Valley Breeze

The Valley Breeze Woonsocket North Smithfield 11-15-2018

The Valley Breeze Newspapers serving the Northern Rhode Island towns of Cumberland, Lincoln, Woonsocket, Smithfield, North Smithfield, Pawtucket, North Providence, Scituate, Foster, and Glocester

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NORTH SMITHFIELD BLACKSTONE WOONSOCKET EDITION | VALLEY BREEZE | NOVEMBER 15-21, 2018 OBITUARIES 19 Roberta O'Keefe Roberta (Balkcom) O'Keefe, 75, of North Smithfield, passed away peace- fully on Nov. 7, with her family by her side. Born in Riverside, she was devoted to her family and met her beloved husband, Frank O'Keefe, when he accompanied her brother home while they were both on leave from the Coast Guard. She always said she knew he was "the one" from the very first moment they met. They were married for 57 years. Roberta was an avid crocheter, dressing her daughters in matching homemade outfits when they were in grade school. Over the years, she generously created the most beautiful afghans and clothing items for family members and friends. Roberta loved nature and animals, and could often be found tending to her flower gar- dens or sitting on her outdoor glider swing and watching the birds, rabbits, chipmunks and other wildlife that made their home in her back yard and pond. She was a volunteer at the North Smithfield Animal Shelter, and when her children left the nest, she doted on the several cats that she had adopted over the years, including Lily who was with her until the end. Her children and grandchildren will always remember how they could talk to her about anything, knowing she would share the best advice. In addition to her husband, Frank, Roberta is survived by two daughters, Donna Ouellette and her partner, Jonathan Weitzner, of Cranston, and Tammy O'Keefe of Thompson, Conn.; two sons, Kevin O'Keefe and his wife, Rhonda, of Millville, Mass., and Timothy O'Keefe of Brooklyn, N.Y. She also leaves behind a broth- er, Ronald Balkcom of Auburndale, Fla.; two sisters, Virginia Pacifico of Riverside, and Nancy Todd of East Providence; and three grandchildren, Jessica Ouellette and her partner, Brady Frost, of Portland, Maine, Kenneth Ouellette and his partner, Marinieves Del Valle, of Northbridge, Mass., and Aidan O'Keefe of Millville, Mass. She was predeceased by her beloved mother and father, Bertha and Ronald Balkcom, and her sister Sandra Balkcom. Her funeral was held Nov. 12, beginning with visitation at 3 p.m., followed by a service in the Holt Funeral Home, 510 South Main St., Woonsocket. Burial was private. In lieu of flowers, the family kindly asks that donations in Roberta's memory be made to the Rhode Island SPCA at www.rispca.com or PACE Organization of Rhode Island at https://pace-ri.org/ways-to-give/. Robert G. Chagnon Sr. Robert G. Chagnon Sr., 88, of Woonsocket, died peacefully Oct. 25, in the Woonsocket Health & Rehabilitation Centre with his family by his side. He was the beloved husband of Rose Marie ( Jalette) Chagnon. Born in West Warwick, he was the son of the late Gerard and Delores (Dupre) Chagnon. Mr. Chagnon was a United States Army veteran serving in the Korean War. He worked on the assembly line at General Motors for 26 years and also for City Dairy prior to retiring. He enjoyed gardening and working. He was an avid New England Patriots, Boston Red Sox and Boston Bruins fan. Besides his wife, Rose, he is sur- vived by his three children, Rose Tuttle and her husband, David, of Woonsocket, Diane Scott and her husband, Donald, of Warwick, Marc Chagnon and his wife, Stacy, of Warwick; eight grandchildren and five great-grandchil- dren. He was also the father of the late Robert G. Chagnon Jr. and brother of the late Jacqueline Pogurski, Charles Chagnon, Jeanne Rock and Carole Iuliano. His funeral was held Oct. 30 from the S. DiPardo Memorial Chapel Funeral Home, 1583 Diamond Hill Road, Woonsocket, with a Mass of Christian burial in St. Joseph Church, 1200 Mendon Road, Woonsocket. Burial with military honors was held in Resurrection Cemetery, Cumberland. In lieu of flowers, donations in his memory, can be made to St. Joseph Church, 1200 Mendon Road, Woonsocket, RI 02895, or the Woonsocket Health & Rehabilitation Centre, 262 Poplar St., Woonsocket, RI 02895. Visit sdipardomcfh.com . Maryann C. Kusnarowis Maryann C. (Balon) Kusnarowis, 81, of Woonsocket, passed away Thursday, Nov. 8, in the company of family and under the attention and care of the devoted and compassionate staff of St. Antoine Residence in North Smithfield. Maryann was the mischievous only child of Vincent and Stella Balon of Knight Street, Woonsocket. She spent her child- hood with her favorite and close cousins, and neighborhood friends. Educationally, she was a star! She was a first-class speed typist and valedictorian of her graduating class. During the high school years, Maryann and her parents made the move to Knight Street, where she would live until the age of 80, and from where she would make friends that led her to her husband of 60 years, Walter J. Kusnarowis Jr. After high school, her skills would be put to use at the Rhode Island State House, where she would meet her lifelong and best friend, Anna Pawlowski. Thus began a lifetime of adult antics and adventures, laughter and sup- port. The "fun and free years" with Walt (and Anna, and other friends) changed course with the arrival of the "fun and family years" and four children: Kristen Whelan of Providence, Paula Couturier of Antrim, N.H., John Kusnarowis of Woodstock, Conn., and Steven Kusnarowis of Penacook, N.H. Maryann devoted her life to improving the lives of her expand- ing family, first as a wife, then a mother, then as grandmother to Hilary and Olivia Whelan (mother Kristen and father Paul Whelan), Lindsay and Alex Kusnarowis (father Steven and mother Jennifer Kusnarowis), Kylie and Brynn Kusnarowis (father John and moth- er Kim Kusnarowis), and Samuel and Jessica Couturier (mother Paula and father Marcel Couturier Jr.). Maryann was proud of the work she did with the Lincoln School Department and valued the deep friendships she made there. She was a voracious reader (myster- ies and medical thrillers were her favorites), loved camping, traveling New England and especially Cape Cod, playing cards and board games, laughing and sharing at Cousins' Lunches, and spending time with her husband and family. Although dementia eventually affected her ability to speak and write, it never touched her spirit or sense of humor, both of which were evident to the very end. Her funeral was held on Nov. 12, from the Kubaska Funeral Home with a Mass of Christian Burial at Precious Blood Church. Burial was held in St. James Cemetery. Donations may be made to St. Antoine Residence, North Smithfield. Condolence cards for the family should be sent to Walter Kusnarowis, St. Antoine Residence, 10 Rhodes Avenue North Smithfield, RI 02896. More information may be found at www.KubaskaFuneralHome. com . Therese R. Desmarais Therese R. Desmarais, 89, of Cumberland, died Nov. 8, at Charlesgate Nursing Center in Providence. She was the lov- ing wife of the late Lucien G. Desmarais. They were married on Jan. 18, 1947 and shared over 65 years together until his passing in 2012. Born in Woonsocket she was a daughter of the late Henri and Leda (Carle) St. Sauveur. She was raised in Woonsocket and resided in Cumberland for most of her life. Mrs. Desmarais was employed at Woonsocket Dress Co., Finklestien's and Pawtucket Dress and later at Dale Medical Products until retiring in 1990. Therese was a longtime communi- cant of St. Joan of Arc Parish and a member of the St. Joseph Senior cit- izens group and the Happy Rollers bowling league. Therese was adept at cards and bingo was her game of choice. She is survived by her children Robert P. Desmarais and his wife, Muriel, of Florida, Rita J. Holloway and her husband, David, and Normand P. Desmarais and his wife, Ann Marie, all of Cumberland. She was the sister of the late Henri Jr., Aram and Pierre St. Sauveur, Tony and Rosaire LeBlanc, Loretta Marchand, Lucy Poisson and Daisy Anisarowicz. She is also survived by three grandchildren Robert, Christopher and Crystal Desmarais, two great- grandchildren Maurice and Vincent, and many nieces and nephews and their families. Her funeral was held Nov. 14, from the Menard-Lacouture Funeral Home, Manville, followed by a Mass of Christian Burial in St. Joan of Arc Church, Cumberland. Burial followed in St. Jean Baptiste Cemetery, Bellingham, Mass. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Alzheimer's Association of RI, 245 Waterman St., Suite 306 Providence, RI, 02906 or www.alz. org/ri. Visit www.menardfuneralhome. com . KUSNAROWIS DESMARAIS O'KEEFE CHAGNON 71 Central St., Manville, RI 127 Carrington Ave., Woonsocket, RI (401) 762-1825 MenardFuneralHome.com Remembering Journeys Celebrating Lives Craig Lacouture, Director Menard ~ Lacouture Funeral Homes (508) 883-9888 273 Wrentham Road Bellingham, MA WWW.COACHMENSLODGE.COM BEREAVEMENT LUNCHEONS Chicken Family Style or choose from a variety of other options Call for details.

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