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Irene A Prince
December 6, 1925 ~ November 12, 2023 (age 97) 97 Years Old
Irene was called home to heaven on November 12,2023 just a few weeks shy of her 98th birthday after a period of declining health. The daughter of Marie Anna (Berube) and Arthur Nicolas, she was born on December 6, 1925 where she grew up in the shadow of Saint Francis Church. She attended St. Francis Grammar School and graduated with honors from St. Bernard’s High School in 1944. In 1946 she married Norman A. Prince and they went on to raise four children in Ashby and in Fitchburg. Irene was a capable and multi-talented woman who supported her family through lean times with her resourcefulness in sewing, gardening and food preparation.
In her forties she re-entered the labor force and worked as an office worker at Smith Printing Company and at Fitchburg State College. She was active in the local YMCA and believed in a healthy and active lifestyle. A cancer survivor in her fifties, she credited medical expertise as well as her deep religious faith for her healing.
Irene never met a person who wasn’t a potential friend, and always enjoyed telling stories and the banter of lively conversation. Norman and Irene enjoyed traveling to various places such as touring Civil war battle locations, religious shrines in Portugal and the highlight of their travels: a month long European tour across many countries to celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary. In later years she supported her husband, a permanent deacon in the Catholic church, in ministry. After retiring, Irene and Norman enjoyed escaping the cold winters by going to Englewood, Florida where they were part of an active social group. All through her life, Irene found happiness in a love of life and joy in small things.
In addition to her parents, Irene was predeceased by her son David Prince in 2008, her husband in 2012, her great granddaughter Shannel Ortiz in 2020, her granddaughter Sonya Prince in 2022, by her sisters Dorothy Gelinas (Yvon) and Rita Arsenault (Philip) Boudreau (Roland); her brothers-in-law and sister-in-law Raymond Prince(Lucille) and Ernest Prince (Claire).
She leaves her son Norman of Montreal and daughters Diane Fontaine (Mark) of Athol and Denise Hanley (Daniel) of Lunenburg; six grandchildren, six great-grandchildren, and four great-great grandchildren as well as several nieces and nephews.
The family would like to thank the staff from The Highlands Nursing Home for the loving care that she received in her last few years.
In lieu of flowers donations can be made to St. Joseph Parish.
There will be no calling hours. On Tuesday, November 21, a Mass of Christian burial will be held at 10:00am at St. Joseph Church, 49 Woodland St. Fitchburg with interment at St. Joseph’s Cemetery to follow.