Esther White Purinton, 85, died on December 13, 2021 at Vero Health & Rehab of South Hadley with the love of her husband, family and friends focused on her. Her sons were by her side.
Born on March 16, 1936 in the Town of Hawley, Massachusetts, and raised on the family farm, Esther was the daughter of Robert and Ethel (Neary) White. Educated at Charlemont High School with the class of 1953, she went on to Franklin County Public Hospital School of Nursing, graduating in 1956 as a registered nurse. She was united in marriage on July 22, 1956 to her high school sweetheart, Raymond Alvin Purinton at the Charlemont Federated Church. They began their life together in Georgia while Raymond served in the Army. Later, they returned to Charlemont to build a home in which to raise their three sons. While doing so and working full-time, she continued her education at Fitchburg State College, taking classes part-time for many years to earn her bachelor’s degree in nursing.
Esther worked at Franklin Medical Center for 33 years from 1965-1998 in various positions retiring as The Director of Performance Improvement and Risk Management. She was a leader for several organizations including the American Heart Association, American Cancer Society, Red Cross, and various Nurses’ Associations. After retirement she became certified in School Nursing and worked at several local schools until 2012. She worked for many years with county family courts supervising family visitations. During this time she explored her love for history while working at Old Deerfield Village as a curator. Her passion for nursing led her on a multi-faceted career of caring for others through volunteering her time or support to libraries, flu clinics and other local causes. She fluently shared the history and collection of quilts to many audiences. In every area of her work, she connected personally with the people she met.
Esther was a member of the Charlemont Federated Church. In her later years she organized a prayer shawl group, donating hundreds of hand-knitted prayer shawls and lap robes. Esther’s ability to quilt, knit, choose the perfect flower, embrace a solo weekend with her grandchildren, research the perfect trip, envision a new space, see the right color, brave advancing technologies and to excite others to enter into it with her matched none other. She patiently taught her passions to friends and family. She dearly loved reading, her cat Archebella, the valley she lived in, camp in Vermont and the Sugar House in the spring.
In addition to her husband Raymond of Charlemont, survivors include her three sons, Douglas (Julie) of Norway, NY, Scott (Ellen) of Hawley and Barry (Marie) of Charlemont; 7 grandchildren, Jordan (Katelynn) of Norway, NY, William (Cecilia) of Portland, OR, Kiersten Gregory (Cody) of Abilene, TX, Nicole of Greenfield, Evan (Stephanie) of Farmington Hills, MI, Nathan (Sonja) of Norway, NY and Justin (Tess) of Greenfield; 10 great-grandchildren; her cherished friend, Phyllis Herrera of Shelburne Falls and many longtime friends. She was predeceased by both her parents and her in-laws.
A private service was held at the convenience of the family. There will be no public funeral nor calling hours as per Esther’s wishes. A gathering to celebrate her life is planned for Summer 2022.
Please consider sending memorials to the Charlemont Federated Church, 175 Main Street, Charlemont, MA 01339 in Esther’s name.
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