Catholic 08

Lina Justine (Donelle/Downing) Poirier

April 15, 1926 ~ October 22, 2021 (age 95)


Lina Justine (Donelle/Downing) Poirier, 95 years old, of Shirley, MA died at home on October 22, 2021. She was born in Caissie Cape, New Brunswick, Canada on April 15, 1926, the daughter of the late Phillip and Premilia (Gallant) Downing. She was predeceased by her husband of 53 years, Paul E. Poirier (2002) and a son, Roger J. Poirier (1996).
Mr. and Mrs. Poirier moved their family from New Brunswick to Waltham, MA in 1961 and later relocated to Ayer. For many years the Poirier family very much enjoyed returning to their roots, visiting relatives near the beautiful and scenic coastline of the Northumberland Strait across from Prince Edward Island. After Mr. Poirier’s retirement in 1988 they returned to Canada and lived in Dieppe, NB, for 8 years. In 1996 they returned to Shirley to live with their daughter and caregiver, Marie Lucie Poirier.
Lina was a devout Catholic and most recently had been a communicant at St. Anthony of Padua Church in Shirley. She was devoted to praying the rosary every day.
At a very young age Lina’s father was stricken ill, and for 20 years was unable to provide for his family. She was tasked, at the age of 10, with the responsibility of caring for her four younger siblings. She quickly learned many homemaking and gardening skills. Later, with her own family, Lina was “famous” for her homemade bread, lemon meringue pie, poutine râpée, and soups. She taught herself English by listening to English-speaking mothers in Waltham — always over homemade bread and tea. She became an avid reader who loved autobiographies and was always excited to share the stories to anyone who would listen.
Lina leaves her son, Jean-Guy (John) Poirier and wife Mary Alice (Fahey) of Belmont, her daughter and caretaker Marie Lucie Poirier of Shirley, her son Claude and wife Jo-Anne (Forest) of Lunenburg, and her son Louis (Lou) and wife Kathleen (McHale) of Ayer; grandsons Noel Poirier and wife Aimee (DeBarbier) of Melrose, Marc Poirier and wife Erin (Keady) of Yonkers, NY; granddaughters Jillian Peters (Poirier) and her husband Daniel Peters of Acton, Justine Mannix (Poirier) and her husband Christopher Mannix of Bolton; her adorable great-grandchildren Sebastien and Sophia Poirier, Nora Mannix, and Logan Peters; and a special niece and friend Doris Robichaud of Nashua. She also leaves her sisters, Edna Poirier of Shediac Bridge, NB, and Laudia Leger of Caissie Cape, NB; sisters-in-law Marge Downing of Moncton, NB and Anne Marie Donell of Ayer; and many nieces and nephews. She was predeceased by two sisters: Lorette Cormier and Alice Gagnon, and four brothers: Alcide Donelle, Leo Downing, Ovila Downing and Telex Donell.
Mrs. Poirier’s funeral will be held from Richardson Funeral Home, 106 West Street, Leominster, on Saturday, October 30, 2021, with an 11:00 a.m. Mass of Christian Burial at St. Anthony of Padua Church, 14 Phoenix St., Shirley, MA. Burial will follow in St. Mary’s Cemetery, Bishop Road, Ayer. Calling hours will be held in the funeral home from 9:00-10:30 a.m. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to St. Anthony of Padua Church.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Lina Justine (Donelle/Downing) Poirier, please visit our floral store.


October 30, 2021

9:00 AM to 10:30 AM
Richardson Funeral Home, Inc.
106 West Street
Leominster, MA 01453

Funeral Service
October 30, 2021

11:00 AM
St. Anthony's Church- Shirley
14 Phoenix St.
Shirley, MA 01464

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