1920 – 2019
Putnam – Sr. Lillian Belcher, DHS, 98, a member of the Daughters of the Holy Spirit, died on Wednesday June 12, 2019 at St Joseph Living Center in Windham, CT.
Born Lillian May Belcher on October 13, 1920, in Pittsfield, MA she was the daughter of the late Everett and Jane (Carbonneau) Belcher. She entered religious life in 1946 and made her religious profession on August 16, 1949 at the Holy Spirit Provincial House in Putnam, CT. She was then known as Sr. Edmond Thérèse. She earned a B.A. from Annhurst College and an M.A. from Fairfield University.
A lifelong educator, Sr. Lillian taught at St. Anne Academy, Swanton, VT; St. Joseph, Waterbury, and St. Mary, Jewett City, both in CT. She also taught at Immaculate Conception, Fitchburg and St. Cecilia, Leominster, both in MA. In 1971 she became the C.C.D. Coordinator at St. Cecilia Parish in Leominster. In 1974 she was missioned to the West Coast and taught at Our Lady of Grace School in West Sacramento and in 1978 she became the Religious Education Consultant for the Diocese of Sacramento, CA. In 1988, she returned to Swanton, VT. In 1991, she was called to West Hartford and then to the Formation Center in Hartford. That same year she became liaison for our sick Sisters at Mercyknoll in West Hartford as well as editor of “Loaves & Fishes,” a community newsletter. In 2000 she was assigned to the Holy Spirit Community, Worcester, MA while retaining her position as editor of “Loaves & Fishes,” and in 2002 she moved to Magnificat Community in Webster, MA. In 2003 she retired to the Provincial House in Putnam and worked part-time in our Printing Department there. In 2012 she entered the Holy Spirit Health Care Center and then was among the first to move to St. Joseph Living Center in 2016.
She is survived by the Daughters of the Holy Spirit spiritual family – her sisters in community, the Consecrated Seculars and the Associates as well as several nieces and nephews. She is predeceased by two brothers, James and Richard.
A Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated at St. Joseph Church, 99 Jackson Street, Willimantic, CT on Monday, June 17, 2019 at 11:00 a.m. Calling hours will begin at 9:00 a.m. with a prayer service at 10:00 a.m. Burial will follow at St. Mary Cemetery in Putnam, CT.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Daughters of the Holy Spirit Retirement Fund, P.O. Box 497, Putnam, CT 06260. The Gilman Funeral Home and Crematory, 104 Church St., Putnam, CT 06260 have been entrusted with arrangements. For memorial guestbook please visit www.GilmanAndValade.com.