Dolores (Carpenter) Lee, 88

WEBSTER — Dolores Alberta (Carpenter) Lee (88) passed away on July 3, after a seven-year battle with Vascular Dementia.

She was born in Lynn to Ernest Avery Carpenter and Aurora (St. Cyr) Carpenter. She was the oldest of three children: Dolores, Leo, and Ernest. Dolores grew up in Lynn and enjoyed her large extended family. She married Charles Kenneth Chaplain in 1950 and lived in Lynn. Dolores was forever grateful for the four children from this marriage: Diane (Chaplain) Shelley of Holden; Charlene (Chaplain) Sheehan of Lynn; Sharon (Chaplain) Paddleford formerly of Caribou, ME; and Kenneth Wayne Chaplain of Southbridge.

Dolores later met her “one true love” Frank Atkins Lee when she was a single mother and he a patron at the diner where she was employed as a waitress. They went on to marry, living in Peabody and Lynn before moving to Webster in 1971. Frank and Dolores added two more children to the family: Tracey (Lee) Martin of Webster, and Jay Lee of Sturbridge. Dolores was a stay-at-home mom for some years then entered the workforce again when she and her husband managed the Globe Texaco Truck Stop on Route 20 in Worcester in the 1970s. She later worked in several mills and shoe factories in Webster. She was also the business manager for her husband’s owner/operator Truck and Bus businesses. After retirement, Frank said he wanted to show Dolores the beautiful country he traveled over the years. Their RV trip was short-lived when they visited Mexico City Beach, Fla., and fell in love with a two bedroom home complete with white sand, palm trees, gulf breezes, and a breathtakingly unobstructed view of the Gulf of Mexico. After Frank’s death in October 2003, Dolores sold their little piece of paradise and returned to Webster full-time. She enjoyed spending time with her now adult children and sneaking off to the casinos and scratching lottery tickets for a little fun. In 2012, she had a stroke and was diagnosed with Vascular Dementia which worsened over the years. She was cared for in her home by her daughters Sharon and Tracey for the last seven years. She was predeceased by Sharon (2014) who was also her best friend. Additionally, she was predeceased by her parents, her husband Frank, brother Leo, stepson Frank, and her grandson Zack Zalewski of Groveland. 

She leaves behind 12 grandchildren, 13 great-grandchildren, and one great grandchild (as well as a much larger network of grandchildren who have blended into the family over the years), sons-in-law Mark Shelley, Milton Paddleford Sr., and Ray Martin, daughters-in-law Bertha Chaplain and Phyllis Lee as well as nieces and nephews from the “Carpenter” and “Taylor” families. 

Dolores will be remembered for her sage advice, sense of humor, sense of duty, and her responses to “I love you!” 

The family would like to thank many agencies who provided advice, guidance, care and love during these last years; most importantly the devoted and compassionate staff led by Joe and Lisa Rizzo at Accord Adult Day in Webster. This gratitude extends to all involved in her care, including but not limited to Dr. Sharma, Tri-Valley, Inc., Alzheimer’s Support Network, the former staff at the TCU in Webster, Katie Brown from Visiting Angels, Overlook Post-Acute Rehab Unit, Overlook VNA and Overlook Dementia Care and Hospice for their unceasingly compassionate care. 

Funeral Services will be Tuesday, July 9 at 10 a.m. in the Robert J. Miller Funeral Home and Lake Chapel, 366 School St., Webster. Interment will be at 2:30 p.m. at the Massachusetts Veterans’ Cemetery, Connery Avenue in Bourne, next to her beloved husband Frank.

Calling Hours will be Monday, July 8 from 5-7 p.m. in the Funeral Home.

In lieu of flowers, Memorial Contributions may be made to: Tri-Valley Caregiver Support Program, 10 Mill Street, Dudley, MA 01571.

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