Lillian Houle Drolet, 93, died Monday, December 9, 2019 at Miriam Hospital with her family by her side. She was the widow of Joseph Emile Drolet. They had been married for 63 years at the time of his death on May 10, 2014.
Born in Waterbury, CT, she was a daughter of the late Oscar and Florentine (Bernier) Houle. Lillian had lived in Northport, Florida before moving to Rhode Island in 2004.
She is survived by her daughters: Michelle Drolet of Morristown, NJ, Lisa Shaffer and her husband, Robert of North Scituate and Renee DiCenso and her husband, Anthony of Greenville, her grandsons: Hunter Shaffer, Michael, Matthew and Mitchell DiCenso and her siblings: Charles Houle of Watertown, CT, Estelle Zaccagnini of Naugatuck, CT and Robert Houle of Windsor, CT. She was the mother of the late Wayne Drolet and sister of the late Janet LeTarte, Simone Houle, Yvette Normandin and Mary Bellerive.
Lillian is best remembered for her lilting soprano voice and the classic repertoire of songs she once sang at weddings and gatherings. She was always recognized for her beautiful golden red hair, her “crowning glory”. She sewed and knitted and loved a good book. Her home was always open to friends and family. We have many fond memories of her with her sister Yvette, sitting at their favorite spot on the beach in Florida while surrounded by lots of nieces and nephews during school vacations.
She instilled her love of exercise and health in her children and while able, still walked daily into her later years. She supported her husband’s love of skiing by learning to ski and getting all of her children on skis by the age of 4. With her focus on education and excellence for her family, she was part of a grassroots movement in Waterbury, CT in the 1960s, to push integration of programs for the visually impaired into the public school system.
She had unfailing strength of character and faced challenges in her life head on. She raised two visually impaired children to lead independent lives as evidenced by her daughter Michelle’s athletic achievement of a bronze medal for the U.S. Disabled Ski Team at the Lillehammer Olympics in 2004.
She was intuitive and in her soft, quiet way has left a deep imprint on the lives of her family. She will be missed.
A Mass of Christian Burial to which relatives and friends are invited will be held Monday, December 16, 2019 at 11am in St. Philip Church, 622 Putnam Pike, Greenville. Burial will follow in Acote’s Hill Cemetery, Chepachet.