Nature 09

Lorelei Marie Piers

January 11, 1961 ~ March 8, 2021 (age 60)

Obituary

Born on January 11, 1961, Lorelei Marie Piers passed away peacefully in her sleep on March 8, 2021. “Lore,” was the precious daughter of Eleanor Piers, and the beloved sister of Dawne Piers-Gamble and Tim Gamble, Wayne Piers and Maggie Durie, Craig Piers and Liz, George and Kimberly Piers, Jonathan and Rebecca Piers, Brad Piers and Megan Collins. She was the cherished Auntie of Ariel, Caleb, Jack and Maisie Gannon, Ashton, Alan and Emmett Moore, Garrison, Marisa and Bailey Piers-Gamble, Taylor, Chris, Ellie and Carter La Brecque, Conner, Noah and Karley Piers, Ryan and Austen Piers, Emma and Luke Piers, Ethan and Benjamin Piers and Will and Ben Piers. Lorelei enjoyed family gatherings, particularly weddings, Little Christmas and her birthday celebration in Maine. The more family members the merrier, especially if there were babies! With her dear, longtime boyfriend Lenny Poudrier, Lorelei enjoyed bowling, bingo, summer vacations and dinner dates chauffeured by Dawne and treasured friend Laura Hoey. Lorelei's unique gifts were loving people unabashedly and connecting them. Her reach was wide, like an all encompassing hug that made people feel special. Lorelei was determined, self possessed, adventurous and exceedingly perceptive. Lorelei was among a group of brave, trailblazing individuals with disabilities that were the first to move into community group homes and enter public school in Massachusetts in the early 1970s. She graduated from Pathfinder High School with a certificate in Food Preparation. She worked a variety of jobs in the community for over 20 years with the support of Riverside Industries, including the Food Commons at UMass, Price Chopper, Taco Bell and CVS. Her later working years were spent doing food prep and taking orders at Savannah Grill, housed at Riverside Industries. Lorelei thrived in these social settings thanks to her personal charm and the dedicated support from the staff at Riverside. Lorelei was proud of her ability to use sign language and of her many Special Olympics medals and ribbons. Throughout her life she was a confident advocate for the rights of people with Down syndrome. She often encouraged others with, “Take a deep breath. Don’t give up! and Be Happy!!” It was at Riverside that Lorelei learned to paint from Denise Herzog, a wonderful teacher and advocate. Lorelei adored color, especially in flowers and fall leaves. Purple was her personal favorite. She always asked and associated people with their favorite color. Lorelei created beautiful paintings that she gave as gifts. She was very proud of having one of her paintings on display at the Massachusetts State House. On the T ride following the State House reception, her exuberant remarks and enthusiasm for the movement, sounds, scenery and people caught the attention of the many travel weary riders in the car. It wasn’t long before blank stares and silence changed into smiles and conversation. So it was with Lorelei, She lived up to her name's meaning, alluring! Lorelei also loved to listen to music and dance. She spent many Friday nights dancing at the Northstar and she wouldn’t go anywhere without her walkman blaring Susan Boyle, word find puzzles and super sharp pencils.” Amazing Grace,” her favorite song comes to mind as we say our farewells to our sweet Lorelei. It takes a village to raise a person. While Lorelei did indeed draw people to her with her warmth, humor and hugs, and certainly her many successes were her own, she benefited from the support of many incredible individuals and the dedicated staff from a number of organizations including Community Homes for Children, Nonotuck, Riverside Industries, MCS Westfield, CHD Maple Road, CCS, Western Ave, and The Department of Developmental Services. To honor Lorelei’s amazing life and show gratitude to all those people who have been a part of her story, her family will have a celebration of life in the summer. Donations in Lorelei’s memory can be made to Riverside Industries, 1 Cottage Street, Easthampton, MA 01027 Riverside Industries

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