CANAAN, N.H. —A Celebration of Life for Grace E. Fifalt, 92, a lifelong resident of Canaan, who died Sept. 7 at the Dartmouth Hitchcock medical center in Lebanon, N.H. will be held Saturday, Sept. 15 at the Ricker Funeral Home in Enfield at 1 p.m. Burial will follow in the St. Mary’s Cemetery in Canaan. There will be no calling hours.
She was born April 12, 1920, in Canaan, a daughter of the late Charles and Irene (Beaurigard) DeCato.
Growing up Grace attended schools locally and after graduating from New London High School, she went on to graduate from nursing school at Elliott Hospital and became a registered nurse. During her working career, she spent time working at several different hospitals and institutions, including Addison Gilbert Hospital in Gloucester, Mass., Alice Peck Day Memorial Hospital in Lebanon, Elliott Hospital in Manchester, N.H., and the Veteran’s Administration Hospital in White River Jct., as well as the school nurse in Canaan, running a nursing home on Canaan Street helping to take care of people in their own homes. For the past year Grace lived at Westboro House in West Lebanon and most recently at Genesis Elder Care in Lebanon where she was fondly known as the “Genesis Jock” and could often be seen doing laps with her walker in the parking lot. She very much enjoyed participating in the daily activities with the staff and other residents at both the Westboro House and Genesis, especially with her 102-year-old dear friend Mary Hazen of Canaan.
In her spare time Grace helped out as a volunteer at local blood drives and dressed up as Santa Claus and visited nursery schools. She also enjoyed gardening, knitting, reading and watching Dancing with the Star’s and the Olympics on TV. Grace was also made an honorary member of the Canaan F.A.S. T. Squad, where she often helped with their fundraising and enjoyed watching the group build parade floats in her barn.
She is survived by three children, Susan A. Wills of West Lebanon, Ronald Fifalt of Hartland and Nancy Bishop of Canaan; four grandchildren, Lisa Wills, Anthony Bishop, Heather Greer and Jessica Bishop; four great grandchildren; a brother, Clarence “Buckeye” DeCato of Canaan; three sisters, Phyllis Lee and Charlotte Psaleadas, both of Manchester, N.H. and Elizabeth Robbins of Canaan; and numerous nieces and nephews.
She was predeceased by her husband Woitto; a grandson Jason Wills; a sister Georgiana Bendixon and four brothers, William, Lawrence, Charles and Joseph DeCato.
In lieu of flowers donations can be made to Canaan F.A.S.T. Squad, PO Box 35, Canaan, N.H. 03741, Upper Valley Humane Society, 300 Old Route 10, Enfield, N.H. 03748 or the Mascoma Area Seniors Center, Meals on Wheels Program, PO Box 210, Canaan, N.H. 03741.
Messages of sympathy for the family can be left at www.rickerfuneralhome.com.
This obituary first appeared in the September 13, 2012 print edition of the Vermont Standard.
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