Lorraine Bruno, 89

Oct 15, 2020 by

Published October 16, 2020

MELROSE — Lorraine Mary Lucy Bruno (Robichaud), 89, of North Andover, formerly of Melrose, died peacefully at home with her husband by her side on Oct. 6, 2020.

She is survived by her beloved husband of 62 years and best friend, Pasquale E. Bruno. She was the loving mother of Patrick M. Bruno and spouse Kimberly, Dean A. Bruno and spouse Meg, Karen V. Heaslip and spouse William, Dana J. Anthony Bruno and partner Edward Brennon, Nina M. Ferguson and partner Troy Kruse, Kimberly A. Cranfill, Nicole Bruno and partner Michael Swisher, and, like a daughter, Donna Johanson and spouse Stephen.

She was predeceased by her brother Gilbert Robichaud and two grandchildren. She is also survived by her caring sister Ethel Walsh and husband Robert, 12 grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren, numerous beloved nieces, nephews and dear friends.

Lorraine was a passionate and caring person who loved life and every person she met. Her love of children would be a reason for being a daycare provider for years—with no concern for age or disability; she loved all children. She was known for volunteering throughout her entire life, helping anyone in need: a ride to a chemo appointment, physical therapy for a child, delivering meals to the homebound. Even in her mid-80s, she was driving disabled adults to doctor appointments.

She fostered all her relationships, from her family to all her friends and relatives. Love took precedent with her. She always took the time to include friends and family in her fun-filled outings. Friday night date night with husband Eddie, which is what she called him, included their numerous friends. Very rarely did they vacation alone — it was always with groups of friends or family — because she adhered to the adage, “The more the merrier.” If one wanted to see Lorraine, they would often hear, “Let me check my calendar” — as her social life was usually booked. She and Eddie were more socially engaged than most young folks — sometimes one would have to plan a month in advance to spend time with Lorraine.

While visiting her elderly mother in a nursing home, she became friends with her roommates. She would also make it a habit to visit someone alone in a room, even returning after her mother was discharged. Some of these friendships continued outside nursing homes, and Lorraine would not hesitate to take a carload of elderly to lunch. There was always room for one more plate for dinner (or two) — she cooked for an army, it was said, and she cooked like a gourmet. She welcomed all to her home and treated everyone with love and respect.

She could throw a party like no other. There was always plenty of laughter with her, and she had such timing for telling a good joke to anyone that would listen, especially her grandchildren and great grandchildren. Her laughter was contagious, and she could get a room roaring with laughter just at the way she physically told a joke. There were numerous times even during her last weeks of life that she would lighten the mood in the room by making silly faces or saying something to break the tension.

She loved traveling with her husband, Eddie. No trip was too far, and most trips would include stops to see one or several of her children. She was brave, never showed any fear, always willing to try something new. The weather was never a reason to cancel a trip that was planned.

She was a lifelong learner, avid reader and self-taught in many matters. Computers were just something to master — and she loved it — making their famous Christmas cards that were eagerly awaited each year. When texting came about, she latched onto that as well — keeping in touch with her family and friends, signing out with LOL, which to her meant lots of love.

After taking adult education to learn computers and a medical terminology course, she found her “dream job” at age 62 as an executive assistant to the chief of medicine, Dr. Stephen Wright, at Faulker Hospital.

She retired at age 77 but not before donating a kidney anonymously after reading about such a thing in an airline magazine. She wanted no accolades for that donation, but it is an example of her selflessness.

She loved to keep active and even got into lifting weights in her 80s as she found she needed more strength to move the big table in her home. She was an inspiration and a great role model for determination, good will and great manners.

Even now as we are receiving condolences from across the world, there is a common theme in them — Lorraine made them feel loved and as if part of her family. I think that for years to come, we will hear Lorraine stories of love and how she made all feel so loved and part of the family.

A Christian Mass will be held at St. Michael’s Church, 196 Main St. North Andover, on Saturday, Oct. 17, 2020 at 11:30 a.m. Relatives and friends are respectfully invited to attend. Livestream: https://www.facebook.com/gatelyfuneralhome. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, please arrive at church at 11 a.m. to go through the church’s protocol before entering the building. Interment will be private.

In lieu of flowers, a memorial contribution may be made in Lorraine’s name: because of her anonymous kidney donation 15 years ago, to the National Kidney Foundation, 209 W. Central St., Natick, MA 01760, or because of her love of children, to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 262 Danny Thomas Place, Memphis, TN 38105. To send a message of condolence, please visit www.gatelyfh.com

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