MARLBOROUGH – Sister Therese Lavoie, 96, (Sister M. Laure Therese), a Sister of St. Anne, died December 31,2020, in Alliance Health at Marie Esther Center in this city.
Born in Ludlow, she was the 2nd child of seven born to Hector and Laura (Charpentier) Lavoie. She attended elementary school at St. John the Baptist School in Ludlow, and graduated from the former Cathedral High School in Springfield,.
Over the years, she took courses at Anna Maria College (Paxton) and earned a BA degree in business and economics from the College of St. Rose in Albany, NY and an MA degree in French from Assumption College (now University) in Worcester.
She worked happily for several years in the business world before deciding to become a Sister of St. Anne and to serve God as a vowed religious woman. For the next 72+ years following her profession of vows, Sister Therese ministered in education in a variety of ways from classrooms to parish settings to offices in more than one country in either English or French or both.
Her first assignment was at the elementary level at Kanawake (QC). Throughout her remaining years in Canada, she taught bilingual secretarial services at St. Anne Academy, Rawdon (QC) at Queen of Angels Academy and St. Ann Academy in Montreal (QC). She was a much – loved teacher at these boarding schools. She returned to the United States and continued teaching at Holy Name Central Catholic High (Worcester).
She also provided one on one ESL and did secretarial services at the Holy Name Guidance Office and at Anna Maria College. Following a sabbatical, Sister Therese was appointed Administrative Secretary for the Sisters of St. Anne in the United States and served through three administrations.
She also served as the General Secretary for the entire Congregation. Perfectly bi-lingual, she served as a simultaneous translator for General Chapters, large community meetings and for other religious congregations as well. Within the congregation, she served in local leadership, on Province boards and committees.
Toward the end of her long and dedicated career, she came full circle when she returned to her hometown, in Ludlow.
Here she realized one last dream and she became a catechist in her parish. As coordinator of the RCIA program, she taught adults who wanted to return to church or who are the newer members of the parish and church. She also had opportunities to be with her brothers and sisters, her nieces and nephews and their children.
At an age when most people are considering retirement, Sister Therese answered an ad in the Register and found herself in City Hall as part-time secretary to the Ludlow Selectmen’s Office.
In these last years, Sister Therese has lived at Marie Esther Health Center at Alliance Health in Marlboro caring for all in prayer and in presence.
Sister Therese was predeceased by her parents, her four sisters, Antoinette Burgess, Lucille Regnier, Pauline Mei, Sister Dolores Lavoie (also a Sister of St. Anne) and her two brothers, Louis Lavoie and Bernard Lavoie. In addition to her Sisters of St. Anne family, she leaves to grieve her brothers in law Ed Burgess and Paul Mei, her sisters in law, Kathy Lavoie and Lorraine Lavoie and her many nieces and nephews and their extended families, her friends and colleagues and her many former students.
In accord with current restrictions due to the pandemic, burial services on Wednesday, January 6 are private.
At a later date, a Memorial service with the Sisters of St. Anne will be held.
In lieu of flowers, a memorial contribution may be made to the Sisters of St. Anne Retirement Fund, 720 Boston Post Road East, Marlborough, MA 01752, or to a charity of your choice.
Arrangements are under the direction of Collins Funeral Home, (www.CollinsFuneral.com), 378 Lincoln St., Marlborough.