Elizabeth A. Desautell, 79, of Shrewsbury


Elizabeth A. DesautellShrewsbury – Elizabeth A. (White) Desautell, 79, of Shrewsbury, MA, passed away peacefully surrounded by family on the evening of Saturday, May 11, at the Saint Francis Rehabilitation and Nursing Center in Worcester, MA, after a long and courageous battle with a terminal illness.

Elizabeth (or Betty, as she was commonly known) was born in Worcester on February 6, 1945, to Joseph E. White, Sr. and Veronica (Kukmanowski) White. She was a devoted daughter to both parents until each predeceased her. She attended St. John’s and Ascension Schools in Worcester through her elementary and high school years and especially enjoyed cheerleading as part of the CYC at St. Casimir’s Parish.

At the age of 14, she met Richard J. Desautell, whom she would later marry and enjoy over 57 years together as husband and wife. Their devotion to each other across more than five decades was extraordinary. The pair was blessed with two children, who will miss their Mom profoundly: David C. Desautell of Shrewsbury, MA, and Kerrie M. Desautell of Worcester, MA. With their young family, Betty and Rich enjoyed trips to Florida and Sebago Lake in Maine, and continued their travels together in their later years, often to favorite area casinos.

Betty’s life was also blessed by the love of grandchildren Zachary Desautell and Alexa Rizkalla, niece Jennifer Sheehy Everett and husband John and son Cooper of Melrose, MA; nephew Scott Sheehy and wife Sabrina and their daughters Julia and Celia of Vancouver, WA;  niece Shannon White and her children Rhiannon, Fiona, Cerridwyn, and Killian, and grandchild Ambrose of New Hampshire. Betty also enjoyed her many aunts, uncles, and cousins.

Betty’s lifelong best friend was her dear sister, Aggie (White) Sheehy (widow of Leo L. Sheehy, Jr.). Their older brother Joseph E. White, Jr. passed prematurely at the young age of 54. While Betty and Aggie were different in many ways, their sisterly love was palpable, and they were inseparable growing up. Among their many happy memories together were days on the stage performing as a singing duo, most notably on the television competition program “Community Auditions” featuring area talents of all genres. A favorite song of theirs to perform was “Side by Side.”

“Oh, we ain’t got a barrel of money, maybe we’re ragged and funny, but we’ll travel along singing a song, side by side; we don’t know what’s coming tomorrow, maybe it’s trouble and sorrow, but we’ll travel the road, sharing our load, side by side…” There are no truer words to express Betty’s devotion to family. She was as loving and selfless as a person can be, and her kindness and generosity were limitless.

While family was her pride and joy and priority, Betty also excelled in the sales and marketing field. She thrived for many years as an Executive Sales Manager for the Tupperware Corporation, winning many national awards and accolades. In her later years, she worked for the Simon Property Group, Inc., owner of the Solomon Pond Mall in Marlborough, MA, where she managed special events and marketing before retiring to dedicate herself fully to the needs of her family. She was also employed at area law firms earlier in her career.

Betty will be so deeply missed by her family and friends. As a butterfly flutters by or a rainbow appears in the sky, we will know she is present, watching over us as a loving guardian angel.

A wake will be held at Hays Funeral Home, 56 Main Street, Northborough, MA from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. on Monday, May 20. A funeral Mass will be held Tuesday, May 21, at 10:30 a.m. at St. Rose of Lima Parish,   244 W. Main Street, Northborough. Burial at the Massachusetts Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Winchendon will be private.

In recognition of Betty’s love for animals and rescue of countless stray cats over the years, donations can be made in her name to Hope Haven Pet Rescue at https://hopehavenpetrescue.org.

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