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  • Writer's pictureWilliamsburg Funeral Home

Catherine Rita (Gilbert) Lyons 1924-2022

On Tuesday, March 15, 2022, Catherine Rita (Gilbert) Lyons, a talented seamstress and loving grandmother, died peacefully in her sleep in the Belchertown, Massachusetts home she shared with her grandson, Ross K. Hartman and his wife, Angelique. She was 97.

Catherine was born on October 11, 1924, in Putnam, CT, to Wilfred Gilbert, Sr. and Annabelle (Harrington) Gilbert. She was one of nine children.

A devoted wife for more than 40 years, Catherine was preceded in death by her husband, Robert (Bob) T. Lyons, who died on November 27, 1985. In addition to her husband, she was preceded in death by her son, Joel R. Lyons, who died on November 17, 2014.

Dedicated to her family, Catherine left school early to work full time to help her parents support her many brothers and sisters. She worked at Belding-Heminway threading bobbins of silk, which led to additional work at various textile mills in the Putnam area.

During the Vietnam war, Catherine worked at Harrington & Richardson in Worcester, manufacturing M16 rifles. In the early 1960s, she returned to her passion of fabrics and threads to work at David Clark in Worcester, as a seamstress. There she participated in developing space suits and products for the Gemini program and for the first moon landing. Catherine proudly reminisced of meeting astronauts John Glenn, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins.

Catherine and her husband were busy entrepreneurs, building an electrical business in the Leicester area, and running their gun shop in Oxford. Despite their busy work lives, they did find time for fun, and enjoyed boating and hunting throughout New England. While cradling her 30-06 Springfield rifle and scouting with Bob, she frequently spotted deer. And when she saw a deer, unbeknownst to her husband, she would steer him in the opposite direction.

When she was younger, she loved to roller skate and go dancing. It was at one of these dances she met her future husband, Bob. After they married, they lived in Webster, Worcester, and Oxford, where they raised their son Joel, before finally settling in Leicester.

In addition to her husband and son, she was preceded in death by her sisters Mary A. Szruba and Leonie A. (Gilbert) Dauphinais, Putnam; her sister, Pauline C. Terwilliger, Killingly, CT; and her brothers Robert Gilbert, James Gilbert, Bernard (Cookie) Gilbert, and Wilfred Gilbert, Jr. all of Putnam.

She leaves behind her brother and youngest sibling, Henry Gilbert, Putnam; as well as her grandson, Ross K. Hartman and wife, Angelique, Belchertown; her granddaughter, Sunday Marro and partner, John Borden, Yorktown, VA; her ex-daughter-in-law, Lynn Hartman, Barre; her niece, Patricia Vannorsdel and husband, Monty of Iowa; her nephew, Wayne Terwilliger and wife, Ann, Dayville, CT; and many other nieces, nephews, great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren.

Family and friends are invited to attend a CELEBRATION OF LIFE SERVICE to be held on Saturday, April 9, 2022, 11am-2pm, at Hartman’s Herb Farm, 1026 Old Dana Road, Barre, MA.

Williamsburg Funeral Home in Haydenville was entrusted with her cremation.

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