Maureen Armstrong, age 85, passed away at home on December 5.
Born in Winsted, Conn., her parents were Frank and Ninita (Fournier) Newman, who raised her together with a loving extended family in the home of George Fournier, her grandfather, whom she adored.
She is survived by her husband of 65 years, Tom; also by Tom, Jr, and his wife, Paula, of Torrington; Janet and her husband, Vic Shefelbine, of Wolf Point, Mont.; and Jeffrey and his wife, Cheryl Armstrong, of Newton, Mass. She loved being a grandmother to Crystal (Neil), Sandra, Lara, Lucas, Samantha, and Katherine; as well to great-grandchildren Peyton and Caitlyn.
She fondly remembered her childhood in Winsted, swimming at Highland Lake, and most especially a cross-country trip with her grandfather and her best friend, Hackey. She was salutatorian of her class at Gilbert High School and later attended both Smith College and Western Connecticut State University (WCSU). She met her husband, Tom, at college and they were married in Sharon on February 19, 1955. Tom was in the service and the first two years of their marriage were spent in Stuttgart, Germany, where their first son was born.
The family moved to Newtown in 1958, and she began working at the C.H. Booth Library in 1972. She enjoyed her time at the library working under the direction of Sarah Mitchell, Betty Downs, and Janet Woycik. To her, the library was a party (sans cocktails) and several of her co-workers became lifelong friends. She retired in 1999.
Maureen loved Cape Cod, and for years the family rented the Korn Krib on Cable Road in Eastham, 2/3 of a mile from the Nauset Light Beach; after the children had grown, she and Tom stayed at various motels in Eastham/Wellfleet. She made many trips west to see Janet and Vic, and traveled extensively in both the United States and Canada. Her other loves were Jacob’s Pillow in Becket, Mass., The Long Wharf Theatre in New Haven, Amherst College football (except when it rained), women’s basketball at WCSU, and most especially our family dogs, Lily, Missy, and Cameo.
She also enjoyed good writing, the English language, and fighting with the late week New York Times crossword puzzles.
She was a breast cancer survivor from 1995, and shortly thereafter developed signs of dementia. And two years ago, she was diagnosed with Stage 4 lung cancer. All of this could have made her a bitter woman, but she never complained and lived her life to the fullest, enjoying breakfasts with friends, the Charcoal Chef, a second home to her with special friends, the Venetian in Torrington, long rides, BLTs, cookies, and her family, who loved her as much she loved them. She exceeded all predictions for her cancer diagnosis, and the family believes this was due to the love of her family, dear friends, but most especially her devoted husband.
There will be no services because of COVID-19.
Spadaccino & Leo P. Gallagher & Son Community Funeral Home were entrusted with the final arrangements.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Connecticut Food Bank at ctfoodbank.org.