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Lucile Dempsey, 97, of Great Barrington

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By Thursday, Mar 21, 2019 Obituaries

Lucile Rea Dempsey, 97, of Castle Street, Great Barrington, died peacefully at home March 15, 2019. Born Margaret Lucile Rea July 4, 1921, in Matthews, North Carolina, she was the oldest of Lottie and Louie Rea’s nine children. She attended schools in Matthews and, after high school, attended vocational school. She was in President Roosevelt’s “Alphabet Soup” Program for six months. She waitressed in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, and Fort Lauderdale, Florida, before joining the U.S. Marine Corps in December 1943. She was stationed at Quantico, Virginia, and served stateside until December 1945.

After the war, she worked in Palm Beach, Florida. There she met Jim Joyce, from Great Barrington, who hired her to work for him at the Berkshire Inn. She came to Great Barrington in June 1947. During the winters, when the Berkshire Inn was closed, she worked for the telephone company. While in Great Barrington, she met her husband-to-be, William F. Dempsey, and they married in November 1949. They were happily married for 68 years.

She was an avid reader all her life. When growing up, she often made the long walk to her library in Matthews to bring home books for her mother and herself. She was so proud when her daughter Margaret (Peggy) became a librarian. Lucile was a good golfer and a five-time winner of the Ladies Championship at the Wyantenuck Country Club during the late 1960s and early 1970s. She enjoyed crocheting, cooking, backgammon, traveling and bird watching, often sending photos of interesting birds to her family. She and Bill traveled across the country many times in their motor home with car in tow. They loved wintering in Jensen Beach, Florida, where they made many new friends and loved hosting family escaping from the cold up north, especially their granddaughter. Enroute to Florida, they would visit Lucile’s family in North Carolina.

Lucile was a longtime member of the First Congregational Church in Great Barrington, a member of the Wyantenuck Country Club, and a volunteer for many years at Fairview Hospital. She will be lovingly remembered for her devotion to her husband, her strong constitution, her faith, kind manner, grace and ability to persevere even when faced with personal loss and challenging health concerns.

She is survived by her loving granddaughter, Sarah Gutowski of Iowa City, Iowa; her loving son-in-law William Gutowski of Ames, Iowa; sisters Nancy, Billie and Rachel, and brother Dwight, all of North Carolina; and many nieces and nephews. She was predeceased by her husband, Bill in July 2018; daughter Margaret Dempsey; son John Dempsey; sisters Edith and Bonnie; and brothers Hazel and Sam.

A funeral service to celebrate the life of Lucile Rea Dempsey will be held Saturday, March 30, 2019, at 11 a.m. at the First Congregational Church, Main Street, Great Barrington, with burial to follow at Elmwood Cemetery. There will be no calling hours. Memorial contributions in Lucile’s memory may be made to the First Congregational Church, Great Barrington, or to the Southern Berkshire Ambulance, Great Barrington, in care of the FINNERTY & STEVENS FUNERAL HOME, 426 Main St., Great Barrington, MA 01230. To send remembrances to the family, go to www.finnertyandstevens.com.

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