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W. Lucille (Welch) Onorato

W. Lucille (Welch) Onorato
  • February 17, 1919 - March 17, 2015
  • Waltham, Massachusetts
  • Memorial donations may be made to Vulvodynia Matters, Inc. P.O. Box 550096, North Waltham, MA 02455;

Pause Soaring to Heaven by Charles D. Denler, composer (ASCAP)
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Waltham, MA 02453
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Memories & Candles

“Mothers hold their children's hands for only a short while but their hearts forever. My condolences and deepest sympathies. Ron Plummer ”
1 of 5 | Posted by: Ron Plummer - Princeton, NJ

“Dear Mary and Pat, and your whole family,I'm so sorry that your beautiful mother has passed away. And so glad I got to know her. Here are a few of...Read More »
2 of 5 | Posted by: Reva Dolobowsky - Waltham, MA

“Hi Pat. Remember me from WHS?! I am so very sorry. My mom died 12/23. I had a nice chat with Joan and Marcia at the reunion. I missed seeing you...Read More »
3 of 5 | Posted by: Joanne Ward Fitzgerald - medfield, MA

“Dear Pat and Mary , so sort to hear about your. Mother passing away , may her sole rest in peace. Regards to all the. Family. Thinking of you on...Read More »
4 of 5 | Posted by: Raquel Perlis - Wellesley

“Dear Pat and Mary .....and family: I pray your Mom is now at peace. She was a loving and lovely woman and you two were remarkable, amazing sisters...Read More »
5 of 5 | Posted by: sandra copman - North Grafton, MA

Waltham - Winifred Lucille Onorato, known to friends and family as Lucille, was born in Bridgeport, CT in 1919 to Winifred and Edward Welch. Soon thereafter she, her parents and her two older siblings, Maryrose and Edward, moved to Indian Orchard, MA, where her father became a foreman at Chapman Valve and her younger brother and sister, Joseph and Theresa, were born. Eventually her mother's sister, Agnes Donnelly, also joined the household. At the time Indian Orchard was still somewhat rural. In later years Lucille would reminisce about playing and picking berries in the woods behind their house and helping her mother and siblings tend their large garden and flock of chickens. She enjoyed recounting how her mother once killed a rattlesnake in the front yard. Lucille's stories recalled a lively household often full to overflowing when cousins visited from Pittsburgh or her school friends joined her and her sisters for summer sleepovers on the side porch.

Lucille attended Myrtle Street School in Indian Orchard then went on to Classical High School in Springfield, where she excelled in math. She would have liked to continue her education and become a teacher like her paternal aunt, May Welch of Bridgeport. But when she finished high school in the mid-1930s at the depth of the Great Depression, her family needed her income, and so she took a secretarial course and went to work at Chapman Valve, where her father, aunt, and older sister and brother also worked. One of her favorite memories from this period was of saving up $20—a huge sum—to take a flying lesson in a seaplane at the Agawam Seaplane Base near Springfield.

In 1943 Lucille married Joseph M. Onorato of Springfield, then a Captain in the US Army. Their oldest son, also named Joseph, was born in 1944, shortly before his father was deployed to the European theater during World War II. After the war Lucille and Joe had four more children, William, Michael, Mary, and Patricia. For several years Joseph's work, first for Gulf Oil and then for Ludlow Corporation, took the family to various locations in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Delaware and, for three years, Jamaica in the West Indies. In the 1960s they moved to Westwood, Mass., where they would live for over 40 years. Lucille served in the local PTA and also led her daughter Patricia's Brownie troop. An accomplished seamstress, she took classes in tailoring and upholstering, and later took up quilting.

After her children were grown she worked for several years in retail sales at Filene's department store, where she enjoyed using her employee discount to buy clothes and gifts for her five grandchildren, Katherine, Joseph, Robert, Bisanne, and Christina.

In 2009 Lucille and Joseph sold their house in Westwood and moved to Waltham to live with their daughters, Mary and Patricia. Joseph passed away in 2012. Despite her declining health, Lucille retained her sense of humor and her joy in simple things--good food, fresh flowers, and visits from family and friends. Even in her final days she laughed at the antics of the family's Chihuahua, Pippi, and delighted in visiting with her grandchildren and great-grandchildren through the miracles of Skype and FaceTime.

She is survived by her children, Joseph M. Onorato and his wife, Paulette, of Sudbury, William E. Onorato of Medfield, Michael F. Onorato and his wife, Jean, of Acton, Mary L. Onorato and Patricia A. Onorato both of Waltham; her grandchildren, Joseph M. Onorato, Christina Onorato, Katherine Onorato, Robert Onorato, and Bisanne Masoud; and her great grandchildren, Emi Ip Onorato, Minna Onorato Stokes, and Silas Onorato.

Family and friends will honor and remember Lucille's life by gathering for her Funeral Mass on Monday, April 6th, at 10 am in Saint Mary's Church, 133 School Street, Waltham. Burial will be private.

Memorial donations may be made to Vulvodynia Matters, Inc. P.O. Box 550096, North Waltham, MA 02455;