Marie “Hilda” (Casey) Desilets, 93, passed away peacefully in her home at Nashua Crossing, Nashua, NH. She was born in Lawrence on August 29, 1921, to Clifford and Bertha (Beland) Casey and married to the late Gerard A. Desilets, Sr. She was formerly a communicant of St. John the Evangelist Church in North Chelmsford and Immaculate Conception in Nashua. Throughout her brief illness, she was surrounded and comforted by the love, compassion, and prayers of many family and friends.
As a young woman during WWII, Hilda, like many woman of the time who took on the traditional male professions while men went to war, worked in a Lawrence mill operating a fork lift. When the war ended, she left the work force to marry and raise a family. She and Gerard, her husband of 40 years, lived in Dracut and then later settled in Dunstable. They farmed here, producing food for their family while teaching their children the value of hard work, cooperation, and most importantly, love of family. Later, during the 1970’s Hilda created a successful clothing business where she designed and produced a clothing/accessory line for Bon Marche in Lowell, Jordan Marsh and Filene’s of Boston. After selling her business, she worked for Sears and Roebuck’s catalogue sales department in Lowell, MA, where she excelled in customer service.
Although most of her joy in life came from raising her large family, Hilda embraced the value of volunteerism. She taught square dancing to 4H members, led Brownie/Girl Scout troops, crocheted infant hats for local hospitals, donated her crafts to senior centers, and for nearly 50 years sought out nursing home residents who needed companionship and visited them regularly. She traveled extensively, always ready for a new adventure. Another passion and talent was evident in her flower gardens. She even sought out ways to continue this hobby at her assisted living residence in her 90’s. In the same way Hilda was never very far from flowers, she was never far from music either. Whenever and wherever there was live entertainment and dancing, Hilda would be found in the front row so not to miss a note.
Hilda’s greatest passion was the butterfly. She developed an interest in them while in high school and planted flowers to attract them, used them to decorate her house and gardens, and when one would flutter by, she’d stop to marvel at its beauty. Her family will undoubtedly be reminded of her at each butterfly sighting in their future.
She is survived by her six children and their spouses: Ken and Nancy Desilets of Westford, MA; Elaine and Bob Tyzbir of Fuquay Varina, NC; Gerard and Teresa Desilets of Ashland, NH and The Villages, FL; Jan and Ron Lessard of Nashua, NH, Sheila Smith of Merrimack,NH, and Cindi Connell of N. Chelmsford, MA. She was “Memere” to Laurie Gouley, Michael Desilets, Curtis Desilets, Rachel Desilets Allrich, Kristy Desilets (her birthday buddy), Sarah Desilets Robie, JJ Tzybir, Renee Tyzbir Macneil, Joshua Smith, Ryan Connell, Lindsey Connell, Jeff Lessard, and Jodi Lessard as well as great grandmother to 13 children. Hilda loved all her many nieces and nephews, and her god children, MaryAnn Houghthling of CT. who held a special place in her heart and Mrs. Shirley Hughes. She is also survived by her loving sister and brother-in-law, Shirley and Stanley Hughes of Daytona, FL, and Joseph Walter Casey of Hartland, CT., and her sister-in-law Madeline Casey also of Hartford, CT. In addition, she leaves a special friend, Francis Rigg, of Hudson, who was her dance and dinner partner for over 25 years. She was the sister of Joseph Rene Casey of Salem, NH, and Joseph Richard Casey, of E. Hartford, CT.
Visiting hours Thurs. 4 to 7P.M. Funeral Fri. at 8A.M. from the DOLAN FUNERAL HOME 106 MIDDLESEX ST. CHELMSFORD, with a funeral Mass at 9A.M. at St. John the Evangelist Church. Burial in the Central Cemetery, Dunstable, MA. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made in her name to the Lowell General Hospital. On-line donations can be taken as noted below https://www.lowellgeneral.org/about-us/ways-to-give/donate-online-now
ARRANGEMENTS BY DOLAN FUNERAL HOME 978-251-4041.