Her husband of 63 years, Richard O. Collette, died in 2009.
She leaves three sons: R. Lee Collette and his partner, Lee McTighe of Townsend; Stephen J. Collette and his wife, Michelle, of West Groton; and Peter A. Collette of Townsend; her brother, Norman A. Richard of Fitchburg; three granddaughters: Caryn L. Ines and her husband, Andrew; Amy S. Collette and her husband, James Adair; and Anna L. Collette and her husband, Michael Dutra; and three great grandchildren: Annie Collette Adair, Leah Collette Inis, and Miles Collette Dutra.
She was the sister of the late Leo J. Richard, Robert J. Richard, and Clarence J. Richard, all of Fitchburg.
Mrs. Collette was born in Fitchburg. March 19, 1923, the daughter of Joseph and Sarah Belliveau Richard. She grew up in the Cleghorn section of the city and attended St. Joseph School. In 1948, she and her husband moved to Townsend. She attended St. John’s Church in Townsend and was a former member of its Ladies Sodality. She was a former member of Oak Hill Country Club in Fitchburg and served as a volunteer for the American Red Cross.
In October 2009, Irene and her late husband, Dick, were honored when the new Townsend Library was named after them. For the past six years, Mrs. Collette resided at Rivercourt Residences in West Groton. During her time there, the staff became not only her caregivers but her extended family, for which the family is so very grateful.
A Funeral Mass will be celebrated at 10 a.m. on Friday, March 20th at St. John’s Church, 1 School Street, Townsend. Burial will be in Hillside Cemetery.
Calling hours are 2-4 and 6-8 p.m. on Thursday at the T.J. Anderson & Son Funeral Home, 250 Main Street, Townsend. Please see www.andersonfuneral.com for additional information.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Townsend Public Library, 1 Dudley Road, Townsend, MA 01469 or to the Friends of Nashoba Nursing & Hospice Service, 12 Shaker Road, Shirley, MA 01464.