READING, MA — Noreen (Meaney) DeLai of Reading, 87, passed away on Monday, January 7, 2019 at Beverly Hospital with her family at her side. Noreen was born on January 13, 1931, the daughter of the late Marie McGillin Meaney and Peter Meaney. She was born and raised in Schenectady, NY and graduated from St. Columba’s High School in 1949. She attended Saint Joseph’s College of Nursing in Syracuse, New York and graduated with a nursing degree in 1951.
Noreen met her husband and the love of her life, Anthony Joseph DeLai at General Electric in Schenectady where they were both employed. They married in September of 1960 and lived in Cincinnati, OH, Oakridge, TN, and Woburn, MA before settling in Reading, Massachusetts in August of 1963 where they raised their two children, Mary and Joseph. Noreen worked at Winchester Hospital for several years before becoming an Occupational Health Nurse at Textron in Wilmington, MA in 1982 until her retirement in 1997. She was very proud of her career as a nurse and the care she gave to so many during that time.
Noreen was a devout Catholic and long-time communicant of Saint Athanasius Parish in Reading where she served as a Eucharistic Minister and parish volunteer for many years. She was also an avid reader, with a particular fondness for historical fiction and mystery novels. Noreen was a helping hand to so many in her community offering people rides to the library, senior center, grocery store, and medical appointments whenever possible. She was a very smart, fiercely independent, and strong woman with a quick wit, great sense of humor, and a kind and gentle smile. She will be remembered for being a caring daughter and wonderful mother, sister, and aunt. The kindness she bestowed on others was returned to her as she departed this world in a peaceful and gentle manner.
Besides her parents, Noreen was predeceased by her husband Joe in 1987 and her brother Tom in 2016. She will be dearly missed by her children Mary DeLai (Debra Kirchheimer) and Joseph DeLai; her sister, Sandra Paffenback (Bill); her nieces and nephews Erin Catrambone (Tom), Ellen Aschbrenner, Tara Meaney, Thomas Meaney (Kelly), Heather Meaney, Teri Paffenback, Jean Paffenback, Mary Jane Ward (Mark), and Bill Paffenback (Bridget); as well as her grandchildren, great and great great nieces and nephews, and so many lifelong friends.
Noreen’s funeral will be held on Monday, January 14 at 9:30 a.m. at the Douglass, Edgerley and Bessom Funeral Home, 25 Sanborn Street (corner of Woburn St.) in Reading, followed by a Mass of Christian Burial at 10:30 a.m. at Saint Athanasius Church 300 Haverhill St., Reading. Interment will follow at Charles Lawn Cemetery in Reading. Funeral home visiting hours will take place on Sunday, January 13 from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Maryknoll Sisters, PO Box 317, Maryknoll, NY 10545 or the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, Donor Services, PO Box 98018, Washington DC 20090.
(NOTE: The above obituary is from Douglas, Edgerley & Bloom Funeral Home.)
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