Thérèse Cécile Lachance - Obituary

Thérèse Cécile Lachance

Thérèse Cécile (Côté) Lachance of Princeton, New Jersey died on Nov. 26, 2019, from complications after suffering a stroke in 2016. Thérèse was the loving wife of Rev. Dr. Paul A. Lachance, Ph.D., and the proud mom of Dr. Michael Paul Lachance, Ph.D. (Cooperstown, NY) Peter André Lachance (Yardley, Pa.), Marc-André LaChance (Essex Junction, Vt.), and Susan Ann (Lachance) Shih (Cranford, N.J.).

Thérèse was the first-born child of Lucien and Emilienne (Bolduc) Côté and was born in Derby Line, Vermont in 1932. She is survived by three sisters, a brother, and four godchildren. She was predeceased by her beloved parents, grandparents, and many aunts, uncles, and cousins from both Vermont and Canada. She was the matriarch of a wonderful family that included nine cherished grandchildren: Marcel, Elijah, AnnaGrace, Beau Pierre, Joelle, Aline (Dias), Michaela, Zinnia, and Paul Thomas (Shih). She loved her childrens’ partners as her own: Carole (Lehoullier), wife of Michael; Patti Malinowski, longtime girlfriend of Peter; Amy (Myers), wife of Marc-André; and Philip Shih, husband of Susan.

On Aug. 6, 1955, Thérèse was married to Paul, her high school sweetheart, in St. Mary “Star of the Sea” Church in Newport, (Vt.), beginning a Catholic and holy marriage that lasted over 61 years. No one worked harder than Thérèse, and no one could doubt her integrity, high morals, and love for the Immaculate Heart of Mary. As a Registered Nurse, she lovingly—and with great attention to detail—worked with patients in Vermont and Quebec hospitals, ending her nursing career working on Floor 5B at St. Peter’s Hospital in New Brunswick (N.J.). She loved being a nurse and treated each patient as she would want her own family members to be treated, often returning to work after her shift to finish details and to say prayers with patients. She was rewarded with notes and cards, calling her an “angel.” She held high standards for work and behavior while still being so gentle.

In addition to raising four children, she supported Dr. Lachance as he became an internationally recognized food scientist. In 1967, after serving as NASA’s first flight food and nutrition coordinator, Dr. Lachance joined the faculty of the Food Science Department of the New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station and Rutgers – The State University. The family settled in a South Brunswick home which Mom made into a loving, accepting refuge.

She was known for her culinary abilities, often creating the most incredible meals, pies, and cakes. She supported Dad as demands for his time became extraordinary and as he became the first Permanent Deacon at St. Paul’s Church (Princeton) where he served from 1977 to when he became too ill with Parkinsonism.

She is now with friends and family she has not seen for a long time and awaits all of us with her moving hugs, soft eyes, and sweet smile. Her loving husband, Rev. Dr. Paul A. Lachance, who died on Jan. 21, 2017, will be joyful to see his love and will probably greet her with a kiss and say, “You’re late.”

In lieu of flowers, take the time to pray with someone, hold a hand, feed the birds, donate food to the poor, and enjoy a piece of German Chocolate Cake, strawberry tarts, blueberry or pecan pie, or an order of beef stroganoff…though none of it will be as good as Mom’s. Care about your work with a high level of detail and integrity while honoring the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Treasure the children and never forget how lucky we are to be in a family. Rest, Mom…Merci beaucoup.

Friends may meet the family from 7-9 p.m. on Friday at Dec. 6 at the Mather-Hodge Funeral Home 40 Vandeventer Avenue, Princeton. Deacon Jim Knipper will lead a prayer service. Funeral Mass will begin at 10 a.m. (9:30 viewing) in St. Paul’s Church (Princeton) at 216 Nassau Street on Saturday, Dec. 7. The celebrant will be Pastor Emeritus, Monsignor Walter E. Nolan with Deacon Frank Crivello. Thérèse Lachance will be entombed in a mausoleum with her husband at Holy Cross Burial Park in East Brunswick, N.J. after mass is completed.

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