Earlier this week I noticed an obituary for Lillian Lamoureux. The name was immediately familiar from my Lowell history research. I don’t recall ever meeting Lillian, but my two co-bloggers, Marie Sweeney and Paul Marion, have mentioned her frequently in past conversations.
Here’s what Marie posted on her Facebook page on learning of Lillian’s passing:
So sad to learn of the passing Lillian Lamoureux, SFCC – a daughter of Lowell, a religious – Gray Nuns of the Cross of Ottawa who later transferred to the Sisters for Christian Community. How fitting for Lillian look to have “community” in her religious affiliation for she was of the community… an educator, a school principal, an organizer, a leader among leaders, a later-in-life lawyer, a visionary, an outspoken voice for people, preservation, revitalization… an activist with Lowell’s Model Cities Program and its citizen participation group, the Acre Model Neighborhood Organization (AMNO), one of the seven original incorporators of HSC / Human Services Corporation. She was role model for both women and men in all her positions, in all that she stood for, in all that she did.
I worked with Lillian over many years as a fellow member of HSC. She was always strong, she was always confident and rooted in her beliefs… she could be stern and then she’d smile, have a twinkle in her eye. With friends and colleagues like Peter Stamas, Mary Bacigalupo, Dr. Patrick Mogan and Lillian Lamoureux, I felt blessed. They and she are missed.
May Sr. Lillian Lamoureux rest in peace.
Back in 1991, there was an exhibit celebrating the 20th anniversary of Lowell’s Human Services Corporation which played a vital role in urban planning, education and children’s services in the city. Sr. Lamoureaux was one of the founders of the corporation. A brochure created for the exhibit is online and provides important information about this part of Lowell’s history.
And here’s part of what Paul wrote about Lillian’s role in the coming of the National Park to Lowell in Mill Power: The Origin and Impact of Lowell National Historical Park.
On a parallel track [with the effort to create a federal park], the local park activists were pursuing a state option in the form of a heritage state park. In early 1974, Governor Francis Sargent had visited Lowell to hear what the local constituents were proposing. He was pressed for a commitment by the by-now highly skilled community organizers out of the Model Cities project and AMNO, including Sister Lillian Lamoureaux, a Lowell native and one of the HSC founders. Sister Lillian at the time was with the Sisters of Charity of Montreal or “Grey Nuns,” a religious order whose members had been serving in Lowell since 1880, when the sisters had come to teach and help the needy. In a public meeting she demanded of the governor “Something tangible and something financial!”
Her advocacy must have been effective because Lowell received a heritage state park helped pave the way for the National Historical Park that came later.
Finally, here is Sister Lamoureux’s obituary from the Martin Funeral Home:
Sister Lillian Lamoureux, SFCC (1925 – 2019)
Sister Lillian Lamoureux, SFCC,a member of the Sisters For Christian Community for 37 years, went to meet the GOD she loved all her life on Friday, Sept. 27, 2019.
Born on Aug. 25, 1925, in Lowell, she was the daughter of the late Leon W. Lamoureux, who was a suburban editor of the Lowell Sun for many years, and the late Rose April Lamoureux. She was the sister of the late Irene Harvey, Raymond Lamoureux, Joseph Lamoureux, Leon T. Lamoureux, and Cecile Goulet.
After graduating from St. Joseph High School, she entered the Grey Nuns of the Cross in Ottawa, Canada. She became Principal in Haverill and Lowell, MA and later, Director of Education for the Community. She later transferred to the Sisters For Christian Community, a Vatican II community, still treasuring her years and deep Spirituality of Margaret D’Youville’s community.
She attended Massachusetts School of Law where she earned her Doctorate.
She dearly loved her City, and it’s two Rivers the Merrimack and the Concord, and was involved in the exciting years of Lowell’s re-vitalization. She worked with visionary city leaders, Patrick Mogan and Peter Stamas, on the Model Cities Board, as well as the Human Services Corporation.
Her Life and that of other former Residents of D’Youville Senior Care, will be celebrated on Saturday, Oct. 26 at 4:00 PM in the Chapel.
A very grateful THANK YOU to the compassionate Caregivers and Medical Staff of LOWELL GENERAL HOSPITAL and D’Youville Senior Care.
Donations can be made in her name to her favorite charity, aiding homeless children: COVENANT HOUSE, P.O. BOX 96708, WASHINGTON, DC 20090-6708.