Irene Ethel (Duclos) Rulli passed away peacefully at home on March 21, 2017, attended by her family. Irene lived her last few days with the same grace and joie de vivre she exhibited her entire 91 years.
Irene, daughter of Hermas and Eva Duclos, was born in Webster, MA, on October 14, 1925. She attended St. Anne’s parochial school and graduated from Bartlett High in 1946. She retained four lifelong friends, “her girls”, Florence Shaw, Priscilla Donais, Gloria Gilbert and Jeannette Rowe for over eighty years. They still address her by her childhood nickname – Dukey. After marrying Carl, her lifetime love, in 1946, they moved to Sturbridge, MA, bought and renovated a farmhouse and raised three children.
Irene worked for 20 years in the Sturbridge and Fiskdale post offices and is remembered fondly by her small-town friends and customers. After retiring in 1992, Irene and Carl moved to Auburn MA, spending their winters in El Jobean, FL, and summering on Cape Cod.
She maintained an active lifestyle- golfing whenever possible, even walking the golf courses well into her eighties; crafting fabulous decorations that have become family heirlooms; and hosting large family gatherings until her passing. For over 50 years, the family maintained a summer residence on Cape Cod, and all of Irene’s family has many cherished memories of their time spent with her there. She was a woman of strong faith, which guided her and gave her strength in her final journey. All who knew her loved her personality and generosity. She garnered many a friend but never a detractor.
Irene doted on her children, and is survived by all three: John Rulli of Hampton NH, Paul Rulli and his wife Lynn (Skaradowski) of Woodstock, CT, and Patricia Wood and her husband Wayne “Topper” of Auburn, MA. She is also the proud grandmother of Carl Rulli of Salisbury MA; Jesse and Ben Rulli of WI; Patrick, Gene and Brent Rulli of NH; Anna Rulli of ME; Shilo and Eric Vosburg of Webster and Shane Wood and Robyn Paine of Auburn. All of them were blessed with her concern and support for their entire lives. Irene will also be sorely missed by 14 great-grandchildren and a host of nephews and nieces. She is predeceased by her husband of 68 years, Carl Rulli, her two sisters Lorraine Renaud and Jeanne Duclos, and grandson Patrick Gleason.
In the last stages of her life Irene was tirelessly attended by Pat, Topper, Paul, Lynn, Shilo, Eric, Shane, Robyn and great-grandchildren Chris Vosburg and Tori McIntyre as well as the dedicated staff of the Auburn branch of Central MA Hospice. Their cheerful devotion was appreciated by all.
Relatives and friends are invited to visit with Irene’s family on Wednesday March 29, 2017 from 9:00-10:30 am in the BRITTON-WALLCE FUNERAL HOME, 91 Central St, Auburn. A funeral Mass celebrating her life will follow at 11:00 am in Saint Joseph’s Church, 189 Oxford Street North, Auburn. Burial will be in Sacred Heart Cemetery Webster. The family requests that donations be made to the Central MA Hospice, 191 Pakachoag St, Auburn MA 01501