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Estelle (Derosier) Exley

January 26, 1925 April 25, 2020
Estelle (Derosier) Exley
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Obituary for Estelle (Derosier) Exley
Our sweet, gentle mother, grandmother and great-grandmother, Estelle Exley, passed away peacefully at St. Joseph Living Center on April 25, 2020. Estelle was born on January 26, 1925. She was the oldest child of Emelia and Adelard Derosier. Estelle grew up in the small mill town of Baltic, CT where everyone knew your name. She often said, “we were poor growing up, but we didn’t know it”.
Estelle was a presence on Main St. in Willimantic for many years. First working as a salesperson at WT Grant Company when she was a young woman in her twenties. She then walked down the street to Todd’s Department Store where she worked for thirty years. When she first started working at Todd’s she was a buyer and often traveled by train with Mr. Todd into New York City to purchase clothing for the store. That was a big deal for a woman who grew up in Baltic.
After Estelle retired from Todd’s, she started a new career as a volunteer at St. Joseph Living Center in the Chapel. She did this for almost thirty years. Estelle would prepare the altar for mass, being sure that everything was in place for the priest who would be celebrating mass. She also spent time interacting with the residents. One of Estelle’s great joys was being able to attend daily mass and receive communion. When Estelle was in her 80’s, she had to retire from Chapel duties because of her declining eyesight.
When she could, Estelle loved to read and knit. She loved music and singing, especially at mass. She could harmonize with the best of them.
Estelle was a kind and gentle woman, always thankful for what was done for her.

Her survivors are her loving daughters, Jane Adamo Traber and Diane Exley Shover and husband, Douglas. Her special grandsons, Matthew Traber and wife, Janna, Benjamin Shover and wife, Jessi, Andrew Shover, granddaughter Alexandra Exley and husband, Chris. And of course, the lights of her life, great-grandchildren, Juliana and Dominic Traber and Lucas and Caleb Shover. Her sister, Priscilla Blais.
She was predeceased by her husband, George Exley, and stepson, John Exley, her brothers, Adelard (Tubby) and Walter (Shorty) Derosier and sister, Irene Richards.
Estelle’s family is appreciative of the love and care she received while living at The Card Home and at St. Joseph Living Center.
Our hearts are broken, Mom, until we meet again.

In lieu of flowers, donations in Estelle’s name may be made to Holy Family Home and Shelter 88 Jackson St, Willimantic, CT. 06226 or St. Joseph Living Center 14 Club Rd, Windham, CT. 06280

A funeral mass and burial will take place at a later date. To send an online expression of sympathy, please visit
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