrace of her family, on Saturday, November 14, 2020. Pauline was born December 15, 1924, daughter of the late Joseph L. and Helen C. (Geoghegan) Hartnett, and raised on Exchange Street in Leominster.
Pauline grew up in a loving home with grandparents, parents and sister Helen. During the Depression they were well-supplied by her grandfather’s garden, nourished by home-cooking, and clothed with skill and style by the women in the family. She attended St. Leo’s Elementary, graduated from St. Bernard’s High, worked during WWII at the Worcester Telegram, and attended Becker Junior College. She met Edward Wilkins of Worcester while in high school; upon his return from the war, they married in 1946.
Pauline and Ed raised their ever-growing family on Coolidge Place, across from Leominster High (later Carter Jr. High), with her sister, parents, and aunt Alice Seamon nearby. During this time she authored two Golden Books, self-designed an expanded kitchen, and wrote about the Shakers, and Joseph Palmer. Pauline worked at the Fitchburg Public Library, and returned to college, earning her Bachelor’s degree (with straight A’s) from Fitchburg State. She was a well-liked English teacher at Leominster High for many years.
Pauline and Ed had a love of the beach, and for decades shared their summer home on Plum Island in Newbury with family and friends. We recall with fondness day trips to Crow Hill and Lake Dennison, and annual Thanksgiving gatherings overflowing with cooking and kids.
Pauline had a keen interest in Irish culture and history, and was an aficionado of auctions and antiques.
Pauline leaves children Patrick Wilkins (Donna) of Ashby, Elizabeth Zwicker (James) of Fitchburg, John (aka Will K.) Wilkins of West Hartford, Martha Wilkins (Russell Anderson) of Leicester, Rosamond Gleason (Jim) of Philadelphia, Mary McManus (the late Michael) of Fitchburg, Brendan Wilkins (Payton) of Leominster, and Neil Wilkins (Christine Latini) of Clinton, daughter in-law Sherry Wilkins, 17 grandchildren, and 14 great-grandchildren. She was predeceased by her husband, Edward, son Timothy, and infant son Edward.
She was a loving mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother, cracker-jack smart and engaged up to her final days. We are grateful for her long life, and for the opportunity to know her anew as she aged. We will miss her dearly.
On behalf of Pauline, the family would like to thank Emily D’Onfro of Westminster and Donna Cormier of Lunenburg for their care and love.
In lieu of flowers a donation may be made in Pauline's memory to: Worcester County Food Bank, 474 Boston Turnpike, Shrewsbury, MA 01545 or to a charity of one's choice.
Mrs. Wilkins' funeral will be held Saturday, November 21, 2020, from Wright-Roy Funeral Home, Inc., 109 West Street, Leominster, with a Mass of Christian Burial at 11:00 a.m. in St. Leo's Church, 128 Main Street, Leominster. Burial will follow in St. Leo's Cemetery. Calling hours will be held Saturday morning, 8:30 - 10:30 a.m. prior to the funeral in the funeral home.
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